Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Not Just A Pretty Face ...

"You are the most useful woman I've ever known"

"Mwmump, murrmp, errgg"  I replied.

SD looked at me with slight confusion and some consternation as my eyes welled up and I sniffed loudly.

"It was meant to be a compliment you know" he said hurriedly, "I mean, you're ok looking and you're funny and clever too and, and ...  stuff"

Spitting the nails out of my mouth and laying the hammer drill down beside the rip saw I waved the spirit level at him.

I sniffed again.  "I'm not upset you prat".  That's possibly one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me!

One of my Grandmothers most damning comments was "she/he is neither use nor ornament".  This was usually levelled at Bonnie Langford as she simpered and danced her way across the telly on a Saturday afternoon.  My Grandmother had little time for people who didn't work hard and pull their weight.  She didn't have much in the way of modern conveniences (well, few people did back then) but her house shone and her cupboards were full of home grown, home made goodies and she still found time to knit the four of us matching (hideous!!!) jumpers each winter as well as being an active member of the mothers union and a sewing circle that helped raise money for the local church.

For most of my life (like most other women) I've been judged on my looks and the fact that Im female.  Maybe judged isn't exactly the right word here.  Maybe it's just that assumptions have been made and mostly I've played along with them because ...  Well, I don't know really, maybe the real truth is that it's suited me too.  I've done the child rearing, the house cleaning, the gardening and stuff (as well as working full or part time outside the house) and I've let men get on with the manly, power tool wielding stuff.

Since my marriage to ex lax ended I've looked at things differently.  I've also looked around my house and thought, "FFS, he really was pretty shite at this DIY stuff".  Now ex lax isn't my favourite person but I do like to give credit where it's due and he did try, and,  if you discount the nail through the pipe that flooded the house, the dodgy electrics in the two way lighting in the dining room, the half finished bathroom and kitchen and the fact that he took a fecking chainsaw to my decking, the boy did good!


Anything he can do .... ;-)

Ok, so we all know that I am not a plumber, Im also not an electrician or a roofer, although I have tried my hand at them all with varying (mostly disastrous) result.  But Im a fairly good decorator, Im a bit of a carpenter and Im pretty damned good at making stuff that looks like tatty old crap look good again.

I keep meaning to write 'Battleship Grey on a Budget" aka 'the redecorating of Miss Mac room' and I will just as soon as Ive been in there with a JCB and industrial strength bin bags to restore it's former beauty so I can take some pics.

Talking of Miss Mac, I worry about that girl.  She's too funny and smart by half but she's got some shocking habits.

Glancing through the window on my way in from the garden the other day I spotted her looking at something on the table.  I couldn't see what it was so I waited.  She stood up and walked to the other sofa where there is one solitary cushion.  I keep the cushion (and I hate cushions with a passion!) for SD as for some god forsaken reason he finds my lovely, squishy, bedded in leather sofas give him back ache if he doesn't tuck one behind him.  Anyway, Miss Mac picked up the cushion and then carefully, using one edged, wiped up the juice she had spilled on my coffee table before replacing it on the sofa and sitting down again! 

Later that day I'd left her eating her tea (can't remember what it was but it involved gravy).  As I walked back into the room I caught her LICKING HER PLATE!!!  She didn't see me at first (her face being covered in plate).  As she lowered it, a dribble of gravy running down her chin she contemplated my silent horror before smiling and saying 'some man's going to be really lucky to get me isn't he Mum?'

Anyway, I'm rambling a bit now.  The point of this post was that while SD's compliment might not on the surface of things (or even if you dig pretty deep ;) have been romantic, it meant as much and even more than many of the hundreds of compliments I've received based on how I look etc because it's enduring, it's looking past the surface, it's appreciating ME, the real me.

Don't get me wrong, I love compliments in all shapes and forms and I am very much a girly girl so of course I love to be told that Im beautiful but behind all that there's an electric sander, paint brush wielding force at work who can put up a fence, pimp your shed (pics soon ;) and help take a motorbike to pieces.

Not everybody notices THAT me.


A.K. Knight said...

You pimped your shed? This I have to see.

I cannot nail a nail without hurting myself or destroying something else in the process. But, in my heart of hearts, I aspire to be a tool-belt wearing DIY. If I just had a test house, rather than a real one to work on, I think my dreams would come true. With lots of practice.

You look lovely with a level in hand. Have I ever told you that?


Sarah said...

Ha ha, thank you FC ;)

I've got to admit to more enthusiasn than skill with the power tools to be honest but so far I've escaped serious injury or damage to the house.

I do indeed pimp my shed lol but right now it's only half finished so the photos might be a week or so (I'm available for hire but you might want to check out the pics first!)

Kel said...

How clever is your little girl, using a cushion for juice absorption! Very innovative LOL And licking her plate is nothing but a sign of great cooking, well done! hehehe x

AGuidingLife said...

I would go up the wall if daughter wiped up juice with a cushion, up the wall. The plate licking I can cope with.

I am a very useful woman and no one has ever acknowledged it, nope. You are indeed. Lucky lady today.

Sarah said...

Ah Kelly, this is the part where I have to admit that my 'little' girl is actually 13! It gets slightly harder to make excuses for her when you know that ;-). Got to admit though, I do make pretty damned good gravy!

I was not amused K and Im wondering what else she gets up to when she thinks I cant see! The plate licking I could understand, I've known that temptation myself once or twice ...

It's about time you were acknowledged, photgraph and blog it my lovely, maybe we should start up a linky! ;)