Deep breath. Ready?
My name is Luke Mackay and I am thirty three years old. And yesterday I bought my first ever tool. And my second. Should you be kind enough to be interested, my purchased tools of choice were a hammer and a screwdriver (Phillips).
That is at first glance, by most definitions of manliness a pretty shameful admission. I don’t have a tool kit/belt/box or anything tool related. I have never dreamt of owning a power tool and wouldn’t have the first clue what to use it on if I did.
I just spent £250 getting my bike fixed. I did not attempt to fix it myself.
I didn’t learn to drive until my late twenties and could no more fix a car than I could remove a spleen.
I have never put up a shelf, re-wired a room, plastered a wall or stripped an engine.
And I know, I KNOW, that women find this incredibly unattractive- You want Diet Coke guy, stripped to the waist, brandishing his tool willy nilly and building houses and wot not. But do you know what. You can all whistle for it.
Because do you know the last time a girlfriend of mine cooked me an amazing meal? It was never. Do you know the last time a woman ironed my shirt? Never. Darned my socks? Sewed on a button? Arranged some flowers? Never, never, never. When women start caring about historically ‘feminine stuff’. then I’ll start giving a monkeys that I don’t know how to grout a carburettor or whatever it is you do.
I am a manly man, make no mistake- I have a hairy chest and a strong rugby pedigree, I can pick you up, throw you around and defend your honour with my mighty fists of steel, should the occasion arise. But all that practical crap bores the bejesus out of me. I get no satisfaction from it, consider it a total waste of my time and energy and would much rather throw money at the problem and get it done properly. There is nothing more pathetic than a man who refuses to accept that a task is beyond him. I can do all this stuff, anyone can- you just watch the video on you tube or read a book and do it. But it BORES me and I hate it.
I have started writing a book and to do this I need an office, or at the very least a desk. So I bought one on eBay and yesterday it arrived in a very heavy, very flat, very un-desk shaped box. There were three pages of diagrammatic instructions and a little table of things, in picture form that you would need to assemble said desk. The things were as follows: One man, one hammer, one screwdriver, four square metres and forty minutes.
It took this one man four and a half hours not including finding a hardware shop and buying tools. I hated every single minute of it. The instructions were shit, the bits of wood were heavy and unwieldy and I ended up sweating, bleeding, shouting and swearing and now, to show for my labours have only a crappy broken desk and an immoveable splinter.
You should have heard the disappointment in my new girlfriend’s (We’ll call her SV) voice…. ‘Oh don’t tell me that’ she said as if I had punched her nephew and slapped her Mum. And that my friends has prompted this post. That barely disguised dissappointment.
YOU CAN’T HAVE IT ALL LADIES! You can either have my Grandfather who could whittle you a boiler out of one piece of oak but who had the emotional intelligence of Goebbels or you can have me and my kind who will tell you that we love you, be great Dads, knock up a dinner party for your friends. But who, in return will pay a Polish bloke to plaster the nursery. I don’t expect all the feminine crap- I want a strong women with a great career, who earns their own money and can change a plug. I couldn’t give a fig if you can’t cook, knit or crochet. But lets make a deal. I’ll iron my own shirts and say you look beautiful if you don’t treat me with contempt when I don’t want to spend my Sunday afternoon with a chisel in my hand and splinters up my bum.