Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Handy Workman Is Good To Find


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Throughout the years, my oldest and dearest friend has recommended various fix-it men. Between plumbers, painters, electricians, and masons, she has helped me avoid many a crisis. There was one painter who has stood out in both of our minds, and it all began in the spring of 2007.

The painter showed up at my door three hours late, and began splashing paint samples on my kitchen wall, as my mom looked on in disbelief. She suggested that he bring out the teal color of my countertops, while he was adamant about earth tones. I originally envisioned a black accent wall, surrounded by white walls, and black trim along the vaulted ceiling. After they both calmed down, we compromised by substituting teal for the black accents. Though my mom was right, they became arch enemies, but for some strange reason he liked me.

Meanwhile, my friend was working closely with her upholstery man. She needed to have her couch recovered. There was no bickering, or meddling mother interruptus. Everything was running smoothly on her side of town.

The painter continued to come over every day for about a week. He always saw me at my best with no make-up, shrunken sweatpants, and a well-worn oversized T-shirt. He got to see me the way my husband saw me first thing in the morning, only my husband was lucky enough to have left town. He took our younger son to visit my mother-in-law over spring break, while our older son was away at college. I thought that this would be an ideal time to redecorate the kitchen, and family room.

The painter was as creative, as he was temperamental. He had a wonderful eye for color, and enjoyed being praised for his work. One night when he was working later than usual, I asked my neighbor to come over. He got the hint, and quickly left, so we could go out for dinner.

My friend had also recommended the upholstery man to fix some of my dining room chairs. He made them look brand new, and conducted himself in a very professional manner.

The night before the painter's job was complete, he invited himself over at 11pm. I thought it was a rather strange request, and jokingly told him that someone else was coming over during that time slot, but I'd be willing to squeeze him in at 2am. He laughed, and said that he loved my wonderful sense of humor. Later that night, I checked all of the locks on the doors three times more than I usually did.

When the upholsterer dropped off my friend's couch, he caught her unaware. He asked her for permission to kiss her. She politely told him that it wouldn't be appropriate, and sent him on his way.

As the painter was packing up his brushes, he presented me with a special gift. He created a beautiful design on our rattan chest to blend in with the freshly painted family room. Then he took my hand in his, and just held it with thoughts of what could have been. At the time, I was trying to remember if I had even bothered to brush my teeth that morning. We vowed to stay in touch, but I never saw him again.

That was also the last time my dear friend saw the mysterious upholstery man. I often think about what our lives would've been like if we ran off with those hopeless romantics. While my friend would've been draped in velvet, surely, I would've been shipped back in a fifty five gallon drum.


46 comments:

  1. They were trying to be handy all right!

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  2. Those men were HANDSY. I mean HANDY.

    Julie, this was hilarious!!!

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  3. Delores - Now that's a great title!

    Arleen - Hopelessly handy indeed!

    Alex - I can't speak for the upholstery man, but I think the paint fumes were getting to my fella!

    Robin - He was a regular Sir Handsalot! Thanks Robin!

    Julie

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  4. I need to get some handy men to my place. Maybe I could finally hook up with someone LOL.
    I totally cracked up about you trying to remember if you brushed your teeth. So romantic. :D

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  5. This was great-- romance in the air. Looking for love in the fabric of our lives. Hmmm.. I think there's a soap opera in this.

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  6. Julie - I guess it all depends on what services you're looking for! I had to lighten the moment before we would both spontaneously combust. He was kind of a crazed romantic artist type. Thanks Julie!

    Julie - Or seeing the romance on the wallpaper! I like the idea of a soap opera. How about Painted With Desire?! Thanks Julie!

    Julie

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  7. Hilarious! I'm so thankful I have a Live-In Handyman :)

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  8. This happened to me in Switzerland, when the professional cleaner came to clean up the apartment I was leaving. Came on to me. I vowed never ever to be so friendly in a country where it can be misinterpreted.

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  9. Carol - You are a very lucky lady! Thanks Carol!

    Susan - It had to be a lot scarier in a foreign country. Hope he made it out of there in one piece!

    Julie

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  10. That is so funny, and yet so real. I'm glad my husband is a great handy man. We've only had a few people to come in to do work at our house - for the bathroom, and then I always had a few extra people around - kids, parents, etc.

