This one’s for all the guys out there chuckling about my blog and my capabilities. Dear Sirs — there are some distinct advantages to being a handy woman.
1. I can wash things in the dishwasher that you can’t.
I recently bought an Oxwall multi-purpose drill stand at an estate sale for $5. It’s basically a poor woman’s drill press, and I have big plans for this tool. It was so filthy, however, that it made me cringe. So I simply ran it through a cycle in my dishwasher all by itself. Now, it looks brand new. And now that I’ve oiled all the moving parts, it works like new, too.
Men, I dare you to try that in front of your significant other.
2. I get more free advice than you.
The assumption is that I don’t know what I’m doing, and many times that would be correct. So I listen. And I either learn new things or have things I already know reinforced. And I’m not the least bit embarrassed to ask questions when I don’t understand. And it’s really, really fun. Because the free advice is like a free education and you just can’t beat that.
3. I get waited on before you.
Look, I don’t know if it’s an “age before beauty” thing, or if you’re being a gentleman, or if I got there first, or what. But I’m telling you, all else being equal, I’ll be on my way home from the hardware store, supplies in hand, before you.
4. I will never strain my back loading my car.
I have never, ever needed to lift anything exceeding 50# into my car. I could. I don’t want to. I’ve got nothing to prove. Why risk my back when someone more fit and strong is being paid to risk theirs?
5. I can repurpose things that make you squeamish.
Did you know that Tampons double as extra-large Q-tips? Or that feminine napkins are fantastic for absorbing spills? Try it! You’ll be amazed. Unless, of course, this makes you squeamish.
6. My hands are likely smaller than yours.
Sorry fellas — I can easily reach into that tight spot that makes you say bad words. I won’t even chip my manicure.
7. My applicants are young women.
The absolute best day of my life was the day I learned I was having a little girl — two for the price of one, I thought! And I was right. She could play with trucks or soccer balls one minute and be wearing hot pink nail polish, an orange tutu, and butterfly wings five minutes later. She could do all the little things a little boy typically does plus all the things a little girl typically does and no one paid a moment’s notice. Perhaps that will someday be true for both genders, but realistically, we are unfortunately not there yet.
Point being, I am honored and humbled that I am given the opportunity to be able to hire and work on my home with some amazing young women. Only time will tell if I will succeed at being the role model I aspire to be. I’m hoping that I can set an example and prove that a woman, even a woman with some odds stacked against her, can and will succeed. And in the meantime, I’m reminded regularly of the intelligence, enthusiasm, and dedication of these exceptional young women.
I’ve asked my helpers — most of them wouldn’t have responded to an ad similar to mine if it had been placed by a man. They gave many reasons ranging from perceived impatience to potentially questionable motives. That actually makes me sad for you. (Check out my handywoman hiring process here.)
8. I don’t nag myself.
It is pointless and unnecessary. It’s on the list. It will get done – eventually. Sure, that’s true for you too, but we’ll still try to influence your priorities.
9. I can flirt with you in the garage at estate sales.
I absolutely love to shop the garage or tool shed at estate sales. There I find some of the most interesting and reasonably priced tools and accessories — sometimes even in their original packaging. I also scout out products (paint remover, thinner, etc.) that I know every handy woman will need. And I love that I’m usually the only woman around. I’ve yet to date someone I met in the garage at an estate sale, but it could happen. I certainly use the opportunity to assess your tool knowledge and chat you up.
So, are you still laughing at me fixing up my house and blogging about it? No worries. Go ahead. But I hope you at least check in from time to time and see if you change your mind.