“You don’t understand the real world, Becky. It’s just things that happen around you while you sit by.”

—Captain Asshole, at age 21, my ex-boyfriend*

I have two tattoos.

The one we’ll talk about today is this one:


It’s a seahorse and it’s on my left foot and yes, it hurt like a mother-fucker, actually. It was a 25th birthday present to myself from, well, myself and it’s easily disguiseable under a pair of shoes which is why both of my tattoos are on my feet. They’re all disappearing and shit.


I got this one right before I got married to remind myself of something.

See, I met The Daver while I was going through my Seahorse Period. I was bobbing along, accepting that I was probably going to go out on my own, Ben and I against the world, and I was coming to terms with this.

23 year old guys aren’t exactly known for welcoming single mothers and their 2 year old sons into their lives with open arms, and besides, I figured, I never was the marrying sort anyway. So I focused my energies on going to school and to work and carving out a life for myself and my son.

Bobbing along.The two of us. Together. Benner and I. My Seahorse Period.


Suddenly two became three and we weren’t alone anymore and I learned to rely on having another person to help carry the burden. And while having someone else to rely on is exquisite, I wanted to make sure that I had a physical reminder on my person that no matter what, I could make it on my own again.

Part of crawling out of my shell again after being so dependent on Daver after my miserable pregnancies has been a process of relearning who I was before and part of that has been a realization that I’ve become too complacent.

I haven’t tried to learn the things that I consider The Daver’s Realm (and not just Prime Minister of Clogging Toilets) because I’ve made the faulty assumption that he’ll always be around. Problem is, I haven’t factored into the equation that of the 168 hours in a week, he spends probably over 100 of those working on any given week.

That means that the smoke detector I bought in March sat on our table to be installed for 6 months before I finally got him to do it. Why didn’t I do it myself?


Which, considering I didn’t properly learn to ride a bike until I was 12 and still walk into walls at 29 is probably a good thing. The less power tools, the better. Because I probably WOULD drill my eye out.

But at 29, there are a whole cadre of things I probably should know how to do that I don’t. Like change the bag to my Kirby vacuum. Or turn off the water to the hose for the winter. Or get into the attic (altho Aunt Becky + ladders is probably bad due to previously mentioned walking problems).

Maybe this is my year to take the world by the balls and make it my bitch. I see no time like the present to learn to drill shit into walls and wire the fuck out of, uh, light fixtures and *gestures around* take care of shit that needs to get done.

So wish me luck, The Internet, and any tips about how to Live Life and Get Stuff Done are appreciated. Apparently I was too busy playing Bejewewled on my phone when they covered this stuff in school. PROBABLY should have paid attention then.

*the ironies I could list are so extensive that let’s just say that this statement is so full of contradictions and bullshit that I’m surprised it didn’t self-destruct when he said it. WHATEVER THAT MEANS.

174 thoughts on “Where I Make My World My Bitch (with your help)

  1. I heart your seahorse tattoo – what’s the other one?

    I also have a tattoo on my foot for the very same reasons – it’s disappearing!!!

    Also, I applaud you in your efforts to make the world your bitch. Sadly, I have no advice to offer. I have tried to make the world my bitch and it made me it’s bitch instead – dammit!

    Let me know if you figure it out OK??

  2. That’s really pretty…
    And how do you do it? One step at a time. Pick up that darn drill and learn how to use it. Because you want to. Don’t think about all the other things…just concentrate on the drill.
    and soon you’ll be bobbing along and learning other things….
    Because often the most important thing is what you are doing right now. Period.

  3. Love the symbolism behind that tattoo! Drilling is actually awesomely fun – once you get past the whole, “won’t I accidentally drill through my finger,” fear.

    And, if I can use one without actually doing so, I have every faith that you can too. Just watch out for hammers – they bite.

    1. Till you hit a water pipe in the wall like I did….. then got sprayed with water coming out of the hole thinking… OMG all this water and I’m holding an electric drill!!! HELP!!! Yelling for the wife to grap a cupboard full of towels to stop the room flooding while I find and unjam the water mains tap that hasn’t been used in 20 years! Sheeesh that was a fun day… NOT!

        1. Well I didn’t get electrocuted and I’m still here. We did incur a several hundred dollar plumber bill to repair the copper pipe I nicked with the drill bit. Thankfully it was only a nick and not a complete hole as he said if it was any worse he would have had to replace the pipe instead of repair it and the whole wall would have had to have come down! Eeek!

          and yes, I’m too afraid to drill any more holes in the wall in the laundry even though the wife wants more shelves in there!

          1. I am pretty sure I’d hire someone to install those shelves! That’s TERRIFYING to me. Like my worst nightmare, except for if John Mayer came to my house and I had to listen to him sing “Your Body Is A Wonderland” over and over.

