My shelf life as a DIY alpha male
Now that the warm (er) weather is threatening to show its face, plenty of Britons are rolling up their sleeves to do what they do best - DIY.
The industry is worth hundreds of millions of pounds each year, thanks to the hordes who traipse up the concrete aisles of vast warehouse units on industrial estates in search of the perfect replacement door handle or, if you are particularly daring, ornate coving for the living room.
While our lives have changed dramatically over the past two decades thanks to busy young nerds in the Silicon Valley, many homeowners are still more than happy to plane an inch off a door to accommodate a freshly laid shag pile when we could be Facetiming grandma.
But it appears that our love affair with the extendable paint roller could be on the wane after a new study revealed that younger men are just as likely to don a pinny and knock out a score of hot fairy cakes than they are to clean out the guttering.
Apparently only a quarter of men under 34 feel confident enough to tackle standard DIY, compared to half of those over 65. And while there will be some who will point to the findings as further evidence that Millennials are hopeless cases who couldn’t find their backsides with both hands, I actually take heart from it.
I get a perverse sense of pride in the fact that I am officially useless when it comes to anything which involves hammers, saws and those pointy things used tighten household appliances (I believe they are called screwdrivers). Fixing stuff in our house either involves Mrs Tapp digging out the toolbox which some clown bought me a decade ago or a mercy mission from my long suffering father-in-law. I really have no shame.
It is not that I haven’t made any attempts to discover my inner Nick Knowles as I once managed to erect a single fence post at a former home. That it took me eight hours and an entire bag of cement is further evidence for the prosecution.
I have long since stop caring that I always score very badly on those ‘how many of these simple DIY tasks can you do?’ quizzes which pop up in magazines and newspapers every couple of years.
I refuse to blush at the fact that I haven’t got a clue how to change a plug and it isn’t uncommon for flatpacked furniture to stay, unpacked, in its box for so long in our house that it becomes a conversation piece.
I used to bleed the radiators at home until I managed to cause a flood of near biblical proportions and left us without central heating during the middle of a December cold snap.
I am not ashamed to admit my eyes glaze over when my handier peers discuss the challenges of wallpapering or the vagaries of fitting a stud wall. The way I see it, I am helping to keep the tradesmen of the land in business with my inability to tell one end of a claw hammer from the other.
If I am being honest, I am quite glad that younger generations would rather be slaving over the hob than fixing the flat roof because it might just mean that chaps like me be seen as the Alpha Male one day. Possibly.
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