What’s Up with Men and Ladders?

Men are way too attached to their ladders.

Many years ago we had wonderful neighbors, Harry and Alma, who were like an extra set of grandparents to my children.  Harry was retired when we moved into our house as first time homeowners, so he sort of took care of us.  We never had the right tools for any household project, never enough money to do anything, and didn’t have the “know how” to take care of anything, let alone a house.

One of the things we didn’t have was a ladder.  Harry hung his ladders on hooks on his back fence so we could reach over the fence or go through the gate and use them whenever we needed a ladder.  He had a six-foot ladder and an extension ladder for bigger jobs.  As the years went on, one of the ladders began to show signs of wear.  I put my foot down the day I realized that the wood had completely rotted off of three of the “steps,” leaving only bent metal dowels to stand on.  I grabbed an ax (probably Harry’s) and chopped the ladder into pieces for the garbage.  Then my husband and I purchased a new ladder to hang in its place on Harry’s side of the fence.

Harry wasn’t very happy with me.  He was absolutely positive that the old ladder was quite safe, and we had wasted our money on such an extravagance.  He tried to pay me for the new ladder, but I refused.  I told him that I wasn’t in any shape to be picking him (or my husband) up off the ground if one or the other fell off that ladder, and it was my pleasure to keep things safe.  A couple of years later when Harry died, I did collect the ladder and hang it on our side of the fence.

Fast forward to 2013.  I was helping my husband clean storm gutters and discovered that the rungs on the ladder were not safe.  On pointing this out to Danny, he protested that the ladder was perfectly safe.  I gave him “the look” that said, “Do I need to get the ax?”   Then with the fingers of one hand, I applied enough pressure to break two of the wooden rungs — and this time there was not even a metal dowel in the middle for support.  We now own a new six-foot aluminum ladder.

So why are men so possessive of their ladders?  It’s a tool, guys; not a toy.  If a tool becomes unsafe, it’s time to replace it.  It’s such a simple matter!  Don’t fight me on this one!


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