Fondly reminiscing about my encounter with Dave the Vaccum last week has reminded me about the time I hired a hubby.
In Sydney there is a company called, you guessed it, Hire a Hubby. The premise it that while your own hubby is abundantly skilled and highly motivated to do all of the maintenance and reno work about the house, he is simply too busy. If he wasn't so darn busy, that new roof would be up, the bathroom tiled and the chicken coop built quick smart. But while he's cursing his busyness, this business is here to help. They have experienced, skilled, qualified 'hubbys' on their books ready and willing to come over and do the work for money. It's like the housewife's equivalent of a prostitute, really.
Anyway, I'm sure Hire a Hubby is a very good, reliable company but I cannot vouch for that. When I 'hired a hubby' I really got one.
I was nine-months pregnant with number two and in crisis reno mode. The Nest needed an updated kitchen quick-smart because no fresh baby of mine was going to grow up thinking that an acceptable kitchen included exposed brick walls, brown tiles and cupboards, green formica benchtops and green plastic flooring. It was enough that Maxi-Taxi had already been exposed to this style desert.
The floor man handled the floors, the renderer man handled the walls, my real and gorgeous hubby LOML and his mate Ric painted every brown cabinet white and Hire a Hubby sent Michael-Call-Me-Mike to get the benchtops and tiling done.
Michael was as big as my own hubby (which is to say, very, very big). He looked very professional with his toolbelt and his measuring tape. He had pencils tucked above both ears. Things were looking good.
He ripped out the old benchtops and tore down the brown tiles as if he found them as offensive as I did. He looked so engrossed that I popped out with Maxi-Taxi for a the rest of the day to get some last minute baby wrap shopping done (you can never have enough wraps).
I excitedly arrived home to view the completed benchtop and tiles and stood aghast in the kitchen doorway, one hand clasped protectively over my belly, the other shielding Maxi's vulnerable toddler eyes.
It was a MESS. The benchtops were fitted, but a large corner section of one bench had obviously been broken off and glued hurriedly back on. The tiling job was the worst tiling job in the history of tilers (and that is a very, very long history indeed). The grouting was smeared like toothpaste and dripped out between the tiles as if they were oozing pus. They were nicely almost dry.
I was speechless. I was massively pregnant. I could have done a better job myself. Maxi could have done a better job himself. But I said nothing.
I paid Michael's bill when it arrived a week later. I said nothing. I went in and gave birth and dear LOML and my sisters fixed what they could and made it all look presentable. Bless that hubby that I didn't even have to hire.
Years and years and years later I am still livid. I have actually moved house and I am still livid. It is embarrassing how livid I still am but for some reason it is like an unscratched itc... gaping wound.
The question is. Am I furious at Michael for passing himself off as a qualified Hubby when clearly he was just a regular hubby? Am I angry at Hire a Hubby for sending me Michael in the first place? Or am I livid at myself because I said nothing?
Yes, you're right. But I will say nothing more.
[Image from here]