She used to be my Baby Girl. Now she is woman. Hear her roar.
She started as a dental hygienist, ran a catering company, raised three successful and loving sons, and started a second, post-Mom career. And she can fix just about anything.
Her name is Wendy. My daughter’s visit last week reminded me of what a rough road a lady must travel these days simply . . . to be.
What brought this to mind is that I used the wrong paint in refurbishing my guest bathroom.
The paint puckered and flaked after the first few steamy showers. To a visitor, the condition looked like mold, which can be common on ocean-facing Cape Cod.
Shower walls before . . .
My guest bathroom has been this way for–I’m guessing–three or four years? Due not only to my laziness, but my uncertainty about how to fix the problem.
Wendy was visiting me this week and showering in the guest bathroom. Assessing the situation, she took things into her own hands.
First, she drove to Ace Hardware and purchased the required repair materials.
Then she scraped, sanded, spackled, and sanded again. And in one rainy Cape Cod afternoon she worked her miracle.
Shower walls after Wendy’s DiY . . .
Wendy has my father’s genes. He was one of those jack-of-all-trades who could:
- Drive a truck
- Hang wallpaper
- Paint a house
- Repair cars
- Build furniture
- Sew slipcovers for sofas and chairs, and curtains for windows
- Build a doghouse
- Put up a fence
- Work as an ironworker in constructing whole buildings
- Pass Civil Service exams to become a cop and then a sergeant
- Tend bar
Wendy also has her mother’s DNA. When Jo Anne was growing up, my late wife’s father and brother never let her touch a tool. They were Italian, Jo Anne was a girl. You do the math.
When she married me, Jo Anne discovered right away that I was neither her father nor her brother. My manual dexterity ended with opening a pickle bottle. In our household, she was the one who fixed everything. Beyond wife and mother, her roles included teacher, painter, dancer, choreographer, actress, voice artist, and producer.
My generation was raised to believe women aren’t handy. Instead, they faint easily, suffer from vapors, and need help zipping their dress.
Some guys still see women that way. They feel their masculinity threatened by a woman wearing a tool belt instead of a bustier. Sorry, dudes, not any more.
The DiY woman cleans up nicely.
Relationship experts Joanne Davila and Kaycee Lashman put it this way:
Regardless of whether you’re a woman or a man, everyone needs both emotional support and practical help. Neither one is right or wrong, better or worse. The trick is knowing what is needed at any given moment and finding the right balance of listening and helping.
For you guys who still aren’t convinced, try EyeHandy, where attractive women in panties and bra teach you how to do manly tasks like repairing a hole in drywall or installing a ceiling fan.
(DiY=Do it Yourself)
If you enjoyed reading this, you will like my newest book, Saints and Poets, Maybe: One Hundred Wanderings, available at Amazon.