            I HATE that song!

  4. I think a big part of it is not letting someone do things for you. I have this problem with my mom- if I don’t stop her, she’ll make dinner, do my laundry, and change all the diapers. It sounds like paradise, but in reality it makes me slack into complacency. I spent a week house sitting for my Dad a while back, solely because I wanted to make sure I COULD do it by myself.

    I’m a putter together and a fixer, and I have one word for you: YouTube. For every random thing you need to know how to do, some random dude has videoed himself doing it and posted it on the amazing internets.

    1. That’s exactly right. When I got together with Dave, it was all, well, HE knows how to do it, why should I bother? And that’s kind of a craptastic attitude. Because, well, obviously!

  5. I am 100% with you. On both points. That if you ever had to you COULD make it again on your own. (Me too!) and it’s time to learn how to take care of this shit. I am the fixer and the handy(wo)man in my house, and I can use a drill pretty darn well. I suspect I could actually do a lot more than drill things if I ever had someone to show me how. For instance installing laminate flooring. I really wanna take a stab at that one.

    Anyways, start with the small stuff. My suggestion? Hang a shelf. With drywall screws.(drywall screws anchor the screws when you don’t have a stud, cuz when I’m decorating and need something centered I don’t give a fuck where the stud is.) It’s a bitch but you’ll feel so accomplished. Don’t forget the level. Oh or better yet install hooks in your coat closet. That one I was really proud of. If you fuck it up, it’s in your closet, so who cares?! I haven’t learned how to rewire anything yet though. Good luck w/ that one. If you figure it out come teach me.

  6. Is it the picture or do you have some tiny ass feet? Like size 5 or something? (not that there is anything wrong with that lol)

  7. Drilling is fun. I’m the one who puts things together and fixes stuff at my house, if I waited for my husband to do it, it wouldn’t get done, he’s never home either. The only thing I don’t do is electricity (I call my Dad), it scares the bejesus out of me…ever since I got zapped in 6th grade home ec, plugging in my stupid sewing machine.

    1. See, so my dad let me tool around (GET IT???)(shut UP!) in his workbench when I was a kid instead of giving me a sibling. So I played around there, occasionally making…nothing really. But since I have no real depth perception or skills, he failed to teach me much beyond painting, hammering and, uh, sanding.

      Power tools, he warned me, were SCARY. And so, I am scared of them.

      But, I need to conquer the fear. I can DO it!

      (hold me)

  8. Ummm. I’m with you on many of these things. Walking into stuff daily (which is not helped by little toys left lying on the floor by my 3 year old). I haven’t figured out how to get the shit done yet. And while I can operate power tools, sometimes I just feel there needs to be a division of labor inside the home. I got the cute little messmakers and all related things to deal with, like making sure the house doesn’t get condemned from piled up cat hair and dropped cheerios. But the husband, he works, like 20-hours-a-day, so I’m pretty much left to handle everything in the house on my own, with the two terribly cute crotch parasites trying their darndest to make sure I don’t get anything done. At all. I guess, if you make it through the day and everyone is still alive and fairly healthy, consider it a success.

    1. That’s how I’ve been operating! Totally! Like, at the end of the day, when we’re all alive I’m all, POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME. Or not, but still, I’m proud of me.

      And I should be. And you should be too!

      Now pass me some sugar, baby.

  9. I have the same thoughts sometimes…that I rely on my husband too much and I need to assert myself more and force myself to be more independant….which, yuck…that kinda sucks!

    But, I think necessary!

    Perfect example: My husband’s grandmother had 7 children in 10 years. Her only duties throughout her life was child rearing. She never handled the finances or money issues, thus she has NO concept of money at all.

    Last year Grandpa died.

    Now, my mother in law has to call her weekly to balance her check book and pay her bills.

    Can you imagine, not even knowing how to pay your electric bill??? Wow.

    1. That’s totally what I’m afraid of, Ames. I’m terrified that somehow Dave will die or get thrown under a bus and I’ll be left not knowing how to work a can of WD40 and have to beg my neighbor to show me.

  10. My Husband is incredibly un-handy. As is my Father. And my brother lives too far away to be helpful. So I’ve taken it upon myself to do most of the stuff around the house involving hammers, drills and screwdrivers. I don’t get into anything much bigger than that – but I do pride myself on the kick-ass toolbox I have!

  11. I have a black widow spider hanging from a web on the side of my left calf. Same theory behind mine as yours. Apparently I’m not as nice about it. Anyway – you don’t do the stuff like the smoke detector because you know The Daver is always an option. If he was carried away by space aliens tomorrow your brain would kick in and you’d figure out how to do stuff without really thinking about it. (Yes, I speak from experience.) And when he returned after his anal probe and everything else he’d be amazed at all you’d done. Remember – you gave birth without detailed instructions and a manual. How hard can plumbing be?

