You Tarzan, Me Be Jane

I’ve noticed a new character in the decorating and home improvement shows I watch: the Drill-Wielding Super Babe. I usually view these shows out of the corner of my eye while I’m responding to emails, chatting with my family, or otherwise multi-tasking, but I swear I’ve seen several shows now with hot female carpenters at the helm. These friendly and pretty gals spend their time chatting it up with the friendly and pretty hosts while effortlessly maneuvering a circular saw, or using a nail gun to hang a wood cornice they constructed. They are soul sisters to those on Be Jane, a website empowering women to try DIY projects. I want to be one of these women. Unfortunately, I’m not. Let’s review why:

1. I have no idea what I’m doing.

2. My home improvement T-shirts are not sleek, fitted or cute. They are ugly, over-sized, stained and emphasize the curves on my body I don’t want you to see.

3. If my project went awry (which would likely be every time), I’d be more apt to throw a tool at the show’s host, or scream a mother-f’ing this or g-d that, instead of “Oh, that wasn’t supposed to happen! Good thing I can use that broken wood to build a decorative birdhouse for the owners’ new garden room!”

Side note: Remember the scene from A Christmas Story when The Old Man was fixing the furnace? (The adult Ralphie narrates: “In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan.”) Let’s just say, like Ralphie, the calm fix-it gene doesn’t run in my family.

4. The drill and I have a tenuous relationship. It probably has something to do with the broken drill bits and my verbal abuse. We’re currently in counseling.

5. I never seem to choose the right tool for the job, and, if I did in the past, I don’t remember. Example: this weekend I decided to upgrade the showerhead in the guest bath. I assumed my Channelock Plierspliers that look like this would work as well as a wrench, which I didn’t have. In theory and in the spirit of improvising, it made sense; they’re both used to grip and turn things.

However, I quickly learned that, although I wrapped the showerhead in an old cloth, the Channellock metallic teeth promptly bit through it and scratched the chrome. A lot. After a few more tries while wrenchtaking the good Lord’s name in vain, I decided I needed a wrench. And off to Lowe’s I went.

Yes, I got the showerhead on. Maybe the new decorating trend will be scratched and dented bath fixtures so they look antique? It worked for furniture…

I am so not Jane. Sigh.


5 thoughts on “You Tarzan, Me Be Jane

  1. Susan, I am impressed! You changed a shower head with no damage or property loss, except for a few scratches on the chrome!! That’s a terrific accomplishment!

    I remember the first time my husband and I (we are the farthest from do-it-yourselfers as you can be — we don’t even paint) attempted to change the faucet on the kitchen sink. With the first turn of the wrench (or Channellocks or whatever they were), water spouted everywhere. My husband held a towel over the fountain and called for me to turn off the water. I didn’t even know where to look for the shut-off valve!!

    Fun post, Susan! Thanks!

  2. Thanks, Judy. I feel better because I sprayed water only on me when I changed the showerhead, not the rest of the room! 🙂 I’m probably not QUITE as bad as I make it sound. I’ve painted most of my rooms inside (learning the hard way), hung curtain rods and the like that are still hanging (don’t look behind the scenes), installed a new bathroom light fixture (redid the wire connections an hour later when I smelled a burning odor). Sometimes I have to psych myself up for it, but then, stand back. Literally. Stand back.

  3. Jen says:

    I just got finished laughing for the past 5 minutes after reading “the calm fix-it gene doesn’t run in my family.” How true that statement is! Yesterday I was attempting to change the batteries in one of Daniel’s many toys (of course this was the only one he would play with). Well it turned out that the screw holding the battery compartment closed was stripped. Well lets just say I spent 20 minutes cursing that screw out at the top of my lungs. My poor family was ready to commit me. Of course Jon took over and got it unscrewed in 2 seconds. Typical! Oh well, I loosened it for him 🙂

  4. Jen, I understand your pain. We can blame it on our parents because that’s what kids do. (Kidding, folks…sort of, love you anyway)

    BTW, I think putting together toys is even worse than shower heads or light fixtures.

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