Hanging Pictures with an Engineer

January 26, 2011

Charlie and I started hanging pictures last night.

Charlie is an Electrical Engineer by training. My degrees are in Philosophy and Art History. Our approach to picture hanging is different. Very, very different. I hold the picture up to the wall, place my finger where I think the nail should go and hammer it in. He looks at me and asks if I mind if he holds the hammer. He’s off to the tool box.

I let him have his way. You see, to do it correctly, it involves rulers and levels. And the right size nail. Because you don’t want to use a nail that’s too big and unnecessarily makes a larger-than-needed hole in the wall, do you? I’m shrugging my shoulders with you. But, if you’re engineer, these things matter. Some of you may not know that you’ve been doing it incorrectly all this time. If we’re hanging several pictures in a grouping, the spacing matters. As in to the millimeter. We look at each other. I smile and ask him if he minds if I blog about it. He laughs and says “go ahead”. We’ve been doing this for over thirteen years. Hanging pictures. Buying houses (which involves weighted matrices and questionnaires to be completed after viewing each house).

As newlyweds, we fought about these things. Now, for the most part, we laugh about them.

But, really, I have to ask you. Not that you’re taking sides. I wouldn’t ask you to do that. But, here’s his (pardon the blurry shot):

And, here’s one of the groupings that I hung today:

Is mine really that much worse than his, considering the fact that I used neither a ruler nor a level? I guess we’ll know when he gets home from work, because he will get the level out and straighten them. And I will laugh. Because I always do.

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7 Responses to “Hanging Pictures with an Engineer”

  1. Charlie Says:

    His pictures really look much better…I think yours are a little crooked…:)

  2. Betsy Gall Says:

    HaHa!! This cracked me up, knowing your hubby as i do! My husband may not be an engineer, but hanging pictures is much the same experience in my house. Ours isn’t so much an issue of using a level, as much as implementing some sort of mental spreadsheet calculation. Go figure!

    The pictures of the children are PRECIOUS! My favorite is the two of them sharing the ice cream cone. Love those babies!!

    • Robin Johnson Simpson Says:

      Yes, I’m pretty sure that a crooked picture would bug Steve just as much as it would bug Charlie. And, really, the spread sheet thing . . . why hasn’t Charlie thought of that? You can know ahead of time if the composition will work. It’s all very logical . . .

  3. Andy Says:

    I’m laughing hysterically right now. We can’t hang pictures at our house because they WILL leave holes in the wall. Never mind that said holes will be behind the pictures and thus out of sight…we’ll still know that they are there. And the weighted matrix spreadsheet after looking at houses is priceless!

    • Robin Johnson Simpson Says:

      That cracks me up- no pictures because of the holes in the walls.

      Related to that, although I acted very sad and sympathetic when it happened, I can’t tell you how glad I was when we got our first dent in our car. Everyone breathe- now, we can relax. Now, it’s all dented and dusty. But, when it was new? Sheesh.

  4. Lisa Says:

    I laughed reading this entry. Tim isn’t an engineer, but has MANY of the same stereotypical qualities and I tease him often about his spreadsheets, tools, etc. I’m much more apt to hang photos as you do! By the way, I LOVE the colors in your home!


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