  12. Sadly, I have no information to give you. I tried to use Mr. Spit’s drill once, and I drilled through my finger and broke the bit off, and yes that’s every bit as bloddy and painful as you can imagine.

    Do what I did, stick the fire alarm on top of the fridge, don’t put anything on top of it, and call it done. Because really, how can it not work any better on the wall than on the fridge top?

    Also, you can hire handymen. And a high heeled shoe makes a damn good hammer.

  13. I didn’t learn to work power tools until just a few years ago, and I love it! I’m far more likely to use our tools than my SO.

    There are a couple of ways to learn how to do this sort of thing: 1) the organized way: take a class from a local community college, or vocational school. 2) the self propelled: find it on the internet. I like Instructables.com, myself. I learned how to do all sorts of things from the web. 3) tap local resources: I’ve asked my roommate to teach me how to solder, since it involves molten metal and heat. On the other hand, I’m still waiting for that lesson…

    Best of luck to you! I admire your determination to learn how to do things outside of your comfort zone. I’m still working on that in certain areas, but I found learning power tools was pretty liberating. Plus, I love my drill.

  14. Drilling is an easily learnable skill. I will fly up there and teach you, and not just because I need an excuse to get the heck out of here for a week or so. Yeah – it will probably take me a week to teach you. Or 10 minutes and then a week to play around drilling stuff and drinking vodka.

    1. You totally need to come up and visit. I have a whole basement you can stay in BY YOURSELF. As in, you can hang out alone. Although, you can come upstairs and hang with me, which will be much more fun and will drink vodka and play with power tools.

      Which maybe we should rethink the order there.

  15. Whatever you decide, read this carefully and take it to heart: DO NOT WATCH HGTV! I’m pretty handy and have done some major renovations and it’s NEVER as easy as they make it look. “Oh, la la la, look at me. I just tore a big-ass hole in my siding and now have no protection from the fucking elements! Aren’t I grand! No worries, it’ll be fixed 28 minutes from now.” What they don’t tell you is the simple math of it: This project will take 50 people 1 day. Conversely, it will take one person 50 days.

    I dig your tattoo, too. Did you ever dip your toes into the ocean, then pull your foot out to find a real seahorse humping it?

    1. I’m afraid of HGTV mainly because they use the phrase “Make it pop!” and I suck at decorating and nothing reminds me of that more than watching all of the decorating people turn a couple of empty 40’s into an end table.

      I only like those shows when the people HATE what the decorators do. Then it’s win all around.

  16. Oooooo…I wanna learn to do all kinds of guy stuff too! If my husband dumps me or whatever, I want to know how to do the stuff he does like take out the trash and jerk off in the basement while the baby screams in her crib.

  17. I have a whole arsenal of men at my disposal – plumbers, electricians, painters, tilers, carpenters etc. So, no need to learn how to do things myself. I’m fantastic at organising others to help me. Being the boss rocks.

  18. Home depot and lowes give free classes on everything you’d probably ever need to do around a house. And they will not let you drill your eye out. Sometimes(and I know this may sound weird) I wish my wife was less handy with tools etc.

    1. Home Depot also has a GREAT book of tutorials on do-it-yourself projects. It’s something like 15 bucks or 20 maybe. It’s BRIGHT ORANGE and pretty much impossible to miss if you walk around the store looking for it. You might find it worth at least looking through to see how non-intimidating a lot of projects actually are.

        1. The home depot book isn’t for beginners. They leave out steps, and assume the reader has some basic skills (i.e. knowing how to operate a drill). However, paired with the internet and someone you can call for advice (I call my dad!) it’s worth the money!

          I redid my half-bath. New toilet, new sink, new floor, baseboard, new light fixture, upgraded the outlet to gfic, new mirror, paint…took freakin’ forever. It was worth it though. No matter how much you plan for a project, it will take twice as long, and require at LEAST 3 trips to the hardware store beyond the initial purchase!

  19. Yay for you! That’s a great decision. Only I suggest you don’t start with waterproofing the shower, which is what I did when I made that very same decision and we now have the occasional rain shower in the kitchen. Mainly when someone’s in the shower upstairs.

    1. I remodeled my bathroom without doing any of the major stuff myself. I stripped the wallpaper that had been glued to the drywall which was AWESOME and basically remudded the whole thing.

  20. If the drill scares you, which I totally understand, start with an electric screwdriver. It’s not got enough power to get you into REAL trouble, and it’s a gateway tool. 🙂 Once you come up across something you can’t make ti work for, you’ll consider that drill with a screwdriver bit in the garage… and say “just this once.. No one will know if I fuck up, I’ve got some toothpaste to cover up the hole if I mess it up..” And then you’re on to real drilling.

