There is something seriously good and satisfying about fixing something yourself. I have no objection to calling in the electrician when that is necessary but it certainly doesn't have the feel good vibe of cracking open the ole tool chest and making some inanimate objects bend to your will. Today, I replaced a toilet.
The old one was seriously gross. Man, what horrific messes are hidden inside our appliances and walls. The new one is smaller, more powerful, more efficient, and has a pretty new seat that isn't the cheapest piece of plastic crap on the market. Wendy assures me that although a man who does dishes is a sexy thing there is no sex appeal in installing a new toilet. Potential plumbers beware, your job does not inspire a desperate need for sexytimes in your partners no matter what you may have previously been told.
It feels kind of funny to me considering the worlds that I bridge. Back in Thunder Bay my family would consider this a trivial chore, the sort of thing any reasonably competent adult with moderate upper body strength should be able to do with ease. After all, they are largely capable of building their own houses should the need arise. Down in Toronto the reaction is a lot more of questioning why I didn't just get a plumber to do the work and wondering if I screwed it up badly and broke something.
I did break several things but all those things were part of the old toilet that was heading to the scrapheap anyway. Knowing that the thing you are messing with is garbage makes the process so much fun. Just pull and yank on things willy nilly and if they snap off just laugh and toss the bit away. Being able to set aside the worry that I will accidentally break my stuff and have to buy all new stuff is a real benefit. My father telling me stories of how my grandfather shattered a toilet by tightening the screws too fast certainly got me nervous at the outset, especially given how competent with physical objects my grandfather habitually was.
Another milestone passed, another adult issue successfully negotiated. Hell, by the time I die I am going to be halfways competent at living.