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A Useful Gift for the Not-So-Practical Woman in Your Life (Guest Post)

Posted Dec 03 2010 9:02am

I was raised by a woman who said we didn’t need to sit around waiting for a man to do what we can do ourselves. Nonetheless, I’ve spent much of my life summoning males to do things like fix broken gadgets, replace worn out things and put together those “easy-to-assemble” items.

When something squeaks or creaks that shouldn’t or a door or cabinet doesn’t close right, I search my mind for the man who can make it right. It’s not very 21st century, I know, but when I want to make changes around the house, hang a shade on a window or remove a curtain rod and cover the holes it leaves behind, I instantly think “man.”

My husband, I’ve found, is not this man. He is puzzled whenever I try to squeeze him into my image of a handyman. I’m fairly certain that picking up a screwdriver isn’t in his DNA.

As a result of my failed search for a man to save me from DIY inability, I finally adopted Mom’s adage and put together a nice little toolbox for myself. Almost every woman needs one, and this is why it’s a practical (and cost-effective) gift for your friends, sisters, daughters, wife or mother. Notice I left out “girlfriend.” If she can be called your “girlfriend,” skip the tool box gift and opt for something more romantic. All others, go ahead.

My toolbox began as a simple storage bin with a lid that I picked up in the kid section at one of those big-box stores. It cost about two dollars. Although bright blue and red, it works fine because when I see it, I automatically think, “There’s my toolbox.” There isn’t any mistaking it.

Nowadays, more aware of sustainability and the importance of keeping our local shopkeepers in business, I would opt for an environmentally friendly recyclable container purchased at a smaller store, if possible. Choosing an attractive container is a nice idea.

Most of the time when I go to my toolbox, I’m looking for one of three things: my lightweight claw hammer, Phillips screwdriver or wood filler/putty. I also have pliers with a comfortable handle and a flathead screwdriver. Soon, I’ll be adding an electric screwdriver to this mix (another suggestion from Mom).

Since starting my box, I’ve added other things I occasionally need and want to easily locate: a light timer, scotch tape, packing tape, nails, tacks, hooks, sandpaper block, flashlight, batteries, a small extension cord for use outdoors, staple gun and staples, plug extender, pipe thread tape, a putty knife.

In studies done on qualities in our lives that add to happiness, one that often comes up is a sense of independence. At first glance, you might not think a toolbox offers this, but it does. Not a rough and tumble kind of gal, I still appreciate having this toolbox that nobody else gets to access. (I keep it hidden, lest my nice clean hammer disappear.)

And even though my autopilot still thinks “man” when I need to piece together an “easy-to-assemble” item, I know I can do it myself just as soon as I get my red and blue toolbox out from its hiding spot.

- Christina Grant, PhD

Read more by Dr. Grant on her blog, Dr. Grant Holistic

 


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