Last weekend we visited my parents. While wifey and mum went shopping with baby I decided to spend some man time with dad. I asked him what he wanted to do? Go fishing? Go down the pub? Watch some football? Anything you want dad, my treat. But I knew what his answer would be – “Visit Wickes.” Wickes, the DIY superstore.
I hate DIY. When I was 10, dad said to me that he didn’t want me to grow up like him and have a manual job (he used to be a welder, he is retired now). He urged me to read and educate myself and take my studies seriously. He wanted me to be white collar not blue collar.I took this to heart and decided not to get involved in metalwork and woodwork at school. Consequently I have no interest in DIY. I’d rather be at home lying on a sofa watching TV, like the documentary series One Strange Rock. Or reading about strange but true stories on The Freaky.
But to Dad, Wickes is his Wembley, his Gucci, his perfect day out. Amongst the ball cocks and plasterboard he is at home. If they allowed him to, he’d stay in one of their sheds.
As we wander the aisles, him in nirvana fondling sandpaper and lovingly caressing screwdrivers, I try to feign interest whilst stifling my yawns.
Now that he is retired and bored I ask him why he doesn’t get a job working at Wickes.
“I’d hate dealing with the public asking stupid questions about grouting and plumbing,” he says.
“Like me?” I’m always phoning him up to ask the best way to fix a shelf that is wobbly or what do when a fuse blows.
“Your my son, thats different.” He says.
It’s a tender moment. He is not a man to express emotion but that’s as close to a “I love you” as I am likely to get.
With that in mind I have decided that I am going to get involved in DIY. Now that I am a father I have decided to put my hatred of DIY aside and learn how to use a power tool and grout and all that manly stuff. So I have invited dad to help me do up our bathroom. When I asked him, I could swear he had tears in his eyes.