    The one tool group I refuse to use are the saws. If it is MADE to cut shit up, I don’t see why I should have to use it. I do have boys, they can do that part for me. Gotta make sure that they still feel useful, right?

      1. Glad that I could help!! Oh, and electricity? Meant to say, don’t mess with that shit, unless you are CERTAIN, not just pretty sure, that the power is off at the breaker box. In fact, I don’t recommend that one at all. Little stuff, like hanging pictures, towel racks, shelves, minor repairs? No biggie. Electricity is for someone else. That shit hurts, and it’s invisible. If you REALLY wanna do it, they sell these voltmeters, where you just touch it into a socket, and it tells you if it’s live. Then you can go try and turn off a different breaker, until it’s dead. But don’t ever ever ever skip that step!!

  21. Love the tattoo, very cute. And yea, it does seem like it would hurt on the top of the foot. Ouch.

    No advice on the delima as I do the same damn thing. =) Maybe its something we can overcome together.

  22. You lost me at Kirby vacuum. I would gladly change your bag Aunt Becky. That sounded dicey, didn’t it? Seriously, I have vacuum envy, which is weird because I’m totally married to my Riccar. I say, just start DOING stuff, and if you screw it up, you learn from it! Just ask The Man about my adventure with curtain rods! (PS – I own stock in spackle).

  23. I totally agree that you should learn how to drill shit! My daddy made me learn how to do things like that because he always said that while it’s nice to have a man to do it for you, you should always be able to do it yourself(just in case). Therefore, not only am I a kickass cook, but I can also take my sink apart AND put it back together!! Good luck!

  24. Water and electricity do not go well together.
    Years ago, in my old house, the water heater was still functioning, but leaking in the basement. I called a repairman and he announced that the boiler had a hairline crack and he had to permanently disable it.
    “Please, please, please leave it on,” I begged. “I’ll order a new one now, you can deliver and install it tomorrow. I just need to take a shower.”
    “No, I have to turn it off: haven’t you heard what water and electricity can do?” he replied.
    “Yes, I took 5th grade science, I know all about it, but this is the first time it’s effected me personally,” I replied.
    With that, he disabled it (I would say that he pulled the plug, but if it had been something as easy as a plug, I would have plugged it back in as soon as he left.)
    I calculated that there was about 35-40 gallons of hot water in the tank. I really needed a shower, as did the rest of my family, due home soon.
    Instead of asking myself ‘What would Jesus do?’ I asked myself what my ex-husband would have done in my situation.
    I went upstairs and used up every last drop of hot water taking a shower and left my family to fend for themselves.
    Remember that: H20 + electricity = a big no no.
    Also – no one in your family appreciates being clean as much as you do.

  25. The only thing I have ever refused how to do is wiring of any kind. I take enough chances with the other stuff so tempting fate with electricity is not a good idea.

    The world will be your bitch in no time! Just take it one small do it yourself project at a time!

  26. Sweetie, don’t worry. Everything you listed is really no sweat. My suggestion would be to just get The Daver to show you how as he does it, since he’s been doing the household stuff all this time. But, really, you can probably just figure it all out by yourself. I’m serious! “Working a drill”, is all about pulling the trigger. Actually you probably just need a screwdriver bit in it that matches the screws that came with the smoke detector. No drill bits at all.
    As far as vacuum cleaner bags go, just look in there and figure it out. You can do this! I have faith! 😉

  27. I don’t believe you actually have to know much to do home repairs. The first thing you need to know is the number of a guy who can do the stuff for you for a small amount of $$$.

    I can assemble and hook up anything in our house. I can even caulk stuff, if I have to. However, I stay away from the power tools, because if I can’t do it by hand (i.e. with a screwdriver), I am bound to lose control of the power tool and do some major damage.

    Glad you’re taking charge of the home front, though. Go ahead and make the world your bitch!

    Also, I think you got the seahorse because they’re the only species where the male carries the babies…

  28. I am so jealous because I so totally want a Kirby vacuum cleaner. I also want a Rainbow vacuum cleaner. I want both.

    Also, I have a basic skill in wiring stuff. I took out an old light fixture (ugliest thing ever) and replaced it with something that was more ‘normal’. I used glue to hold the base up on the ceiling, and then used a rechargeable screw driver to screw the screws in. Made me feel VERY useful because my dimwit husband didn’t do it. But he’s good with numbers. He’s such a mathie.

    Anyway, glue works great for making everything stable before using power tools.

    1. I want a Dyson too, because my Kirby weighs (I kid you not) 25 pounds and is a pain to lug around. But it’s amazing and I adore it and I cannot believe I own one.

      Can you come by and replace the world’s ugliest light fixture? I think that mine can probably beat yours in ugliness 😉 Also, I am terrified of electricity and, well, wiring things.

