Let’s start by saying, I love my husband. Sometimes I wonder how or why. But I do. He is a very intelligent man with a sense of humor matching my own. But here’s the thing. He grew up without. Not the normal without. But seriously without. And this has traumatized him somehow. To his credit, the pattern of survival he developed in those years has subsided in some aspects…except in the category of actually getting things fixed.
When it comes to actually getting things fixed, he is always looking for the cheapest shortcut because we obviously can’t afford anything else (an error in thinking that I can’t seem to get him passed). So, when something breaks or needs a repair, I am generally left with two options short of an argument and an Aspy meltdown.
Option One – He will fix it himself.
This option has a few distinct flaws I am super familiar with. My husband is good with his hands. He’s smart enough to do the research and find the information. This man can learn to fix just about anything. HOWEVER – this man also has an aversion to taking a project to completion. Half fixed and repaired things are my life.
The propane valve went out on the RV over a month ago. We are staying in it currently in Utah…in October…with no propane and therefore…no heat Take the time to feel the cold, those of you who know what I’m talking about. Now, I knew he wanted to order the new valve. So yes, a few days of course of waiting. The valve comes in and it takes him almost a week to get it installed only to discover there is a block in the line. He knows this. He’s known it now for at least a week. Tomorrow is November 1. Has he checked for a block? Has he found a way to fix it? has he simply ordered new lines to replace them? You guessed it. The answer is no.
Here’s the funny thing. In an effort to do it himself and save around $100, we have now had to purchase to electric space heaters, which increases our electric bill by a relatively nominal amount. BUT the space heaters cost us $250.00. So, now according to his plan, we are in the hole an extra $150.00 and I still can’t use my oven or cook on my stove. Thank heavens for a crock pot and electric skillet or my family would be eating takeout from the same place all the time because Celiacs Disease is a thing.
So, in about a week, he will have a complete meltdown because I will find someone to hire to get it done, spending another couple hundred dollars. He will ask why and when I tell him, he will feel guilty and go into a shame spiral which will not lift until spring. I am not saying these things to be harsh or mean. I am saying them because they are the truth, the reality of what it is to live with someone on the spectrum.
Option Two – He will do a “quick fix” until we “have the money” to actually get it fixed.
This one applies to things he cannot do himself either because he doesn’t understand it or because he doesn’t have the proper equipment to do it himself. As I said, he can learn how to do just about anything when it comes to fixing things, which is a valuable skill. But this can also have its share of pitfalls.
When we purchased our used vehicle, it was apparent there were s few issues. Now, we buy all our cars from the same dude. I don’t know what I will do when he retires because frankly, he’s the only used car salesman I have ever trusted. But I digress. The issues. The dash dials were slowly dying. And there was an issue with the seal on the windshield. This wonderful car salesman offered to have both items fixed before we took the car home. He even offered to roll the cost of around $500.00 into the loan, which would have added approximately $10.00 to the total monthly payment and resulted in an extra $175 or so in interest over the course of the loan. (We got a killer rate for the time!).
So, he did the math and said no. Too much money. That was nine years ago! Now there is no gauge that works on my dash. I use a GPS to tell me how fast I am going and pray the light warnings work. (So far, they still do). And I can’t find anyone who can get the dash in to replace it. At least not an originally manufactured part (because the original was obviously defective) which is what he needs. And even if I could get the part in, it would most likely be another year before he actually installed it.
Oh, and you think the windshield is fine – right? Unfortunately, no. His answer, nine years of duct tape, which may have allowed the frame for the windshield to rust out enough that it will cost at least another $200.00 to get it replaced. Yeah, so, if I add this up, duct tape and GPS and all. So far, on his “quick fixes” have cost us around $1000.00 thus far. (Windshield, frame fix, dash board order of non-OEM part and of course, the three rolls of duct tape he has used over the last nine years replacing his ‘fix.’) Now, correct me if I am wrong, the original cost to fix these things would have been $675.00 over the course of a loan in easy to make monthly installments. But his choice is to try and come up with $600.00 plus dollars all at once which is difficult for any mid-class family in this day in age.
Lesson to learn here –
In an effort to cost less and find the money for these things, he has cost us more, to the tune of almost twice as much on many occasions. Dude, if you know you can’t finish the job or you’re unsure how to do it yourself or frankly, you don’t have the right equipment. Please…please…please…save yourself and your significant other or room mate or partner the heart ache and just figure out a way to budget in the money as quickly as you can unless it’s an emergency. Then have some foresight and save money.
Not that we don’t save money. We have savings. He just thinks it’s apparently for something else other than the little emergencies that manifest themselves in our lives. These moments is what savings is for. Be money-wise. Don’t save the nickel because it will cost you a quarter in the long run.