So my Saturday was spent standing on our bed, spotting her as she tried desperately to hang the light fixture such that it was actually straight. It was also my job to jump down and retrieve fallen screws and nuts that began to tap dance across the floor as her arms got tired.
When the fateful moment came for her to test the light, I brought a fire extinguisher. When I questioned why the entire fixture seemed a little shaky, she assured me that it was fine — as long as we never had an earthquake.
The other reality of life with a can do’er is that nothing ever gets done when you think it will. When it came time to replace the floor in my home office, no contractors were called. That’s because Katie was going to take care of it. So we purchased the new flooring, and stacked it in the hallway outside the room.
And there it remained, for months. Once the stacks of flooring started to gather dust, I pleaded with her to call a flooring guy and save herself the trouble. No luck. The next day, she took out some tools and removed the old carpet in the office. And then waited another month before she started again.
Not only do these projects put our lives in danger, but our friends lives as well. Last year when I was still on the Bert Show, Jenn Hobby and her husband, Grant, gave me a ride home after work in their 4 x 4 during a snow storm.
When we arrived at my house, Katie wanted to build a fire for our guests, but we were out of firewood. No problem. Katie grabbed a chainsaw and headed outside to make her own firewood. Fascinated, and a bit concerned, Grant followed her in the snow and helped secure the logs from fallen limbs in the back yard. We did get our fire.
A relationship with anyone requires a certain resilience to that person’s oddities and unique traits. And in the grand scheme of things, her predilection for do-it-yourself projects is not that big of a deal. Unless, of course, it one day results in stitches, mild electrocutions or falls through the ceiling.
The hard part is knowing how to balance the dance of not being too demeaning when she talks about knocking the wall out to make the closet bigger. In my mind, I am saying, “Are you f****ing crazy?” But outwardly, I choose my words more carefully, “Don’t you think that would occupy our whole weekend? I would rather hire someone so we can go out of town.”
The truth is that we do get things accomplished around the house cheaper than we would otherwise. But I never completely let go of the image of myself driving up to our home with the Fire Department there waiting on me. And God help us if we ever sell this house and have to hire an inspector to review her work.
That meeting will be one project where I happily leave and let Katie handle that one all on her own.
Melissa Carter is also a writer for Huffington Post. She broke ground as the first out lesbian radio personality on a major station in Atlanta and was one of the few out morning show personalities in the country. Follow her on Twitter @MelissaCarter