I'm not talking about shopping. I'm talking about a place a man can go and feel at ease. This is a place where things make sense. This is a man's shop. Every man should have a shop. Most men do, and those who don't really want one. Mine is in our garage. It is set up by me, specifically for me. I know where everything is. I can find any of my tools at a moments notice. Sometimes I stand out in my shop and just relax in the comfort of the tools, the work bench, and the over all order of things. Right off of the shop is our rehearsal studio. In other words, my garage is like a paradise for me. Tools and stuff on one side. Music stuff in a room literally right beside that. I have a cool stereo out there, so I can blast whatever tunes I'm in the mood for. The one thing I don't have out there is cable TV and that is coming very very soon.
Ladies, if your husband has a shop, I know what you are thinking. You get a little angry when you go out there. The place probably looks great. Things are neat and tidy. Each tool is hanging triumphantly in its place. The floor is swept clean. Shop rags are neatly folded and in one area under the work bench. There is a refrigerator full of nothing but beer, and maybe some ketchup. There are also chairs. Chairs for sitting, drinking beer, and admiring the shop. This is what men do. Guys love this. The next thing that crosses your mind is, how can the same guy who drops his pants in the middle of the living room floor and leaves his plate in the bathroom keep his shop so neat? There is an easy answer to this.
A shop is the ONE area of his life that a man can control. The house? That's your house. If your husband knows what's good for him, he gave up control of the inside of that house a long time ago. Questions about the house are always met with "Sure baby, whatever you want." Inside the house is chaos. Guys don't know what women are going to do from one minute to the next. Things don't make ANY sense. However, through all of this, his 9/16 wrench will still be hanging in its place when he goes out to check on it in his shop. This is why the house has been surrendered to you. A guy cant' really wrap his mind around it.
The shop on the other hand is a completely different thing. Women usually don't like shops. This is by design. They are kept a certain way by a man to discourage women from hanging out in them. First of all, there is no clean place to sit. Each stool or chair is probably dirty. This is to discourage women from sitting down and hanging out for too long. If a woman shows up, someone has to find a towel to wipe down a surface so a lady can sit down. This is usually done while a guy rolls his eyes at one of his buddies as if to say "She won't last long." Next, they always smell like gas. Most women hate the smell of gas. I have literally seen this scenario;
A guy picks up a gas can and pours gas directly on his shop floor.
A few minutes later, his wife walks into the shop.
Wife: What are you guys doing?
Husband: Nothing Honey. How are you?
Wife: Oh! It smells like gas out here!
Husband: Oh, I'm sorry baby. I was just cleaning the carb on the weed eater and I was using gas.
Wife: I can't stand it. I'm going back inside.
The guy cracks another beer and all is right in the world. The gas on the floor evaporates quickly, but it has done its job.
Guys pour gas on their shop floors often. It's like putting different chemicals around the perimeter of your garden to keep out the animals.
Gas keeps the wives out.
Now, the reason I'm talking about shops is because I recently had to redesign mine. Why? To install the industrial size sink we are using to wash out diapers. I had to move my workbench, which then called for a complete re-working of the entire shop. This had a giant impact on the Fung Shui of the entire area. I had to rebuild my workbench. I had to get a new top for it. I had to panel the entire shop, and re-work the entire thing. The workbench had to be moved down over three feet. This had a giant impact on the whole lay-out. I did take this opportunity to make several improvements. My new workbench would blow your mind if you saw it. I painted it flat black. It looks like it's going 200 miles an hour just standing still. It's pretty sweet. I have lots of projects to do around the house, and the shop has to be in perfect order before I can start any of them.
Carrie doesn't understand this. Why can't I just do the other projects?
How would I be able to find anything? Where are my tools? Where is my drill and my saw? I just can't have everything laying around all random. Where would I be then? What if I needed a certain screw and the tip for my drill was no where to be found? What if I can't find one of my wrenches? I would be so upset, the project would fail before it even started.
It just wouldn't work. The shop has to be in order before anything else can be done.
Now my shop is pretty cool. It's what I have for now. I have bigger plans. Much bigger plans. I take pride in the fact that I can have a tire off a car in less than a minute. I can change your oil. I can work on your engine. I get all this from my Dad. He has an awesome shop back home. Growing up, I was always amazed that he had a tool for everything. His shop is geared towards welding and now it's mainly where he plays the drums. Dad's shop is cooler than mine. Lots of shops blow mine away.
My shop gets totally blown out of the water by the shop of one John Ridings from Springfield, Illinois. I have been in lots of shops, and his is absolutely perfect. Let me describe it to you.
You walk in, and there is an awesome workbench all down one wall. It's extremely sturdy and has everything you need. There is a welder right beside the workbench. He also has a lift where his drag car is usually perched. That's right, he has a Drag Car. Like I said, John is on a completely different level. He has an awesome tool box beside the lift with EVERYTHING you need. John has the coolest cars and they are all usually parked in the shop. This place is big. There is plenty of room to mill around and lots of cool things to admire. The greatest part of his shop is sort of in the back off to the left. Inside this room is a refrigerator, and on one wall all by itself, there is a urinal. Not a toilet. Just a urinal. Completely out in the open. A toilet would encourage women to hang out. A urinal out the in the open does not. I guess there is a toilet in another room. I don't care. When you hang out at John's, you always have a beer. Before you get finished with one beer, you will be handed another beer. I have spent many a glorious hour hanging out at the shop of John Ridings. In fact, I wish I was there right now. We would sit and look at his newly finished Chevelle. The thing is awesome. He would open the hood and crank it up. We would sip our STAG Beer and listen to the sounds of the engine. John would grab a tool and make some sort of minor adjustment, just to justify our being there. We would smile. After a while somebody's wife would call and make us stop having fun. But until then, all would be right with the world. Carrie's Dad is how I know John. There are very few people that are better at hanging out in a shop than John Ridings and Jan Creasey. John's shop is something I strive for. Someday....
Right now, my shop is almost back together. Just a few more adjustments and we're there. Soon, I will have a shop with room for six cars. The place will be awesome. I will teach my boys the ways of the Shop. They will grow up to build their own shops, and I will stop by and drink their beer and tell them how they could have built it better.