      1. If I’m ever in Chicago (I do have relatives in Aurora. An attorney!!) I will make sure I send you a message here on your blog and if you’d let my family and I in…I would happily change your ugly light fixture. You are that awesome to me!! Yes, I want a Dyson too. If I had the money, I could easily end up like Stan Kann. I’m lucky. I got to go to his house and he showed me his vacuums!!!!

        1. I live VERY close to Aurora! Like 20 minutes away! St. Charles, if you have any idea where that is, which is on the other side of Geneva. Which would RULE. My ugly light fixture is in dire need of replacing…and we could totally hang out!

  29. None of it is too challenging to learn if you give yourself a chance to learn it in a non emergency period. Try taking the screws in & out of a piece of wood now, before you find yourself needing to assemble furniture.

    I’m about to learn about electric wiring. I got a lighting kit for our living room ceiling fan 2 months ago & it shows no signs of installing itself. Nor had DH taken an interest. So I suppose I just need to wait for a really sunny day, cut the power to the whole house & figure out the wiring.

      1. That might work – if I cut the power during a football game. “Oh honey I just want to finally get this light installed. I’m sure I’ll be done in 15 minutes or 2 hours. 3 tops. I swear.”

  30. I third (or fourth, or fifth, or sixtieth, whatever) finding instructions online for just about anything, including drilling. Because power tools? Pure Awesome.

        1. I do too. I have SOME tools, but they’re poorly organized (sing BLAME THE DAVER to the tune of BLAME CANADA) but have no fear, ickle tools, Momma’s comin’ to love on you soon.

  31. Hie thee to Home Depot, fair maiden, and slay this Dragon of Drill. Forsooth, thou wilst save thine own kindom from the fear of inferno!

    Sorry. I geeked out there for a minute. Seriously, though, it’s so not hard to learn. Ask the Home Depot guys to help you. The older ones always want to show you how their tools work. And they mostly stick to the ones on the shelves.

      1. I have panic attacks in Lowe’s (I think that’s what it is when you feel claustrophobic and short of breath in a building with 20 foot ceilings and 10 foot wide aisles). We built a house. That did it for me. I am done with home repair.

        1. OH! See, yeah. I owned a nearly 100 year old condo and that nearly did me in. I couldn’t screw anything into the wall because it was apparently made of titanium or something and the walls were crumbling apart. Seriously, I could vacuum in the morning and by evening, there were dust buffalo roaming my halls. It was horrible.

          Never have I drooled over new construction before.

  32. When it comes to drilling, you really can’t mess it up too bad. If you drill the wrong spot, just fill it with toothpaste and move. And you can find out how to do ANYTHING on the internet.

  33. Another vote for finding instructions online. I even successfully changed out a light switch using online instructions… not the light switch plate, but the actual switch itself. And I managed to figure it out even though once I got in there I realized the wiring in our 1877 building is, um, special.

    Speaking of wiring, here are a couple of things that are good to learn, and require no skill whatsoever: how to operate a breaker so you can reset it when it’s been tripped (or turn it off if you’re going to be dealing with wiring) and how to turn off the water in case of a plumbing emergency.

    Another fun one is how to jump start a car.

    You can do eeeeeeeeeet!

  34. Depends on what you wana do. If you just want to hang stuff then thats easy. Also a awesome book I like to use is the home improvement for dummies book from home depot. Also Home Depot and lowes both have classes on how to do crap. Usually on this big white board toward the front like 10/31 at 2pm were going to show you how to replace a light switch with a dimmer switch. But the Home improvement for dummies by home depot rocks with pictures, step by step instructions and more.

  35. Please let me know when you get the wisdom! I can’t do anything by myself! I’m about to move out on my own after 2 years of living with a gay couple who do absolutely everything for me… I’m not sure how I’m going to survive!

  36. Wiring is a no go for me. That’s why there are electricians . This is one area where I an definitely fir supporting local tradespeople. Diy not my bag. I can do power tools if necessary but definitely never choose to!

  37. What a great example you are setting for the kids -especially for Amelia. When you take away lots of the things that the Daver will have to do on his “off time/family time”, it will leave him time for the more important things like giving you massages, giving you compliments, and playing with the kids so you can buy more things to install yourself in your home. Congratulations! You rock!

    1. I hope to teach my kids that they can do anything they want to and that rather than sitting back and feeling defeated (which, let’s face it, is easy) it’s better to at least ruin a couple of walls trying. Right?

  38. You know the part of this story that really resonates with me?

    The walking into walls thing.

    Since yesterday morning I walked full-tilt into a parked minivan.

    1. Bwahahaha!

      I’m not laughing AT you…oh wait, I totally am. Why? Because I think we’re probably related somewhere along the lines. Sorry about that.

      I’m always amazed my kids found their way out. I’m THAT clumsy.

