Sometimes my friends tease me about not being into a lot of traditionally masculine stuff, like cars and, well, fixing things. I used to wave them off, but now that I own a house, I have to admit that I do worry more. I worry more about the likelihood that I’ll be duped when I lack the kind of technical comprehension that more “macho” men have, like when a mechanic scams me into paying for a full set of new tires because one of mine has a slow leak. Then there was the time I paid $2000 in “critical” repairs to my car–critical repairs like replacing the battery and rotating my tires. But the most embarrassing time was when my neighbor had to rescue me from a crooked HVAC professional, selling me recycled heating & cooling supplies. Okay, I guess that one needs more explanation. See, I was renovating a few areas in my new house, when the contractor realized that my indoor ventilation system was…well, pretty crummy. Since my house was already a zone of chaos with all the work currently being done on it, I decided to bite the bullet and call the heating and cooling specialist he referred me to. So we started talking about modern A/C and furnace equipment, a modern HVAC duct and replacing the air intake handler as well! I didn’t understand all the lingo, exactly, but everything seemed good to go, until the afternoon that all my shiny new HVAC components were being delivered. Suddenly my neighbor wandered over, curiously asking the kind of questions I should have asked, and checking out the big machinery in my yard. He paused for a moment, and then before I could ask what was wrong, he was demanding the HVAC components be taken away. He started yelling at the ventilation professionals to get their used heating and cooling devices off my property. He said they better not show their faces again until they had the components that we’d agreed on–brand new ones! It was embarrassing, but thank god he knew better than I did.