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  11. Brandon does drywall, and on the flip side, you'd be amazed how many women present him with ridiculous porn movie scenarios. He comes over to patch a hole in the wall, and there's Mrs. Miller, at 7 in the morning, in her nighty, full make up, with her hair done, asking if there's anything she can do to "help."

    I like your version better. Frankly, I think so does Brandon.

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  12. Very exciting and romantic, but I am glad you checked the locks. Dude sounds a bit nuts. :-P

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  13. My husband is a finish carpenter so he does most everything around our house. After hearing your story, I am even more grateful for that! He's had a few interesting female customers over the years. Can't believe how forward some can be.

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog for Alex's interview. It's good to meet you. Have a great weekend! :)

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    1. Karen - I just realized I wrote that your husband was a Finnish instead of a finish contractor. I was hoping that both were true just to make me feel better! Oh well, sorry for the typo.

      Julie

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  14. I agree with Carol, I'm lucky too that way.

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  15. Flattering maybe, but I would be thoroughly annoyed.

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  16. Good story and well written. I take it that it's true too.

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  17. Tyrean - It's great that your husband is so handy. Since he was working primarily in the kitchen, I thought it would be easier when no one else was around, but it's smart to have company just in case.

    A Beer For The Shower - This would make a great subject for your next story. Did Mrs. Miller look anything like Mrs. Robinson? Thanks Bryan!

    Misha - Or maybe he was the sanest person I've ever met. Nah, you're right, he was nuts!

    Karen - A Finnish carpenter can build you anything your heart desires! Now that's a good man to have around the house. It's no wonder that his female customers don't want him to leave! Thanks for following me, and have a great weekend, Karen!

    Inger - I'm impressed that your husband is handy too! I also get excited when my husband fixes things around the house. I wish that I had those skills.

    Jo - Because he did it in such a funny way, I wasn't annoyed.

    Mary - Yes, it really did happen, though I'm pretty sure that I remembered to brush my teeth! Thanks Mary!

    Julie







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  18. Funny story. Those are definitely weird experiences. I'm a consumer attorney who has sued lots of contractors over the years who didn't do good jobs. So I'm always a bit worried when we have to hire someone. We spend more money to pay for someone who's gotten good reviews on Angie's list over the years with no problem.

    I used to do all our painting but I'm burnt out on it and plan to hire someone else to do it in the future.

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  19. Gee, I had no idea how much I've missed out on over the years. My hubby and I are DIYers. (i.e. "cheap")

    A fun piece, Julie. I especially liked the last paragraph. But you're wrong about being returned in a bucket... I'm sure you two would've painted the town red. (and green and yellow and teal and...) Have a super weekend.

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  20. Yeah, try and get THAT from Home Depot!

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  21. Natalie - Since he painted my friend's house, I knew that he'd do a good job, but I wasn't expecting an added bonus! I always hear horror stories about contractors who walked out in the middle of a job, or end up ruining something in the process. Your clients are lucky to have you. Thanks Natalie!

    Susan - I'm impressed that you and your hubby are skillful painters! I wish that I was more artistic. Thanks for thinking I'm such a colorful character!

    Ken - Well if he lost my address, I could not so easily get picked up over there!

    Julie

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  22. There's definitely a very creepy aspect to this story, but glad you saw the lighter side. Hiring a handyman can be a real unknown proposition, but when you get a good one who can do the job at the right price it can be well worth it. I hire our neighborhood handyman when I've botched a job trying to do it myself.

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

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  23. I would have been flattered, but I think I would have been double-checking those locks too!

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  24. Wow. I wonder what would have happened if you called a plumber? Or how about an electrician? My mind is going wild here. :-)

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  26. Lee - I can't picture you botching anything, and I give you a lot of credit for trying. I was very fortunate that it was never more than a harmless flirtation.

    Daisy - I'm always a little over zealous about checking them anyway, so it just added some extra time to my nightly ritual.

    Lee - A few days ago the hose on our kitchen faucet fell apart. I thought we needed a plumber, since it took three men to install it in the first place. One on the first trip, and two on the second. Much to my surprise, my husband installed the new one, while I was at an appointment. That's the most excitement we've had in a long time!

