Wednesday, July 5, 2017

What's the magic word?

Well, the magic word will surely depend on the situation.
Quite often the correct answer will be please.

But sometimes please just doesn't do it. A stronger more magic word is required.

Back in 1992 I spent some months in Minnesota, and I had the privilege of being allowed to help out at auctions held by the then oldest auctioneer company in Minnesota: "Fred Radde and sons, auctioneers and realtors"
Fred the main auctioneer knew the magic word for Minnesotan auctions was "Fish house". If an old crappy sofa or chair was unsaleable, calling it a fish house chair would instantly spark the interest in the crowd and someone would buy it for their fish house for the coming winter season of ice fishing (a great sport by the way). Fred's next comment would usually be in line with: "buy it now and leave it on the ice, in the spring it will be gone".
He really knew how to make a good atmosphere and that stimulated people to buy, and all in all it contributed to a nice event with lots of laughter and good deals.

Now in my case "fish house" wont do it. "Please" works sometimes, but "HORSE" works every single time.

If I need to start a new project:
"Honey, I'll go mill some wood to make some saw dust to spread in the stable for the horses to sleep in".
Such an approach will be greatly appreciated, in contrast to e.g.:
"Honey, I'll start building a new workbench"

There are a number of situations where you can use the magic word, tool purchases, classes etc. the imagination is the limit.

In reality you want to say: While I don't really need this tool, I am sure it would impress someone reading my blog.
Chances are that my request will be frowned upon and quickly be discarded as not essential for the household.
If I on the other hand say something like this:
"If I buy this tool, I could make a really nice cupboard for the saddle room, so you can easily organize the tendon boots for the horses."

I am sure you get the idea.

So I am thinking that a lot of the advice offered for aspiring woodworkers start in the wrong place such as:
Advice for a beginners tool kit.
What planes to buy and when.
The first saw you should get.
And so on....

A much better place to start would be by finding the magic word. The very word that will allow you to invest time and money in your hobby and being thanked for it. Now that is something that isn't described in a lot of "how to posts" for people wanting to get into woodworking.

We are not talking complicated psychology here, a good look at your wife's hobbies will most likely give an idea of what the magic word could be, Here are a couple of suggestions that might work, but remember like in Harry Potter, there is always the risk of a magic spell backfiring on you, so be careful!

Sewing room.
Interior decoration.
Gardening (this one is dangerous because you could end up using a shovel all day long instead).
Bespoke baking supplies.
Wickerwork
Shoe cabinets
Doll house (this one might make it difficult to justify getting a portable saw mill)
Art supplies.

Finally, you shouldn't feel bad about using a magic word, because I am fairly certain that we are under their spell most of the time anyway.


24 comments:

  1. I'll add this to the list of advice that all young men deserve to hear before condemning them to intimate relations with the opposing sex.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish someone would have given me that advice years ago :-)
      But I am happy that I can now hopefully help others.

      Brgds
      Jonas

      Delete
  2. Isn't that the basement of a working partnership? Understanding each other and let the partner do what he wants to do? As long as he doesn't build more tool chests? :o)

    Cheers
    Pedder

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pedder
      I think you are on to something with it being the foundation of a partnership.
      And Funny that you should mention tool chests, because Mette is not interested in more of those..

      Cheers
      Jonas

      Delete
    2. I think Mette is a very wise woman. :O)

      Delete
  3. Jonas,

    For some of us those are hard lessons to learn and we pay a steep price until we do. In the end the best magic words are: "Yes dear whatever you wish" and the magic deeds are to build what she asks for which most of the time will require a new tool or two.

    BTW, you are a wise man.....it took me many years and a lot of money to learn so simple a lesson.

    ken

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ken

      Your wisdom clearly indicates that you are a true wizard :-)
      Those magic words that you so eloquently put together can most likely only be learned the hard way

      I guess that I could have added "motorhome" and "grand children" as potential magic words too.

      Brgds
      Jonas

      Delete
  4. Shhh Jonas, don't give it away... she may read your blog :) In my case, 5 of the 8 in your list would work. But then again, my wife is an enabler and actually looks for tools on my behalf if I'm too busy.

