Like Father, Like Son
By The Son
This 1957 photograph of my father and me sitting on the front steps of my grandparents home is one of my favorites. It came to mind last night as I struggled with my bathroom remodeling project. It had been a long day at work and if I was smart I would have stayed away from power tools and measuring tapes. It seemed to be going a little too smooth, which is my first clue to prepare myself. If there is one thing I have learned in my decades of home repairs, it's that nothing ever goes as planned. Those DIY shows only add to the frustration when they squeeze a six month remodel into a 30 minute show and make you look like a floundering klutz. No, I didn't cause any property damage or physical injury but I did lose my composure and bad words were spewed. I do not like myself when I lose that battle. I didn't like my father when he did either. Last night's episode was nothing atrocious but it did muster a comment from the room down the hall. "Please stop! You sound just like our fathers. I hated it then and I hate it now."
I continued briefly and then I stopped and looked in the mirror. I had lost my cool and don't like myself when I do. My wife was right, I was that person I swore I would never be. But, I know I'm not alone. There aren't too many homeowners out there who attempt home repairs on their own who haven't been down that ugly path.
I have mixed emotions when I am accused of being just like my father. When it comes to work ethic, sense of humor, resemblance, and loyalty to friends, I am honored. When short temper, with regard to uncooperative home repair projects, is pointed out, I shrug it off as a, "That's not possible," scenario. But, it was true. Although I had assured myself I could do better, and that I should have learned from experience that losing your temper is ugly, I still lost control. I am not proud of myself when it happens. After all, I am human. I am just like my father.