    Julie

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  27. Hah, what a philanderer that upholsterer was! I wonder how many bored housewives he's stripped and varnished. The painter sounds more romantic, but it was probably just his modus operandi.

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    1. Gorilla Bananas - "Stripped and varnished..,?" Well, when you put it that way, I don't know why she didn't run off with him! I think you're right on both counts. Though the painter was more romantic, I'm sure that they both had their share of lonely housewives.

      Julie

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  28. Your comments are almost as good as the story, Julie. I'd heard about pizza delivery guys delivering more than pizza. Or maybe that only happened in my dreams or writing. Yet I didn't know there was so much actual vying for the tip, or to get to the top, to finish the job with the customer more than fully satisfied...the innuendos are countless. But Gorilla nailed them, so I'll stop. I'm glad you got the teal accents.

    xoRobyn

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  29. The only workmen I really remember are the ones who tore out the kitchen and then stayed away month, after month after month. I'm glad your painter turned out to be safe above all else.

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  30. Did laugh at this! Most of the workmen I get are old and dull, you did well :)

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  31. Julie: You are too nice and too trusting. Get a big dog!

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  32. Hi Julie,

    You paint a most amusing picture with this hilarious and somewhat longing after the memory post. It seems there wasn't any paint stripping beforehand.

    Gary :)

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  33. Robyn - Lots of clever innuendos, and Gorilla does have a way with words! The teal has a lot of gray in it, so it's not as overpowering as you might imagine. Thanks Robyn!

    Yvonne - That must've been awful! I hope you were able to track those crooks down.

    Jenny - Sometimes it's better to have the old and dull ones, unless they take forever. I once wrote about an old man who impressed me by being able to get up from the floor without assistance (he was measuring). Thanks Jenny!

    JJ - I'd much prefer a taser, and I'm not really that nice! Thanks for looking out for me, JJ!

    Gary - No stripping, though he did bend down a lot! Thanks Gary!

    Julie

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  34. Yeah, the men who show up at my house are usually less than attractive. When I worked in I.T., though, one of the guys from Lexmark who showed up to fix our printers when there were warranty issues was a real hottie. All the women would gather around to watch him work. You do have to be careful, though. There was one of those murder shows I was watching on Investigation Discovery where an attractive woman was killed by a man who had shown up to do work on her house.

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  35. I find it very difficult to get good workmen. There have been times in the past when I've found some very 'suggestive' and once when one left the bathroom door open when he knew I'd be passing that way so as to expose himself. I found them all extremely intimidating. I can't say that there was one only 'romantic'.
    Now I'm at the 'invisible' stage in my life I'm still left with the problem of finding a good workman, thankfully no other worries!

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  36. Stephanie - It's always nice when an attractive new face livens up the workplace. It is a different story when strangers show up at your home. I wasn't worried because my friend's family knew him so well. I feel horrible for that poor woman, and her family.

    Fanny - The bathroom incident was pretty disgusting, and it must have been frightening at the time. Fanny, you're hardly "invisible," and you still have to be on your toes for suspicious men at any age. You should always ask your friends, and neighbors for recommendations to be on the safe side.

    Julie

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  37. Hi Julie, the new follower is me Yvonne Lewis, due to being hacked over the week-end have had to re-start again.
    Yvonne.

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  38. Hi Julie - well that was interesting .. and a couple of chaps to lose too ... honestly it never ceases to amaze me how chaps want to take advantage ... too many milkmen around!

    Thankfully I've found two great men .. and they're helpful which is a blessing ... and even say they like me - surprises everyone!

    Cheers fun read - Hilary

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  39. Wow... I need a handy man!!

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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  40. Yvonne - I'm so sorry that this keeps happening to you. I hope that Chasing Rainbows will be a lucky new name for your wonderful blog!

    Hilary - Of course they like you! In addition to being handy, your chaps have excellent taste as well! Thanks Hilary!

    Valerie - Yes, you certainly do!

    Julie

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  41. Wow! A potentially steamy tale made good by your impeccable behaviour. Well done for handling the situation so well.

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    1. Rosalind - Well, let's just say he looked more like Mork from Ork, than George Clooney! Thanks for the wonderful compliment, Rosalind!

      Julie

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