First of all, it’s not fair. My body doesn’t know whether to get into manly-building-mode or into sensitive-caring-mode. I go out and spend hours basically looking for a really nice fruit and some really beautiful plants, and then I’m expected to put on my tool belt and get to work. By the time I come home from doing my flower shopping, I just want to take out the Succah decorations and think about which ones will look nicest where. This is not a conducive emotional state when I’m supposed to be manning power tools and hammers.
So, to get myself into the mood, I go buy beer and open up my car hood and check the oil —once dirty and tipsy, I’m a little closer to my desired state of mind. (NOTE: DO NOT HANDLE POWER DRILLS WHILE TIPSY… your Succah will not look nice.) If this is not enough I will probably call a friend and discuss sports. OK, I’m ready.
Now, if you think it’s hard for men to ask directions (I’m not sure if men use Waze or not, is that considered asking someone for directions? They probably do, but most probably decide that they know better than the GPS take a different route, and proceed to get lost for an hour anyway) then you have no idea what it takes to have to ask someone else to build your Succah.
First, every man will try building it himself. This does not last very long. Once he realizes he cannot possibly hold two walls and drill them at the same time (for some reason we still try this every year) he will call a friend. I don’t really know how anyone is able to build his own Succah, because basically every man is busy helping his friends build theirs. Once his friend arrives and they actually get to work you’ll probably be hearing a lot of screaming and the sound of tools falling to the floor from up high.
At this point you will come across two types of men. The first will proceed to build the Succah with his friend until the finished product looks something like a teepee, and it’s not clear exactly where the schach is going to go.
The second will call in for professional help, but “just to help me touch up a couple of things.” (It should be known that this turns out to be way more expensive then calling the professional in the first place, as now he has to first dismantle all the parts, and then put them together again.) Still, this type of man will remain outside while the handyman is building his Succah, because they are obviously building it “together.” He’ll be pacing around outside holding a hammer pretending he needs to fix something.
Whichever category your husband falls into, by the time the Succah/teepee is up it’s basically fifteen minutes to Yom Tov, so your husband will run around with a stapler slamming Succah decorations into anywhere and everywhere. (What happened to that feminine spirit?)
You probably won’t have light in the Succah for the first night because there was no time to do the electricity, but if you’re lucky there will at least be four walls. (Although I’d like to point out that a Succah is totally kosher with three walls, so don’t lose it if that’s all you got… and don’t mind the stray cat sitting next to you.)
But please listen to my sage advice; tell your husband the Succah is amazing. Failing to do this is the equivalent to you buying a new dress and your husband saying something along the lines of “it cost how much?”
So enjoy your semi-sturdy structure, think of the lack of light as adding to the soothing atmosphere, and ignore the huge banana decoration smacking you in the face because your husband hung it from directly above your seat. Chag Sameach!