Broken Man

How to Fix a Man in 317 Easy Steps

by Leigh Anne Jasheway
Leigh Anne Jasheway

So, you’ve found another broken man – perhaps he was lifting weights at your gym or he drove the Lyft you took to the airport last week or his Tinder profile pic was so cute you couldn’t help but swipe right. Or maybe you already have a man and recently discovered his “Check Man” light flashing.

No matter where you found him or how long you’ve had him, if he’s broken, chances are you’re worried, and rightfully so. After all, when the males in our lives break down, it’s in our DNA (or is it RNA or OCD?) to want to put them back together and make them better than new so we can show off our handiwork to our friends and family. “Look at this guy. Eight months ago, he was an unemployed couch-surfer with a beard full of Cheetos and a hole in his sweatpants so big you could drive a Prius through it. Now he’s walking upright and using complete sentences! And he only reeks of beer on the weekend! I did that!”

No matter how you got here, if you’re man man-fixing mode, we can talk you through the best ways to put one back together without chipping your nails. Just follow these simple steps.

1. Gather together your tools.

To be sure you’ve covered all the bases for any problems that may arise, make sure you have a hammer, needle-nose pliers, two screwdrivers (Philips and regular), duct tape, WD-40, a glue gun, nail polish remover, a gallon of your favorite boxed wine, and easy access to online porn (in case you need to distract him while you hammer and glue him back together).

2. Perform diagnostics.

What exactly is broken? Are his headlights burnt out? Does he start small fires when you plug him in? Does he spit out water instead of ice? Play Imagine Dragons instead of Bonnie Raitt when you say, “Bob, play my favorites”? Insist on date night at Hooters? It’s important to know exactly what the problem is before you take any action. Otherwise you’ll waste a lot of time fixing stuff that isn’t really broken.

3. Check his maintenance records.

If he’s recently been serviced by someone else, say an old girlfriend or his mother (not that kind of “serviced!”), you’ll want to see what problems they identified and what remedies they’ve already tried. It’s always useful to know what approaches have worked or failed in the past. Word of advice: If the problem has been repaired by others in the past and keeps coming back, it may be time to get a new man. But please be environmentally responsible and don’t just put him out with the trash; parts of him may be recyclable.

4. Try unplugging him and plugging him back in.

Before getting started with any attempt at repair, it never hurts to try this trick. Sure, it may be a temporary fix, but it may be enough to keep him functioning until you can afford to take him to the shop and let a professional do the job.

5. Speaking of professionals…

Do you have a PhD or even a learner’s permit in male-repair? If not, what makes you feel you have the skills or the responsibility for fixing him? Believe it or not, there is no scientific evidence that proves man-fixing is in women’s genes. It’s more likely that you learned your man-fixing ways from the girls from Sex in the City who told all of us that if a woman is going to “get her guy,” chances are she’s going to have to do some rehab – at least sand the floors and paint. But really, why are you taking life advice from Carrie and Charlotte at your age?

6-371. Repeat this mantra until you believe it.

This is not my job. If I don’t like him the way he is, it’s time to move on.

Now, break open that box of wine and use that hot glue gun to repair that broken lamp in the living room. Unlike a man, it’s not capable of growing and changing on its own.

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