En Händig Man – A Handy Man

[05 March 2014]

Every once in a while I like to move the furniture in my room around and try out different ways I can redecorate the space. I do this because I read somewhere that it’s good for the brain. Yes, I’m weird, let’s leave it at that.

I have been feeling like it was about time I did some refurnishing in my student residence room since I have already been living here for around six months. I’ve spoken to X about him coming over to help me out for some time now, but he’s just been postponing it. Which is the reason that I’m in the common room whining about how once again X has said that he’s too busy with some school activities to be bothered to come and help me. … when Ove suddenly comments in Swedish:

“You’re such a brat! I can’t believe you’re bitching about this.”

Sure, I can be a brat sometimes, but I really can’t move furniture around myself, especially since I’m only renting the furniture.

“What? I’m asking for his help, it’s not like I can do it alone!” I answer indignantly.

 “You live with nine other people and can literally ask anyone of us to help you, with less than five minutes’ notice. So why do you feel like forcing him to come here to fix something that would take maximum fifteen minutes to do?”

Touché. But before I can admit my unwarranted bitching Vrej jumps to my support:

“Well, he is her boyfriend! It’s his job to help out and support his girl”

“You’ll be so whipped, when you get a girlfriend,” Ove retorts. “Seriously, GG where is your ‘feminism’ now? Does your guy need to be at your beck and call all the time? You really don’t need him to help you out with this.”

“I take your point.” I admit trying to hide my sulk. Ove is right. Urgh! I hate it when he’s right. “Sorry that bothering you guys with my shit wasn’t the first thing I thought of! But since you mention it, do you want to help me move my furniture tomorrow?” I go on the offensive, trying to drive a point home.

He gives me a shit-eating grin and answers: “I will help you, if you admit once and for all that I’m the best.”

“Never,” is my immediate reply. As if I would grovel for some dude’s help! So I turn towards Vrej, “Can you help me move?”

“Oh, sure. I can help you when I get home.”

“No offence, Vrej, you always get home really late,” Ove interjects. And then he turns back to me and adds, “I was kidding. We’ll do it tomorrow in the afternoon when you get back from class.”

“No, I’ll just wait for Vrej,” I say to be contrary.


But when I get back home from class in the early afternoon, I find Ove studying on the dining room table and one of the first things he asks me is if we’re going to move my furniture. His enthusiasm baffles me, I mean no one wants to move furniture around, not even I’m super excited about doing it. I chalk it up to some kind of macho guy thing, that is beyond me and probably very stupid.

We get to it, and it turns out that it really was a quick exercise! I don’t have a lot of things: the contents of my room are comprised of just a bed, desk, a shelf, chest of drawers and two couches. It literally takes us 5-7 minutes before Ove is free to go. Though he is sweet enough to stay for longer and help me take down my posters off the walls and re-hang them in new places. Suddenly, just like that, a task which I assumed was going to be rather annoying turns out to be quite fun.

I am impressed by how strong he looks, or maybe it just seems that way since his movements assured. It’s hard to explain, but he moves with such precision and control it’s a little amazing to watch him. Usually, when guys are involved in manual labour there is always a lot of sounds— dragging and banging— and displays of strength. Ove, however, doesn’t pick up the desk with too much force, or set anything down with a bang or push the shelf too fast. And while he’s helping me pick up the bed, I notice that he has these perfect forearms… agile muscular shape, wide just below the elbows, slim above the hand, and those protruding veins! Yum! I ask if he has worked as a mover before, since he is so good at it. And he laughs:

“I grew up on a farm, and there is always something to do when you live on a farm!”

Our conversation is really interesting, even though Ove starts out by teasing me about the fact that I basically have nothing in my room. Then as we are moving the posters, he keeps suggesting ways in which I could make my room more homely, like buying a rug for the floor or framing my posters. He even suggests that I can just buy second hand furniture and he’ll help me spruce it up, like how he helped his sister make her room look shabby chic by using this painting technique that I can’t remember the name of. I don’t take his offer seriously, because it feels like it’s something people say when they’re just talking… DIY-ing furniture sounds like a lot of work; though it’s quite awesome to find out that he even made his sister a custom built-in wardrobe! Apparently it was a project for his woodwork class in school, as class which he really used to love. So I am super impressed by how handy he is, having never taken any such classes since my school didn’t offer them.

It was kind of him to help me, and to call me out on my bullshit…I guess.

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