As I was reading Not Your Mother’s Book on Home Improvement, a new collection of lighthearted 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 Angie’s 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?)