As I was reading Not Your Mother's Book on Home Improvement, a new collection of light-hearted essays by (primarily) middle-aged female do-it-yourselfers, it became abundantly clear to me that, unlike the women who tell their stories here, I am not a do-it-yourselfer. How about you?
Take this simple test and see! The following statements are made by the handywomen in this book as they undertake projects from fixing a broken doorbell to building an addition. How many of these sentences can you imagine yourself saying?
Sweating pipes is something all women should know how to do.
I can fix just about anything.
We were building our dream house, which I had designed and drafted.
I'd memorized the recipe for perfect foundation cement.
My Mother's Day gift was a weed-whacker.
I slathered the pipe ends with flux, inserted needed sleeves and torched and soldered until they ran red hot.
I am Ms. Fixit.
Several years ago, during a day off from work, I decided to convert a coat closet into a pantry. How hard could it be?
As I headed to my truck for parts, I tried hard to think about all the money I was saving by fixing the toilet myself.
My shelving lumber did not fit neatly... into the miter box.
I have purchased ball cocks at the plumbing supply place.
In an effort to break up the turd jam, I poured water into the bowl a little at a time to avoid overflow.
I could whip up a funky, modern coffee table out of reclaimed wood and tricycle parts in a single afternoon. Bring on the power tools!
I'm not complaining about being the one who did all the yard work.
I strongly believe that every girl should have a Five-Way Wonder Tool.
(And no, she's not talking about THAT kind of Five-Way Wonder Tool.)
How well did you score?
0-4 Put down that hammer before you hurt someone!
5- 9 You can be trusted to change a light bulb, paint the powder room, or fix a running toilet. Otherwise, it's Angies List for you!
10 - 13 Love the way you rock those power tools. Ms. Fixit. But there are a few projects even you can't handle.
14 - 15. Congratulations! You are, absolutely and without question, a genuine Handywoman. Not only can you design, build and fix just about anything, you enjoy the challenge. (Speaking of which, my attic needs rewiring.... Any chance you'd like to drop by?)
(This essay first appeared on WomensVoicesForChange.)