I have tested this hypothesis with a large sample of wives -- spouses, I should say to be nonsexist -- and it almost always has proved accurate. Being artsy, I don't feel constrained to have 100% accuracy for my theorem to hold up. (Sorry, math and science types.) So "just about everyone I have talked to about it" counts as a sufficient sample to prove my hypothesis.
So here's my Handiness Theorem:
The handiness of the man is inversely proportional to the permanence of his relationship with the recipient of the handiness.
In algebraic notation, it is h2 + g2 ≥ w2 + h2 where h = handiness, g = girlfriend (temporary relationship he has to impress) and w = wife (permanent relationship where not a lot of extra energy is needed because she already loves him).
This means that when my sweetie and I were first dating, I mentioned in passing how bright the lights in my dining room were and that I really preferred more indirect lighting. The next weekend to surprise me, he colluded with my two roommates and installed dimmer switches in the living and dining rooms. Motivating both roommates to try to steal him. Didn't work. A series of handiworks followed me from one apartment to the next throughout my college years. (Did I mention my various landlords loved him too?)
Could I have ESP? Is this why we dated for 5 years before marrying? Hmmmmm...
We became engaged. The kitchen door wouldn't stay open properly . Took him 3 weeks to get around to that one. The toilet ran; another 2. There were probably more handiness needs, but I can't remember it all.
Now we've been married for almost 23 years. We live in an old house that almost always needs something done. Suffice to say that there is a light bulb that has been burned out for a month now. (I'd do it, but the ceilings are 14 feet high and I can't carry that giant ladder upstairs.)
Well, shame on me -- I take it all back. Despite the fact that my beloved husband just hates my chickens (calls them "raisin-brains"), he has built me the Versailles of chicken coups. We call it the "poulet chalet."
It's actually a 96 square foot poultry compound. There is a small roosting box which houses a roosting bar and a nest with an external egg door! (The front of the box even comes off for easy cleaning.) The food and water hang underneath it. A ramp for them to exit the box leads to a protected outdoor area, completely predator-proof that I can shut in the evenings. (Even in the city there are lots of raccoons and opossums around.) This is roofed (8 feet high) very sturdily.
This "protected pen" is inside a larger outdoor pen which has storage for hose, food, cleaning supplies etc. It has a variety of perches, and lots of room to flap around. This is also over 8 feet high and walled/ceilinged with hardware cloth. I planted merlitons, tomatoes, flower and other vines and plants that will offer the chix food, cover and loads of chicken fun. Other amenities too numerous to mention (and boring for everyone but me).
Now that's love. How lucky can one woman get? Who needs light bulbs anyway? Handiness Theorem retracted.