Embracing power

Stereotypes – at least, the ones that are truly stereotypes and not just baseless biases – are oversimplified versions of the real thing. They take all of the people in a specific group and lump them together on the basis of a perceived common trait. Ultimately, there is some noticed fact about one member of a group that slowly develops into a stereotype. Something (regardless of how true) is generalized, tagged onto the rest of the populace, and considered fact.

I’m sure that there are studies on the connection between a stereotype and a self-fulfilling prophecy. To what point does an assumed notion of character end up changing how a person thinks of themselves – to the point where the person starts living out the stereotype, taking it on as if it was a logical step.

So now, after being expected to be one way, and slowly morphing into that “one way,” what can be said about stereotypes? Are they real? Are they natural? Are they logical?

I don’t know. Ask Kerrie. She was there Monday night when I took the stereotype of “male homeowner” into a loving embrace and purchased not one – not two! – but three power tools. And I was a little excited about it.

Bah. Who am I kidding? I was ecstatic.

I’ve slowly become more and more of the type of person my grandfather would have hung out with – by which I mean, I’ve got my own tools and I have some semblance of how to use them. I can drill, and I can saw, and I can grind. I feel completely confident in my abilities to refinish a wood floor. I’m light years ahead of that clueless young man that had never used a cordless drill before. Now I have my own cordless drill. And grinder (for sharpening my own lawn mower blades). And palm sander. I’m set. I just need a Skil saw and an acetylene torch and I’ll be prepared for life.

With a bevy of upcoming projects – from gate reconstruction to floor refinishing, wall painting to garage clarification – I’m looking forward to being productive and impossibly “handy-man-esque.” Stand back. You don’t need that hand screwdriver! *whirring noise*

Prepare yourself: the next two months will be filled with hilarious stories of the Vilhauers refinishing a floor with little first hand knowledge of how to do it. You’ll hear about the trials and tribulations of moving furniture upstairs, then downstairs, then back upstairs. You’ll have a front row seat for the first ever Vilhauer Rummage Sale.

Wait. Is this what it means to grow up? Buying tools and getting excited about it? What’s next? Children?

Nah. They smell. And they’re not able to cut through plywood until they’re at least 13 or 14.

This was lovingly handwritten on June 13th, 2006