Written by Sai, aka “One of the Guys”
Mr. Joe Fireman. Mr. John Handyman. Mr. Paul Plumber.
These names conjure up images of strong, and ruggedly handsome guys, working in cargo pants and a tight tees, while tearing off shingles, fixing pipes, or climbing tall ladders. These guys are comfortable in their own skin, and confident in their abilities. And they put the people around them at ease, with their inner strength, and charm.
You would think guys like these would be comfortable discussing any topic from the latest electronic gadget to the hottest new Hollywood starlet; and of course everything in between. But in fact, this might not be so.
Take a glimpse into a recent conversation I had with one of these strapping young men.
A guy comes over to fix something at my house. I also know him outside of his work.
Me: Thanks for coming over.
Guy: My pleasure. Now what seems to be the problem.
Me: I’m having an issue in the basement.
Guy: Let me check it out.
After a while, the problem gets fixed and we’re chatting.
Me: So how’s your back been. (He’s had back problems.)
Guy: Feeling better.
Me: That’s cool. Yeah, I’ve been having shoulder issues. Been in PT.
Guy: Me too. I’ve been having forearm, and elbow issues.
Me: Oh really. You’d better stop….you know……(I make a motion with my hand that I think is obvious. Hint: Guys pretend they don’t do this “thing” when their girlfriend asks them.)
Guy: (Looks confused) What do you mean?
Me: You know. (I make motion again.)
Of course I’m really just kidding around. But here’s what happens.
The Guy realizes what I’m referring to finally. Turns beat red. Then turns redder. Starts to stutter. Tries to recover. Tries to say something. Can’t. I smile and say I was just joking around. Uncomfortable silence.
Me: Okay. So. Um. Well then, thanks for coming over.
He leaves and then I realize something.
You can’t judge a guy by the length of his ladder.