DEAR ABBY: I am an avid Dear Abby reader, but I must question your answer to "Drippy's Wife" (June 4). She was frustrated by her husband's lack of motivation in repairing the leaky faucets around the house. Why didn't you tell her to get up and do it herself? If she doesn't know how, she can learn.
Now I have to admit that as the "man around the house," I enjoy showing off my masculine ability to replace leaky faucets, unclog the drains, etc. But in those rare moments of glaring honesty, I face the fact that my wife would be just as capable as I am, if not more so, in doing all those "manly" chores.
If something needs to be done, just do it. What's the worst that can happen? If the house gets flooded, at least the floor has been washed. -- MAN AROUND THE HOUSE IN TEXAS
DEAR MAN AROUND THE HOUSE: Many readers agreed with you. They, too, felt "Drippy's Wife" should take the wrench by the handle and fix the leaky faucet herself. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I got the distinct impression that "Drippy's Wife" was more upset that her husband didn't do projects she decided were "HIS" than bothered by the leaking faucets. If she did a little research, she would find that changing a washer is fast, cheap and easy -- especially since her husband "has all the new tools." Plumbing may not be as much fun as whining, but surely, ending a source of marital conflict is worth 10 minutes and less than a dollar per faucet.
Home maintenance isn't just for men. I was widowed unexpectedly and very young, and I took responsibility for my home. I have given myself the option of doing things myself or discussing them intelligently with a contractor (and spotting a con man in a hurry). -- C.H. IN ACWORTH, GA.
DEAR ABBY: Honey, have you never heard the old saying, "If you want the job done right, do it yourself"? My husband is also a procrastinator. I have found if I start working on HIS project and yell, "Oh, damn!" he comes running to see what is wrong. Then I say, "I am just trying to fix the thing." Invariably, he says, "Move over and let me do it."
It works every time. Why spend money on getting something repaired if you know your husband knows how to fix it? This is called reverse psychology. It works with husbands and children every time. Try it. -- DEMORA IN RICHMOND
DEAR ABBY: No amount of begging or nagging would get my husband to repair the leaky faucet in our bathroom. So I had an inspiration. I placed a measuring cup under the faucet, timed how long it took to get a cup (8 ounces), multiplied that by the minutes in a day, times 30 days in a month, etc. Well, you get the picture. When I told my husband how many gallons of water had dripped down the drain each month and how it equaled into dollars and cents down the drain, he got the drip fixed pronto. If it doesn't work for "Drippy's Wife," maybe the plumber's estimate will do the trick. -- DRIPLESS IN TEXAS
DEAR ABBY: Not having read Monday's paper, I was confused when two of my children and a good friend called me at work to ask if I had written a letter to Dear Abby. That night, after reading your column I laughed so hard, I nearly cried!
"Drippy's Wife" is living my life with two exceptions. Her husband takes her to home improvement shows and has plans of someday doing a project. My "handyman" watches do-it-yourself programs every Saturday, and imagines he has done and finished every project he has seen on TV. The only thing my "Gary" has finished in 37 years is the food on his dinner plate. -- STILL LAUGHING IN MENTOR, OHIO