Luckily, I have a handy boyfriend. He's completed more repairs and projects around this place than I can ever remember. Just this week he replaced the garbage disposal and fixed a water leak in the toilet. If not for him these repairs would have taken longer to get fixed, been way more of a pain for me to deal with, and cost much more.
Before I met the Boy, any little issue with the home would send me into a tailspin. Instead of seeing a dripping faucet, I saw my money dripping away. My first thought when anything broke was great, how much is this going to cost me? My second thought was to freak out. I'm also lucky to have a handy stepdad who has made many 1.5 hour drives to help with my house crises, but with two houses to maintain already and a full-time job, I feel guilty whenever I need his help. I'm much more calm now that I know the Boy can handle most things, and does so without complaint.
I'm an independent woman in every other area of my life, and was taught to be so. But when it comes to fixing or improving my home and car, I have to depend on others. And I hate it. I'm lucky to have people who are dependable, trustworthy and willing to help in my life, but I've often had to put my trust in strangers, many of whom let me down.
We rarely expect women to do things like fix their own leaky faucets, change their oil or remodel their kitchen. Sure there are women who buck this stereotype and you can find them all over the internet, but in my real life, I don't know any. All the women I know depend on their husbands, boyfriends and fathers for help. I think we're doing a real disservice to women when we don't teach them, or teach ourselves, how to handle some of these tasks on their own. Afterall, we expect men to know how to cook, do laundry and clean these days, so shouldn't we also expect women be able to handle tasks that were traditionally done by men?
Of course I'm not blameless in this situation. Today we have more tools than ever at our fingertips to help us learn these skills on our own, but I haven't taken advantage of them. Nor do I stick around when the Boy is repairing things to try and learn from him. I prefer not to have to deal with these things, but I can't have it both ways. I think its high time I learn how to do more DIY repairs.
What about you, do you think we should teach girls and women how to basic repair and DIY skills?