A Step in the Wrong Direction


My husband and ladders do not mix. I have never seen anyone in my life do so many dumb things on—or with—a ladder.

You know that top step on a ladder, which clearly states in bold letters Do Not Step Here? My husband sees this as a challenge to his manhood and he’ll defiantly make a point to stand on that top step. As is that’s not enough to show the ladder who’s boss, instead of getting down to move the ladder across the room, he’ll jog it across the room while standing on the top step.

Several years ago he was hanging a stone angel on our house. He’d just got it in place—amazingly without incident—and headed back down the ladder. He then proceeded to pull the ladder away from the house, but after only a few feet from the house it became stuck. He kept tugging at it.

“I don’t understand why I can’t budge this thing,” he said, tugging harder.

I looked up and to my absolute horror saw the ladder was stuck between two power lines. Did I happen to mention the ladder was metal? I guess the angel must’ve been looking out for him because, quite shockingly, it didn’t prove to be a shocking experience for him.

On a different occasion, there was a huge windstorm in which he decided to wait till the very last moment to take the gazebo top off. It was incredibly dangerous, so it needed to be accomplished quickly. Suddenly, while he’s on top of the ladder—again, on the top step—he stops doing what he’s doing a pulls out his phone.

“What on earth are you doing?” I called up to him.

“I just got a text from Jeremy and I’m trying to respond.”

“Seriously?” While you’re teetering on a ladder in the near hurricane winds you find it necessary to text?”

“Yes,” was his reply.

Of course if that had been me texting him in that same situation—or even if he’d just been relaxing in his chair—he’d never respond to me that quickly, if at all.

Then there was the one time when a ladder was needed, yet he and my father didn’t bother to use one. We were at my parent’s house and my husband and my dad were outside fixing something on the roof. I went outside and found my husband flailing around, dangling mid-air from a rope on one side of the house, while my father stood on the ground on the other side of the house holding the other end of the rope. Both of them laughed their heads off, in that way guys have of doing whenever they’re doing something dumb or dangerous. I wasn’t amused.

There was yet another incident, not on a ladder but on some new pool stairs we were putting together for our above ground pool. I went inside the house for a moment and came out to see my husband making his way up to the top of these stairs—which wasn’t up against the pool yet, or supported by anything else for that matter. I yelled out, telling him to get down. He ignored me, oblivious to the obvious danger involved. I dashed across the yard and grabbed hold of the side of the stairs, trying desperately to keep it balanced. He looked at me as if I had three heads.

I told him if he’d gone up to the top of that thing it would’ve toppled, and he would’ve toppled off with it. It took him a good five minutes to finally realize I knew what I was talking about and then he was put out about it.

As he continues to unsuccessfully climb the ladder of home improvement projects, I will continue to hold my breath, pray, and keep my fingers crossed that whatever miniscule amount of common sense this man has will increase—at least a few steps—above what it is now.