We love Dan

Our bathtub has getting more and more clogged. We've tried every unclogging device and chemical known to man, and still no luck. We started using the kids' shower, only to discover theirs was clogged too; god knows how long it's been like that. Why on earth would they bother telling their parents about such a thing?

Dan had to go under the house to fix the drains, they're too far gone. So, yesterday and today we've been toilet-less; they've been removed and are sitting out in the yard. Luckily, we live only a few houses down from my in-laws, and they've kindly offered to let us use their facilities. They too are familiar with Dan's extended home repair projects.

Whenever Dan has a project, I like to triple his budget estimate and quadruple his time estimate to get a more accurate idea of what we're getting into. The estimate tripling is directly connected to Dan deciding to also do triple the amount of work he initially talks about. He does this every time. The rest of the problem is that we live in an old house, and repairing anything is risky; repairs can compound in seconds, like pulling a thread on a sweater. We start out wanting to bump a wall out 3 feet, no biggie, right? Except then it turns out that behind the drywall all the 2x4's are leaning crookedly and covered in cockroach poo, and the wiring is shot, and the ceiling above the wall isn't real ceiling but instead is just weird pressboard stuff that has old water damage and needs to be entirely replaced at some point so why not do it now instead of ripping the room apart again down the road?

Poor Miss G was out of her room for a month till it was all done. But damn, it's a well-built room now.

Some people hate house projects, but I really love all this. And I love having a house with Dan. I love that the dog keeps going under the house to check on him (and possibly help). I love that Miss G volunteered to bail all the standing water out of the bathtubs. I love that two of Dan's buddies showed up to bring tools over and holler under the house about how he should be doing things instead. I love that he graciously accepted the tools while good-naturedly ignoring their advice, and kept right on plogging away in his coveralls, all cheerful and covered in muck. And I love most of all that about an hour into shoveling dirt and removing pipes, he came back out, took off his coveralls, and went to his folks' house to shower so he could drive his car to his daughter's carwash fundraiser a half-hour away. Then he drove all the way back, got back in the coveralls, and went back under the house.

Dan's ridiculously likable: goofy, furry, optimistic, and the gentlest person I've ever met. He tells terrible jokes, and never raises his voice. He's incapable of being on time to anything, and has a sweet tooth that'd put me into an insulin coma. He gives the girls piggyback rides to bed every single night, and has more patience than any 3 normal people put together. Dan's single crowning trait-- which is subtle, and not appreciated by the world at large, I think-- is simply this: Dan is a good man. There are not many genuinely good people in the world (certainly not here in stupid Las Vegas), but he is one. Dan does not lie, he believes the best in everyone and is embarrassed to find that anyone would think he is a higher-caliber human than most. But he is.

I figured I was biased, so I was relieved to find everyone else in my family is just as nuts about this guy as I am. My cousin has a friend at a silkscreen place and got a bunch of "We love Dan" t-shirts made as a surprise over the summer. She sent me about a dozen; they were all handed out within minutes to many squeals of delight from friends and family. I wear mine all the time. I'm wearing it today, to support his gross under-the-house efforts to make us a good home. I'm wearing it again on Wednesday, when I'll be sitting in the courthouse parking lot waiting to hear the outcome of his custody hearing.

We love Dan.


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