  39. I would have to say that I am in the same boat as you ar emy friend. I rely on Dan to do a whole lot… and when it does not get done b/c he was not home 4 out of the 7 days this summer I was FORCED to change the damn light bulb… *Gulp*… but in my defense it was a bulb that was rather high… and required a ladder. 🙂

  40. I can not operate a drill nor can I get the fire alarm to stop beeping when the battery is low. (Smashing it with my shoe doesn’t count according to my hubby.)

    But, it’s a fair tradeoff since My Hubby cannot locate anything, even if it is sitting directly in front of his face, even if I tell him in excruciating detail where whatever he’s looking for, is. He does the man things. I find the crap he is not capable of finding on his own.

    I can hire handymen if anything were to happen to him. I’m not sure he could hire a locator. I don’t think there is such a thing.

    1. You know, I was thinking about it, because you’re living the same life as I am! The Daver cannot locate anything or remember anything which is why he insists upon using my brain as a repository.

      I suppose it’s sweet, sharing my brain with me…

      Why don’t I feel more flattered?

  41. With any luck, the Daver will leave you set, financially, so that you can just hire someone to get shit done. Kind of not really, but-and I don’t know if you know this-you can use a screwdriver and duct tape to fix almost anything, and if that doesn’t work, JB Weld probably does. That is how I managed to do it all alone before Steve moved in.

  42. If we lived in the same town we could eff this stuff up together. Because I would like to learn how to use power tools and the such as well. My husband sure as hell isn’t going to do it.

  43. I too, am fucked when it comes to anything having to do with power tools. Which would explain why all my curtains are thumbtacked above the windows. Yes. The shame.
    When you figure out how to make the world your bitch, let me know because I’ve been waiting a long time to learn that one.
    Meanwhile, I think I’ll go grate some lemon zest because THAT I know how to do.

    1. See, I have NO idea how to grate lemon zest and I don’t know how to use a food processor either and I really wish that I did. But I don’t. There’s a lot I need to learn how to do. I’m cobbling this stuff together slowly. But I have good intentions!

  44. Try changing your own oil. It’s super easy and way cost-effective. In fact, a lot of car-maintanence stuff is liberating to do… like changing a battery and wiper blades. I also like to try my hand, like others have suggested, with little electricity jobs. Everyone’s right about Home Depot and Lowes. You can get a lot done on your own. Do simple things like changing faceplates on switches and sockets, and move on to making your own lamps (they even have kits for that!). Don’t even need powertools, just a screwdriver. It feels awesome to feel useful, to feel “able.”

    1. I freaking LOVE Lowe’s and doing home improvement projects. Seriously, I think I was a dude in a past life. I am totally going to learn all about home projects until The Daver cuts me off and reminds me that I probably should focus on writing.

  45. You know, you could run a weekly feature, say, a “Guess What Aunt Becky Learned This Week” type thing where you post photos of you doing stuff like using a table saw or doing small engine repair… you know, simple stuff.

    1. I’m halfway tempted to take a class on auto repair, just for something to learn to do. I always like learning how to DO things. And if I do? I will TOTALLY take pictures. Especially if they’re embarrassing. As a bonus, nothing violates HIPPA.

  46. Ok, off topic, but since you are awesomom I have a question for Aunt Becky from Aunt M.

    WHY THE FUCK DOES TOYSRUS.COM SUCK BALLS? I placed an order for my twins birthday gifts. Dontchya know they shipped them seperately and charged for 2 shipments!! In the same Effing DAY!

    Ok, sorry, I need a blog. Except I dont know how to start one. I will teach you how to drill if you teach me how to start a non suck ass blog. K?

    1. Ok, off topic, but since you are awesomom I have a question for Aunt Becky from Aunt M.

      WHY THE FUCK DOES TOYSRUS.COM SUCK BALLS? I placed an order for my twins birthday gifts. Dontchya know they shipped them seperately and charged for 2 shipments!! In the same Effing DAY!

      Ok, sorry, I need a blog. Except I dont know how to start one. I will teach you how to drill if you teach me how to start a non suck ass blog. K?

      (disclaimer, not MY twins, my niece and nephew)

    2. ToysRus sucks so that you never, ever have any more kids, ever. And if you do, you’ll never shop there again, ever. Seriously, I avoid that place like it was The Devil. It’s full of awful.

      *shudder, shudder*

      I hope that you can get your shipping costs back, but their customer service staff enjoys torturing you. I know this because I made the grave error of registering with them. NEVER AGAIN.

      Also, I can help you start a blog. If by help, I mean, uh, show you uh, blogger?

  47. I find the preschool-esque saying, “You get what you get and you don’t get upset” is one of the best pieces of advice I have ever attempted to live by.

    Deliberately spending less time stewing over some crappy situations and raw deals has at least somewhat bettered by quality of life.