    Also Pedder, it works if you simply disguise the tool chest as a linen chest :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Michäel

      There is very little chance that she will read my blog, and if she does she won't know how to navigate around on this site.
      If you have 5 magic words to choose from you are lucky.
      That should give ample room for a lot of tools.

      The anarchist's linen chest sounds pretty good.

      Brgds
      Jonas

      Delete
  5. This has to be the best advice for beginning woodworkers I've ever heard!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Brian

      It should be compulsory to start any woodworking class with this advice.

      Brgds
      Jonas

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Hi António

      Thank you so much.
      I am glad to be able to once in a while offer some good usable advice on this blog :-)

      Brgds
      Jonas

      Delete
  7. Good thoughtful advices there... And I can personally attest to their effectiveness :-)

    After a while it becomes sort of a game between partners, also encouraging your spouse's hobbies and enabling her (or him) pays big dividends :-)

    Heather was into African Violets, so I encourage her, she had 5 three tiers light stands plus a few tabletops ones, not cheap, but it remove my feeling of guilt when I spend on tools :-)

    Similarly when she decided to collect Singer sewing machines at the end, I never questioned her, and whole heartily encourage her...
    Most are gone now, but I kept one light stand and a few sewing machines...

    Heather was often looking out for tools for me, always encouraging me. That's what partners do...

    Bob, the enabler

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bob

      You are right about it becoming sort of a game between partners after a while, and that is definitely part of the fun.

      It is also nice to be challenged with different things to build occasionally.
      And a very nice thing is when you partner proudly shows her friends the stuff that you have made especially for her. Then you know that you have done a great job.

      Brgds
      Jonas

      Delete
  8. LOL, good advice for sure. My manager has become all too aware of this tactic though. So I need to constantly develop new strategies. When all else fails, I find it easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission. Although this strategy can came with harsh penalties. So be advised! ;)

    Best,
    Greg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Greg

      The good old plan to beg for forgiveness is a fine "emergency exit" when all else fails.
      My wife is also not as easily convinced as she used to be, but generally "horse" will still do the trick. Off course it shouldn't be used too often, then it will loose its power.

      Brgds
      Jonas

      Delete
  9. That's hilarious, Jonas, because it's so true. At my house, the words are [whatever she wants done next]. I'm pretty sure that women are considerably smarter than us (me, anyway) and always see right through us, but somehow they buy these lines, maybe because we at least recognized something that matters to them even if we're not really going to work on it (until after we're done playing with what we want to do.) And to go with what Bob says, women have to be confident that we're always on the same side.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jeff.
      Thanks for the nice comment.
      I kind of have the feeling that Mette knows very well what I am aiming at, but at least she often pretends that she doesn't have a clue.
      Bob is definitely on to something with his observation that they want to make sure that we are on the same side.
      Actually I guess that those things are what makes a marriage/partnership dynamic and interesting for both parties.

      Brgds
      Jonas

      Delete
  10. One night after an especially hard day you will come home to find the living room has been painted a wild orange color... advise on the magic response... "I LOVE it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Marshall

      LOL :-)

      A good laugh was just what I needed right now. (It's 3 in the morning and I am having a break in the control room)

      I never thought about the necessity of having a magic response ready. But I think you are right about that.

      Brgds
      Jonas

      Delete
  11. LOL Marshal, good one!
    Being military, we moved a lot and painted more rooms than I care to remember. I long ago realized there is no point arguing about colors. If she want orange, so be it :-) Beside in the end, I always like it after we painted whatever colors and saw the effect she was after. I just then tell her: Make sure the right color of paint is in the right room, cause I go in and paint whatever color was there. Life is to short to argue about room colors, besides in the end you can always paint it over if she changes her mind :-)

    Bob, the experienced room painter.... but I don't think I ever had a room orange... Yes dear I love it! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I would appreciate if you could discover a magic word which I can use. I know that you are a busy guy and that's a lot to ask, but I need all the help I can get :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bill.

      Sorry for the late reply, but I signed off on the 12th, and I haven't switched on a computer until now.

      My best magic word for you would be something like
      father/daughter bonding experience. Technically it is 4 words, but it is the best I can think of.

      This time it is vacation time, so I don't think I'll make it into the workshop much in this home period. But we are planning to go camping. I just hope we'll have nice weather.

      Brgds
      Jonas

      Delete