Coffee Talks: Confessions of a Welder’s Wife
My husband has been a welder at his dream company for almost 2 years. The early years of our relationship and marriage consisted of more job changes than I care to admit. It took a lot for him to find a job that truly made him happy, and even when it was difficult, I always supported him.
I genuinely believe that if you don’t love your job, then other areas of your life will get pulled down too. If you’re going to spend a big chunk of your day somewhere, you should at least be able to stand it.
From Mechanic to Welder
My husband has been a farm hand, cabinet maker, assembler, heavy equipment mechanic, and welder. I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting. He took a few classes and received certifications in a couple trades too. He can drive everything from a fork lift to a tractor and trailer.
I always envied his ability to do all of those jobs and adapt anywhere. He’s one of those people who’s good at everything he tries, and mechanics and welding have always been his favorites and what he’s best at.
Before he landed the dream job, he was a heavy equipment mechanic for a corrupt and awful business man and wanna-be politician. Even though the wages were great, it was a dangerous job. He was always being assigned the hard and risky work no one else would do. His supervisor was horrendous, and he always came home angry.
There was a point in time that I thought that job would be the end of our marriage, but we stuck through it. The first few months after we bought our house, he got the call from the company he’s wanted to work at for years. It felt like a miracle to buy our first home and have a wonderful job all at once.
Welding is his first passion. He loves to not only weld but fabricate. This man can make anything out of anything, and this job couldn’t have come at a better time.
It’s not easy to get into this company. Passing their weld test is challenging and a lot of people in our area know it. Usually, the company recruits employees right out of weld college, so I was ecstatic they gave him a chance.
Fast forward to two years later, and he comes home happy every night. He loves his job, and it’s such an amazing company, especially for people with families. There’s benefits, bonuses, and so many positives. We are so fortunate, but being a welder’s wife has its ups and downs.
There’s more to being a welder’s wife than the label. My husband doesn’t just come home from work. Sometimes, most times, he brings it with it.
1. Metal All Day, Everyday.
As soon as he comes through that door, I can smell the grinder shavings. His arms and neck are usually grey or black, even though he wear protective gear at work. It doesn’t just stick to him though. I pull little metal splinters out of my hands and feet a few times a month, and let me tell you, they hurt worse than wood splinters. I will admit that I’ve grown to love that smell.
2. Pants, Socks, and Boots.
The amount of socks that my husband goes through baffles me. Even with weld sleeves, jackets, and steel toe boots, his clothing gets holes in it quickly. Luckily, the company provides fire resistant shirts, but he is still hard on his other clothing.
3. Burns, Tans, and Scars.
My husband is a red head, and he’s gone by the nickname Ginger since high school. He’s not your typical fair skinned, red head. He’s always super tan from his job. Welder’s basically wield the sun all damn day, so he’s never pale. What’s difficult is seeing the burns and scars. I’m always after him about the health of his skin, because even with gear on, welding can be dangerous. I do worry a lot more than I let on, because he’s so passionate about what he does.
4. Competitive Assholes.
I said it, some of the welders I’ve met are complete assholes, and I know that can any trade and job. My husband still loves to work on vehicles, and from time to time, he will have a guy from work over so he can fix their cars or trucks.
Now, most of his work friends are amazing, and I have so much love for them. But I have met 2 or 3 that I want to punch in the face. My husband will be working on their stuff, usually for free, and all they do is put down his abilities.
I get men razzing each other, even though it’s dumb, but they do it anyway. I’m not talking about jokes. Some of these guys are just down right rude. They are so competitive about their welds, and it can be nauseating watching that pissing contest.
5. More than a Welder.
My husband goes above and beyond welding. He’s skilled at so much, and he’s also a very handy man. I won’t lie though, I hate that he always wants to fabricate and make this or that.
I love that he loves saving money and inventing his own things, but momma is impatient. Sometimes, I’d rather go to Lowe’s and just buy the damn stuff already made, but he loves doing it. So, I bite my tongue and let him weld, fabricate, and invent. Whatever he makes usually looks better than something store bought, and it’s always more durable.
The Little Stuff
I love my husband more than words can describe, and I’m so happy he does what makes him happy for a living. If I’m being honest though, there are some of his welder quirks that drive me up a wall. I guess I can just chalk that up to marriage.
We wouldn’t be in such a good place if it wasn’t for this incredible job, and I can’t even express my gratitude. Occasionally, I’ll send cookies or other baked goods for everyone, and I hope they know they’ve done a lot for us.
Being a welder’s wife has been pretty fabulous. It has its perks and disadvantages, but it’s what he loves. He supports my writing, and I’ll always support his welding.
Have a wonderful week.