Toolbox Anxiety

Let me start by saying that I love my husband dearly and for the most part he is a mild-mannered man, BUT…..

Nothing is more likely to reduce me to a quivering bag of nerves than the appearance of the dreaded ‘Toolbox’, a contraption that seems to get bigger each year as my husband likes to upgrade and add to his collection every now and again when we visit our not so local hardware store. It is a device full of screws, wall plugs, hammers and bent saw blades (what he has been sawing at is a mystery known only to himself) and all manner of objects the purposes of which I heavily suspect elude him. It is a vessel that–despite weighing as much as a baby elephant and being almost as big as a car–doesn’t seem to contain some of the basic tools that I might ever need, like a screwdriver or a tape measure. Maybe there is another, sub-toolbox that he hides somewhere else?

Anyway… every time the toolbox appears and my gallant husband decides to mend something or do a spot of home improving, something inevitably goes hideously wrong. This, of course, unleashes what I call the ‘toolbox anger’. Toolbox anger starts tamely enough with a few mutterings under his breath, but quickly degenerates into full-blown swearing. Then, the item that is being mended or improved tends to get hit rather hard with whatever big and heavy tool comes to hand first–usually breaking it completely.

I have learned over the years never to nag that a certain piece of DIY home improvement needs doing. While I might yearn for extra storage space in our matchbox apartment, I will never ask for any shelves to be put up.

On the appearance of the aforementioned toolbox, I’ve learned to suddenly remember an errand that needs running, with both the children, that will take a good couple of hours. Quite simply, I get the hell out of there before he turns green and starts ripping off his shirt.

We’ll return home some time later to find a wrecked piece of furniture, and a lot of mess and the forlorn shell of a man who looks as tired and defeated as a two-year-old after an hour long tantrum.  I’ll raise my eyebrows, reach for the broom and a beer and begin the recovery process.

Seriously honey, that shelf looks perfectly straight to me…..


Photo Credit

About Wendy Henderson

Wendy is an English mum living in the middle of lots of rice fields in Northern Spain, she forgets how she got there but that’s probably because her baby won't let her sleep.

She’d love to have a day job but her Spanish isn’t up to much more than grocery shopping, so she wastes her time on twitter as @vbincatalunya and Facebook, and occasionally writes blog posts at about being English and living in a rice field. She can often be found bemoaning the lack the British cheese and of course, the weather.
In her spare time she speed eats Peanut M&M’s and samples the local wine whilst pinning random stuff on pinterest.


  1. Meredith says:

    Love that your exit cue is knowing you need to get out of there before he “turns green and starts ripping off his shirt”. Not that I have any idea what you are talking about from personal experience or anything…;) Let’s just say, my husband has a big weekend project planned for this upcoming weekend and I’ve managed to secure placement for myself and both children away from the house for those two days…

    Twitter Name:

  2. Oh dear, although I am glad someone else feels my pain. I hope the project went well and your house is still in tact.

    Twitter Name:

Speak Your Mind