18249085As 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?)  


Join the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Cathy Chester March 14, 2014 at 7:28 am

    I laughed at myself at the title because I am absolutely, positively NOT a handywoman. Except, of course, at fixing a cup of coffee.

    I greatly admire women who are handy. A great trait and skill. Bravo to them!

  • Tobysgirl March 13, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    You don’t know duct tape until you’re lived in northern New England. It’s not only good for all sorts of handywoman projects, you can hem a skirt or patch your Dickie insulated coveralls with it.

    What’s the definition of a handywoman in NYC? A handyman is a guy who can hang a picture on the wall. This is not a joke.

  • Toni Myers March 12, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Though I am into duct tape and hammers, I flunked your quiz, unless doing the yard work counts. I’m an A+ there. Still, I have several You can do it, Handywoman guide and similar titles around the house. Don’t ask me where they are.

  • Suzanne Fluhr (Boomeresque) March 12, 2014 at 4:10 am

    My father was an artist. He could throw pots on a pottery wheel, could mix glazes and my parents had a kiln before they had a full size refrigerator. He was hopeless at home rfepair. Even I was better than he was and this is making a major statement about how helpless and hapless he was. We have two sons. One inherited his fix it genes from the “can’t do household repairs to save my life” side of the family. The other takes after his father and can pretty much do any household repair project he sets his mind to. I am in awe.

  • Nesa Sivagnanam March 11, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    0-4 I’m afraid. I can change lightbulbs and generally figure out what’s wrong with the telly or computer but that’s about it. For the rest I call someone in. My husband on the other hand can probably build a house from scratch.

  • Cathy C. Hall March 11, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Yep, I’m a handywoman, and my story’s in that book. Except I’m a Southern handywoman. Which means I can fix just about anything with one of two tools: a pocket knife and duct tape. And honestly, I can make do without the pocket knife. 🙂

  • Lois Alter Mark March 11, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    I am definitely not a handywoman and I admire anyone who is!

  • jody March 11, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    My friend Ginny, who would probably score high on this test says the only difference between men and women is that men seem to know what tool goes with what project. I don’t know, don’t want to know, and know enough to call Ginny when I need handy help. My husband calls her too!

  • bill March 11, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    I’m not the gender you want, but in my case the answer is clearly NO. My father didn’t pass those genes down to me. I’ve got his old toolbox, but the only tool I’m qualified to use is my checkbook. With it, I can do anything.

  • Karen March 11, 2014 at 11:15 am

    I have to admit that I’m actually kind of afraid of power tools. Probably because my track record with regular non-power tools often involves self-injury and stitches and so forth.

    That said, I’m proud to say that my daughter is a total power tool afficionado–when she designed and built an award-winning shelf in Grade 10, one of the prizes was a selection of high-end power tools, which she treasures. She worked as a cabinet-maker for 2 years, and is now doing a degree in interior architecture. So I don’t need to be good with tools–I just call on her to fix stuff. 🙂

  • Carol Cassara March 11, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Loved this! I didn’t need a test, though, to tell me that I am a super girly girl as far as handyman stuff goes!

  • Karen @ Baking In A Tornado March 11, 2014 at 10:40 am

    0 – 4 and proud of it!

  • Jennifer Steck March 11, 2014 at 9:36 am

    I’m a 6. I actually fixed my dryer once after buying a do it yourself manual. That’s when I was broke. These days, I’d rather be the general contractor who oversees all the work. It’s a lot more fun.