10.25.2007

Bicycle Built For Few

Being a good wife means never telling your husband he couldn’t put a bike together even if the folks at For Dummies wrote the instruction book.

A few months ago, my sweet husband surprised me with a replica of a vintage bicycle, which came unassembled alongside a booklet of do-it-yourself instructions. Max isn’t exactly a handyman even though he owns a decent drill bit set. The fact he’s mechanically challenged doesn’t stop him from trying, however. When the bike showed up via UPS, my husband dug out his sorry excuse for a toolbox and spent the next two hours assembling it.

When he finished, the bicycle looked beautiful—a black, shiny cycle from yesteryear, the sort of thing Mary Poppins might have ridden if she hadn’t used the magic umbrella to fly herself around.

Once my new toy was assembled, I decided to ride over to the farmer’s market, located only a mile from my house. But as I pedaled, something felt amiss. I returned the bike to Max, who worked on it another hour. Despite his efforts, the ride still wasn’t smooth, and I decided to put it away for another day.

A couple months have since past. Now that Max and I are moving to Germany and will be sharing a single car between us, I thought of my fancy, new bicycle and how nice it might be to use it to run short errands around town. However, I didn’t trust my husband’s ability to make the bike right. How could I get it to a professional without hurting Max’s feelings? As it turns out, his mountain bike needed a new tire; so I offered to take both into the shop for a once over.

Four days passed before I got a call pick up the bikes.

When I went to pay for the service, the owner of the shop explained what he went through to make my bike ride-able. Apparently, Max had made a series of stupid mistakes. The owner got such a kick out the errors that he actually took pictures and posted them to a Yahoo group, which other shop owners around the country view for grins and giggles. I laughed with the owner and felt tempted to get the URL, but decided against it. It would be all too easy to poke a fun at my honey using this information.

When I returned home, Max met me at the door to unload the cargo.

“What was wrong with your bike?” he asked.

“Oh, nothing much,” I replied. “You just didn’t have the right tool to tighten things enough.”

Telling a little white lie was an easy choice. Sometimes, it’s best to be kind. Max may never be a skilled handyman, but he is a Renaissance man in every other way. Besides, I’d easily take my husband over any other Yahoo out there.

17 comments:

Chris B. said...

You are a good woman. I recently painted the bathroom and to reach a corner, stepped on the toilet tank. It cracked of course, and required a plumber who joined my wife in grins and giggles. And, he couldn't even fix it -- needed an entirely new toilet. At any rate, I would have preferred ignorance to hearing the story of the laughing plumber, so I can tell you from experience: Max is bettter off hearing the story the way you told him. Glad you made it back from Germany in one piece. I'll treat at Starbucks next time I see you.

Star said...

I made two visits to Germany when my daughter and SIL lived there. (compliments of the US military) Enjoy the eperience. Travel everywhere you can. I know the kids have many great memories of the eperienc

brandy said...

Well played! I think you clearly did the right thing here, saving your husbands feelings over this bike. And can I just say, I'm extremely jealous about said bike?? I want a vintage one so badly!

kenju said...

You did a very nice thing, Diane. I would have published the photos on the blog and made all manner of fun! Since mr. kenju is no mechanic either - it would have been easy!

Dan-E said...

just goes to show you, nobody's perfect. it just comes down to who's perfect for you and max seems to fit you like a glove. of course, if max and i were buddies, i'd be giving him so much crap right now about the bike right about now.

(then again, he could simply reply "yeah, but look at my hot wife, single boy," to which i'd have no comeback; i may even start openly weeping into my beer.)

running42k said...

You're sweet, protecting the hubby like that.

As for riding the bike, baby you are getting better all the time. Welcome to the club, you will love it.

zerodoll said...

what a sweet story.

Me said...

You are pretty damn awesome....because, seriously.....I want that link. ;)

But it must be really hard to put a bike together, me thinks. if you have never done it.

AmyD said...

Ahaha! That is ADORABLE!!! It's true love when you are able to keep quiet and resist the temptation of teasing... Aww!

Airam said...

I think the fact that he spent so much time on your bike shows how thoughtful and sweet he is! You absolutely did the right thing.

brookem said...

Max going to the trouble to try to fix it, and his aloofness about it all, is really endearing. You did the right thing, absolutely.

LZ Blogger said...

Well I guess I am one of those guys who liked to be able to do it all. There's not much I can't fix, but it sounds like Max may be like one of my neighbors. His wife says; "He's not very handy!" In fact he has one small tool drawer in their kitchen (already NOT a GOOD sign)... but she says, every time I hear that drawer open, I start to shake." The good news is... that he knows where to find me if he REALLY needs help!
I thinks saving Max's feelings is actually a VERY SWEET idea. ~ jb///

Princess Extraordinaire said...

Making your man your hero in every way (including putting together a bike) is the key to a harmonious relationship! You deserve an award and did a fab job at doing just that!

M said...

god love you, you really ARE a good wife. And it's kind of cool he's a Mr fix it, even if he doesn't always get it right!

Cheryl said...

Aw! Well done! Enjoy your bicycle :)

egan said...

Hmmm... I'm kind of thinking there would be no harm in telling him. I'm clearly the dissenting voice though.

I have to find that Yahoo Group of which the bike shop talked about. I'm glad both are up and running now.

egan said...

I just spent 10 minutes trying to find that Yahoo Group, no luck.

Here's my thinking. I once tried to fix the swing of my wife's refrigerator door. This happened before we got married. It seemed easy enough, but was a real headache. I wasn't able to put it back together properly and the damn thing didn't close right.

Needless to say we laughed about it in hindsight. I learned my limitations as far as this sort of repair goes. Sure it might seem like a little white lie, but he's going to try and fix something else and you might not be able to get that repaired.

Shit, I'm sorrry Diane. I just had to offer my opinion... that's what bloggers do. And we offer support too.