    Now, as far as how to actually DO anything? I have this discussion with Phil whenever the DVR needs to be set, and I don’t care if it’s sexist.

    “Set the DVR,” I say.
    “You know, you can do it too,” he says.
    And I tell him, “Look. There are lady things and there are man things. Outdoor chores, heavy lifting, bugs, cars and technology are man things. If I WANTED to do the man things, I wouldn’t be marrying you, because I am CERTAINLY not in this for your sparkling wit and charm. And what is the DVR?”
    “… technology.”
    “And what is technology?”
    “A man thing.”

    Basically, I like to pull a Scarlet O’hara and set my generation back 60 years whenever there’s a task that involves power tools.

    1. That’s exactly how I felt until I realized they were going to sift through my charred remains to find my dead body and the packaging of a brand new smoke detector. Unused. Then I figured that my ghost would be kicking Dave’s ghost’s ass. Or, since he’d have been at work, I’d be stuck haunting him forever.

      So *adjusts ugly tool belt* I’m gonna fucking learn this shit.

  48. Ooo! Cool tattoo! And good planning on the placement. I’ve never been able to get one because I want it where I can see it (not going through all that discomfort for everyone else’s benefit) and all of the visible (to me) places are ouchy.

    Also a good reminder that we CAN do it alone. I have been for 15 years and can show you how to safely use a drill, climb a ladder, etc. Now if only I could figure out how to win the lottery so I can keep myself in the style to which I would like to be accustomed…

  49. Captain Ass Hole… What a coincidence I dated him too. I also dated Mister TOO Stoned To Care? Do you know him? Sexy tat darlin’! Mom’s with tat’s are hot! I have a little award for you at my blog:)
    Love Tawnia

  50. See? I’m the dorky commenter who would figure out some way to provide advice and then everyone snickers behind their hands and says, “She’s such an idiot, ha ha.”

    I have no advice to offer. *sniff*

  51. Ohmigod you dated him too??

    I have a tattoo on my ankle for the same reason – I can pass as respectable at most times, except during sandal season.

    I have no advice to offer – I’ve always operated on the premise that if it needed to be done and no one else around could do it, I’d muddle through it. This has usually served me reasonably well.

  52. You know, I have 5 tattoos and the most painful one is up the side of my abdomen. It doesn’t look nearly as painful as the one on your foot. Although your seahorse is beautiful I can’t imagine somebody tattooing my feet, I think I would cry for that one.

  53. Love the symbolism of the tattoo. That is what I’m hoping to do, just probably not on my foot. And not that big because seriously.. I’m WAY too big of a pansy for that. 🙂

  54. I’m nearly 42, and I know how to change the batteries in the smoke detectors, but I still like to call my husband in the middle of the night when the batteries start to beep just so I can tell him I love him and ask him if he remembers all the times I asked him to change the batteries before he left town again.



  55. One thing that I’m going to learn is money. Less in the “I keep it in a jar on my refrigerator, I’d like to add more to it” way and more like learning the ins and outs of our stock portfolio. If something happens to my husband, the Wee Pirate would be financially set–IF I invest it wisely. So you rock out with your drill out and I’ll figure out how we can retire at 40.

  56. I have nothing, since I’m still in awe over th fact that I made candy apples.

    I love my dremel. Especially since I have to drill pilot holes for every screw I put into my solid-wood-coated-in-thick-plaster walls. The house is over 100 years old. With my husband gone a good part of the week, I have to know how to do things.

    My father would make me go with him to remodling job he did on th side to make ends meet. I had to learn the finer aspects of home repair and housebuilding. As such, every home is now one breath away from being a hulking piece of shit simply because some trim was done wrong… so it wasn’t going to matter what I bought, I’ll lways have to fix it.

    Something dad never taught – spackle, sandpaper and a frresh coat of paint are my best friends.

  57. When you turn the drill on, and it begins rattling…hold on for dear life and hope to hell you aren’t fucking it up.

    At least, that’s what I do. Sometimes it works, and sometimes…well, nobody can really see those holes anyways.

    Oh, and you have an award over at my blog 🙂 http://nyxynotions.blogspot.com

  58. Listen, when we bought our house it was FULL of goddamn ugly light fixtures. I called an electrician who couldn’t even speak correctly and was blind in one eye and he was going to charge me a FORTUNE. I decided then and there that if this guy could do it, so could I.

    And I did. It took me a while, but I could probably be an electrician-I am that good.

    P.S. I also changed out a ceiling fan and my exterior lights.

    P.P.S. I like your tat. Good placement, I went with my back. Bad.

