Love & Home Repairs: An Unexpected Combination

March 3, 2012

in Relationships

Titanic movieI often read or see in movies similar moments to what I experienced last weekend with The Boyfriend. Typically the couples are on a beach, a cruise ship, tropical island, or some other beautiful setting by water. He looks in her eyes and delivers some line that makes her swoon. It’s a moment. There’s a kiss and camera fades. Collective sigh from the females in the audience.


It happened following a trip to Lowes last Saturday.

Standing in the toilet repair section of Lowes last weekend, The Boyfriend and I were trying to decide which toilet tank repair kit to buy. After much contemplation over whether to fix just one part in my toilet tank or replace all the components, we decided to live on the edge and replace the whole thing. Pointing to the picture of a clock on the package, I opined this would be quick and easy.

Once we decided to change out everything, I wanted to help pick which one we needed. I quickly realized I was actually slowing the process with my unhelpful ideas so I decided to let The Boyfriend choose while I texted. I am much more helpful texting.

When it was time to start the 75 home repair projects I had planned for the day, The Boyfriend delegated to me the easiest, saying he would do the toilet. I explained that maybe I would let him help me if I was stuck, but I was doing it on my own. Then I got the Honey-this-is-complicated talk to which I responded:

“If I am going to own a home then I need to learn how to do these projects myself.”

“Ok,” he said,  as he walked downstairs to add weather stripping to the door of my new office.

Here was my immediate assessment of the situation: it was ridiculously complicated, confusing, and definitely a misrepresentation having the clock on the package. That “quick install” clock image is for plumbers to know it will be an easy job for them.

Step one had three parts. Part two of step one I called for help. Even after calling him in for step one and to consult on each step after, The Boyfriend was very careful to allow this to continue to be my project, only coming in to oversee when needed.

The Boyfriend was still considerate to allow me to continue to take the lead after we turned the water back on and discovered water was leaking on the floor. It had something to do with me installing a rubber gasket on upside down.

Hours later we declared a victory.

More significant than having a main floor toilet that works is that we had a lot of fun, laughing and joking as we went along. He didn’t condescend, dismiss me, or get frustrated. When I told him I knew if I had allowed him to do it, the project would have taken a lot less time he scoffed, asking me if I learned anything. I did, of course. He said that is more important than getting the job done quickly. For me to have a sense of accomplishment and pride in the project is what matters most.

I had my own fireworks-on-the-beach scene, but the water was in a toilet tank. I swooned, he kissed me, and the camera faded.

It was a moment.


Eric March 3, 2012 at 8:01 am

Y’know what? I want to laugh at the imagery of it all, but something is stopping me. Perhaps I need a plumber to fix this leak I seem to have in my eyes…
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 3, 2012 at 8:03 am

Awwww….I had you with all the Lowes talk, didn’t I?

Eric March 3, 2012 at 9:40 am

Lowes is my candy store.
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 3, 2012 at 11:55 am

Ah, gotcha. Mine is Container Store.

thinkellen March 3, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Mine would be Chapters or any other well-stocked bookstore. Or even a library!

It’s really the small moments that lead to great satisfaction, isn’t it? :)
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alfred lives here March 3, 2012 at 8:07 am

Love love that “I let him choose while I texted” approach…. I would do that too!

Fun post, and yes that was definitely a moment!
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 3, 2012 at 8:15 am

Thanks! I do know when to back away. Having him stop reading to constantly explain to me seemed a waste. Let him decide and then explain why we were using that particular one seemed a better approach. And when he did explain? I nodded with a blank look on my face. I still didn’t understand. All I cared was that we were NOT using the hideous plastic handle that came with the kit. My beautiful wrought iron one at home, which matches all the hardware in the bathroom, was to stay on the toilet. Once we worked that out, I was good.

David March 3, 2012 at 9:15 am

And to think some might have simply flushed the moment away.
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 3, 2012 at 11:52 am

Ha David. Very funny!

Abby March 3, 2012 at 9:18 am

I’ve had a house for four years, but haven’t had a boyfriend for even longer. This means I rely on my “I am woman hear me roar” mom and the home improvement store employees to help me pick out things like toilets and sink replacement parts. It’s not nearly as romantic, but I still hold out hope that one of those home improvement employees will sweep me off my feet with a Swiffer. Until then, I suppose I am woman hear me roar! ;)
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 3, 2012 at 11:54 am


Here’s a trick I use at Lowes: lip gloss and iPhone shots of the problem that needs fixing. I always have the guys scrolling through my phone, assessing the problem, giving me instructions, and filling my cart! My best toilet fix was with a pink paper clip. It worked for over a year. :)

Ash-Matic March 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm

The only time I get these Moments is when my girlfriend rides in on a white horse, armed with a glass and a piece of cardboard, and saves me from a house-spider.

It’s like an action movie.
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 4, 2012 at 8:03 am

Now that sounds like an exciting event in your house!

Libby March 3, 2012 at 5:27 pm

I love a man who’s handy… And also knows how to do things around the house.
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 4, 2012 at 8:00 am

I enjoy a man with both of those qualities as well!

Chris March 5, 2012 at 5:44 am

You had me hooked up on the first paragraph. Too bad the last part of this article should not be imagined at all, LOL.
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 5, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Yes, this is a G/PG site. Sometimes left to the imagination is better. :)

Brook L. Dame March 8, 2012 at 3:26 pm

The Boyfriend…*sigh*. You (and he) had me at Lowe’s and alpha man!
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Denise March 15, 2012 at 8:19 pm

He’s a keeper.

Naked Girl in a Dress March 17, 2012 at 11:04 am

He sure is.

Nicole June 13, 2012 at 9:50 am

This is so funny. And so awesome. THIS is what real relationships are made of. :-)
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Naked Girl in a Dress June 13, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Thank you Nicole! I was digging through my archives for the S30P submission this week. It seemed to be a good one to share. I really love it and the fond memories I have from that day.

Naked Girl in a Dress June 14, 2012 at 8:58 am

Thanks Nicole. I wrote a piece not too long ago about not getting too excited about a relationship until the Disney-like aspect of dating the guy was over. It’s days like the one I describe in this post that really determine whether someone is long term possibility or not. Perfectly planned dates are great, but they have to eventually evolve into the day-to-day routines. Being as excited to get dressed up for a date with The Boyfriend as I do entering Lowes is a good sign he is a keeper.

tumbleweed June 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm

He’s a keeper!
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Naked Girl in a Dress June 14, 2012 at 9:02 am

He most certainly is. Lucky me. :)

hollow tree ventures June 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Now that takes a special kind of guy, to resist that testosteroney swoop-in-and-save-the-damsel urge and let you mark your own accomplishment. And in the process, I think he got something quite a bit better than the satisfaction of putting a toilet together. ;)
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Naked Girl in a Dress June 15, 2012 at 8:19 pm

He is an incredible guy and patient too. I tested his patience fully with the toilet repair project. :)

Naked Girl in a Dress March 4, 2012 at 8:02 am

It is the small moments in life. We ran errands, worked on home improvement projects, and then had two nice evenings out as well. It was a more domestic, routine weekend and it turned into my favorite weekend we have spent together. It was because I was able to see that the daily routine is better with The Boyfriend by my side. A series of “date weekends” isn’t real life; it’s a blend of both.

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