Mr. Handsome is a true man. For what other man could spend an entire weekend putting together a basketball net for his son?
He found the net online at some place in the United States, because apparently all they have available here in Canada are those portable nets with the big black stands that Mr. Handsome decided weren't good enough for our family. Everyone in the neighbourhood seems to have one, so we had to one-up them, apparently.
The net was Fed Exed to us the other week, and the battle began.
That Saturday at noon, Mr. Handsome sets all the little nuts, bolts and other doodads on the floor, proclaiming his space and the importance of his task at hand. I, on the other hand, quietly went about my business of solving the world's latest economic crisis, and doing 10 loads of laundry. Oh, and supplying my dear husband with coffee while he toiled over the basketball net.
I knew this was real serious business when the tools came out. And when I say tools, I mean all the tools Mr. Handsome has ever owned, and some new ones I'd never even seen before. There were ratchets, socket sets, wrenches, vice grips, screwdrivers, more ratchets, and even a hammer. These things rarely make an appearance in our household, so when they're strewn all about the living room floor, you know a major event is on the verge of occurring.
"Insert the piece into the crimped slot," Mr. Handsome murmurs under his breath.
"What does that mean?" Dee asks.
"I don't know," Mr. Handsome answers.
Or, there was, "How the hell is this supposed to attach?"
And my favourite: "There's a whole bag of widgets I have no idea what to do with!" Oh yeah.
And such was our weekend.
At one point, Mr. Handsome shook with The Exertion as he had to bend two thick pieces of metal for some strange reason that made no sense whatsoever. Just picture Superman with his super-human strength. Dee was very impressed with his father's strength and aptitude, and the children cheered, and I chuckled because his whole body shook with The Exertion, and it just looked funny. I have to add, however, that the poor guy has no shoulder ligaments (due to various injuries that involved falling clumsily on the ice more than once), so I guess I feel for the lad, in some small part of my being.
As we neared the dinner hour on Saturday, and Mr. Handsome and Dee had visited Home Depot to buy more tools and wood and screws and things, I kept asking Mr. Handsome what about dinner, because as far as I was concerned, it was his turn to make dinner, and there was no way in hell I was doing it just because he was spending all his time putting together a fancy basketball net for his son. I don't roll that way often, and Saturday was one of those days. I remained steadfast, refusing to bend to the begging and pleading.
After about the 32nd time in 10 minutes of reminding him that it was dinner time and that he hadn't yet put anything together to eat, he gave me "the look", and I stopped talking. I'm no idiot. But I sure like bugging the hell out of him, especially when he's all stressed out and hot and bothered like that. That's why we've stayed together this long. I swear it's true.
Sunday, Father's Day, Mr. Handsome was up bright and early, continuing with his task at hand. In-between eating his Father's Day breakfast and downing a cup of coffee, he was outside drilling and climbing ladders and feeling very manly. Luckily, the day wasn't one of those hot and humid ones we often get in the summer months, so he wasn't sweating buckets and complaining bitterly, which would have made me really cranky, and we can't have that.
By mid-afternoon on Sunday, The Net was ready to be raised to its rightful position above the garage door, like the god it had become and would always be.
The only problem was, the instructions (such as they were), stated quite plainly that this required two adults. Well, I'm here to tell you they were wrongwrongwrong. Three adults is more like it, which is nothing like one adult and two children, which is what we actually had.
Somehow, we made it work. Mr. Handsome set two ladders up side by side, leaning against the garage. Em and Dee both climbed the ladders, whimpering as they did since the ladders shook and wobbled, and our children are not the bravest of the bunch when it comes to ladders. But climb they did, and they stood up high, above my head, as I steadied both ladders as well as I could from below.
Then, Mr. Handsome lifted the assembled net, and handed it to the children, who were to hold it there for "maybe 30 seconds or a minute at most," according to Mr. Handsome. Well, that 30 seconds turned into about four minutes of pure hell for the little ones, who began crying as their muscles began losing steam, because that net is not the lightest thing in the world to hold up above your head for minutes at a time. And they couldn't drop it, or put it down either, or move even, because they were up high on their ladders, which were not steady, and holding this damn net while Mr. Handsome screwed it into the wall above the garage door.
And then, the piece de resistance, the skies suddenly opened and the rain fell. Big huge drops of wet water plopped down more and more quickly and heavily on Mr. Handsome and the kids as they continued holding the net above their heads and Mr. Handsome shook with The Exertion again as he tried with all his might to screw the damn net into the boards over top of the garage door. The net was getting heavier and heavier, and more and more slippery, as the rain deluge came down and drowned all three of them.
Where was I, you ask? In the garage, of course, staying dry, as I held the ladders, because that was my job. What?
Anyway, the net finally got up, I hugged the children because they had been extremely traumatized by the whole experience and were shaking with The Exertion and The Wetness, and I told them those 30 seconds Mr. Handsome was talking about sure seemed a lot longer, didn't it, as I gave Mr. Handsome a "I told you so" look, knowing full well we had needed adults, and not little children with no muscles, to hold up the damn net made of metal and heavy non-breakable plastic.
Alas, now we have a basketball net Wilt the Stilt would envy, let alone the entire neighbourhood. And now, I'm sure we'll be invited to all the neighbourhood parties, because everyone will want to have a little piece of us.
I am a 46-year-old mom of two amazing children and wife to a wonderful and very patient man, and a lucky friend to many. I am a Realtor and a writer, but have also been a journalist, editor, and daycare provider. Not every day is a good day, but I sure try to keep smiling.