  59. I love this post – because I SO identify. You’ve already kicked your world’s ass just by coming to this conclusion. Seriously. I was a *mechanic* – power tools and I? LIKE “THIS”, my friend, and on many levels which we will not cover in your comments. I damn near taught my man everything he knows about basic (and more effeicient) tool usage (snort!) and yet I would STILL wait for him to show up after the aforementioned weeks of abandonment to install/unplug/reattach whatever. Because I’m a little girl, apparently. The times around here? are definitely a-changin’ as well. I’ve been wearing my big girl panties since I lost that last round with the cheese danish – time to get back in touch my inner male child.

    Seriously – the tools want to be used. They’re not that complicated. Planes need to fly, and drills need to drill things. Hammers want to nail. Pipes long to be laid. And I am now fully in touch with that inner 13 year old boy. Really though… it’s easy. Worked with plenty of klutzy people. We made them wear helmets, but none of them ever died. Hell, we made everyone wear helmets – it was the military. Either way – you can totally do this. And that having been said – go ahead and skip any tool that requires any kind of mounting – whether you’re required to mount the tool or the tool is required to be mounted on a table or stand – those are where most of the dismemberments come into play. Hand tools – powered or otherwise, as you may very well know – are where it’s at.

    And just think of all the lame comments you’ll be getting referencing tools (oooh! you can totally rip off “tool academy”) (or NOT!) of all kinds on your awesome posts detailing all the crazy-ass tool-needing shit you’re about to accomplish!! Not that you haven’t clearly experienced that. Right here and now.

  60. Never buy pink power tools. The ones I’ve seen are always more pink than power, and when it comes to tools, power is the Queen, baby! (On the other hand, feel free to take a dull but powerful tool and bedazzle the hell out of it!) Drills are your best friends, especially when you have zero upper body strength like I do, and need help with stubborn screws.

    If you’re looking for classes, try a university/college. They sometimes provide reasonably priced short courses for all those students who’ve just left home. Maybe they figure it’ll help keep them from accidently destroying the student housing!

  61. Love the tat. Applaud you for wanting to try and do more home improvement stuff! I can do small stuff to get by. But I double applaud you if you are going to try and do any kind of electrical wiring! I very,very afraid of that stuff. the only advice I can give you on that is to…. Make Sure You Turn Off the Main (or the one that goes to whatever room you are working on if you know what one that happens to be out of a bazillion switches!)switch in that little ugly electric box someplace in a closet or basement or hidden behind a picture someplace. I found this out the hard way myself. Which is why I am now very very afraid to do any of this kind of stuff. Hell, I don’t even like to change a freaking light bulb unless I turn the whole house down lol. But that is just me.

  62. I love the tat! I have a frog on my right shoulder to remind me to never fully depend on another for my happiness. I paid for it out of our joint account just after I left him and just before I pulled out my half of our money. 😉 I could go on and on about my many tats and their meanings.

    I hope you are able to find yourself again. I know the struggle involved after going through it myself – twice. Oh, and just so you know, power tools are FUN!

  63. Woah, comments.

    You would find a way to get it done if you had to. Plus, you have 3 servings of prime slave labor at home. Not that I’m recommending any of this… I know a woman, now grandmother, that took a mechanics course at the local high school so she could learn more about her car. They took a POS apart and put it back together again. Who knew that any aged taxpayer could sit in on a high school class for free?

  64. That is one of the hard parts of having an awesome husband. You feel so safe and content and comfortable that you give them things to do that you don’t know how instead of learning. I totally get it.

    And love the symbolism of the seahorse!

  65. Way to go, sista! I can offer no advice because I feel I need to do the same thing. One of the comments talked about finances. That is something I need to get a bit more involved. And I agree with the point of being complacent. It was easy for me to get relaxed about things during pregnancy and my baby’s extreme fussy period from about 2-6 months of age. I do feel like I am finding my groove again, but you verbalized what I was feeling.

    So instead of advice, I offer encouragment! I’m going to try and do the same thing, too!

    I also love that you have a tattoo to remind you of your strong spirit!

  66. I am weeping in jealousy that you have a Kirby. I absolutely hate vacuuming, but for that beautiful machine, I would do very, very bad things.

    I wish I was handy and could do more around the house, too. In my case, I don’t think it’s a lack of ability so much as an overriding laziness.

  67. I think we’re related.

    I fall on flat ground…and I ran into a car the other day…apparently my body just felt the need to be horizontal.

    And I say fuck the details. That’s why I got married. If I can’t do it…don’t want to do it (which is usually the case), I feign retardedness and magically, it gets done.

  68. I was going to leave a real comment. BUT, seeing as there are already approximately 165 of those, I figured I would just tell you that I came, I read, I liked. And seahorses rule.

  69. love the seahorse! good luck with the drilling & shit…most of that stuff isn’t really that hard when u actually take time 2 try…& of course, there’s the glorious internets – u can find a how-to on ANYTHING out there!!!

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