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In a Fix

Astrology demonstrates that each of us is born under a star sign.  Signs include Pisces, Libra, Scorpio, etc.

Me?  I’ve determined that I was born under the sign of Repairman.  Odd, isn’t it?  I know it isn’t on any astrological chart; but, more and more, I’ve come to understand that somewhere, beyond our telescopic capabilities, there is a constellation of stars that form a figure in overalls with a toolkit in his hand.

That’s my sign.

How else to explain the fact that I seem to have more repairmen than Paul Mitchell models have hair.

A perfect example:  there I was minding my own business in my Palm Springs condo a few weeks back.  I had cleared my schedule to allow myself plenty of “me” time:  long walks, movies, lunches or dinners with friends.  Yummy notion.

Then it was blown to smithereens by my stars apparently aligning to create more needs for repair people than you’d find in the Yellow Pages.

Rain damage:  check;

Fixing front door damaged from the rain:  check;

Patching wall damaged from the rain:  check;

Write a check for the work:  check;

Getting a whiff of a gas leak:  check;

Call Gas Company to verify: check;

Identifying an underground gas pipe as the culprit:  check;

Necessitates turning off all heat:  check;

Necessitates turning off all hot water:  check;

Unable to turn heat back on:  check;

Unable to get hot water back:  check;

Working to get the latter two working:  check.

Write a check for the work:  check;

By now, I’ve reached the end of an endless round of calls, appointments, fretting, having bills handed to me and writing checks to pay the bills.  Three days later, it’s also the end of my intended “me” time.  Oh yeah – the end of my rope too.

By now, my nerves are as frayed as bad wiring.  I don’t dare utter such a statement aloud, for fear of mistakenly wandering into Repairman alignment.

I know I‘m not alone as someone living under this tool-carrying sign.  Any of us who are “lucky” enough to own a home know the syndrome: faucets leak; pests invade; paint chips; ceilings crack; terrazzo stains; pipes break; roofs age; units break; power fails; water seeps.

We’ve all gone through it.  And the unnerving fact is:  it doesn’t stop.  Oh, the most recent problem will get fixed.  Once you pay the bill, you’ll generally feel relieved, saying, “Well, I’m happy that’s done.”

Except it isn’t.  Either the problem itself returns or the repair person will.  Because then there will be a new problem.  Then another.

Now this may not necessarily occur in one fell swoop as my own recent turnstile-of-tradesmen did.  But occur it will.

While my colleague, Lene Andersen, notes in her column this month that more women are becoming Do-It-Yourselfers, I – a proven klutz – am definitely not among them.  A power drill in my hands would be a disaster waiting to happen.   Which is why I pick up the phone – versus a tool – when repairs need doing.  Besides, when you’re born under the sign of Repairman, you just do what ya gotta do.

Irreparably yours,



™With permission to The Desert Woman March 2008

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