I have been told by many people that I am a bit odd.
Actually, “odd” is one of the more kind things that have been said about me over the years. This particular “odd”statement was made by an individual who was doing his best to “figure me out”. (Good luck with that!)
His statement was made upon learning of one of my hobbies, which he said was a “Man’s Hobby”. To make matters worse, he went on to say that “women are supposed to sew, do crafty things or shop, not do furniture restoration!”
I had to stop what I was doing and take a good look at his face to see if he was just being a sarcastic turd or if he was serious.
He was serious.
I felt the heat of my blood beginning to boil as it crept up towards my face. I had to consciously hold my lips together, and bite my tongue (literally) to keep my words from spewing forth of their own volition and ripping this guy a new one.
English is my native language. Sarcasm is my preferred language.
The salty-metallic taste of blood assaulted my taste buds due to the self-inflicted wound on my tongue, yet I continued to be silent.
After a few moments of deep breathing, I created several mental pictures of this male chauvinist piglet playing with Barbie dolls dressed in his best ballerina outfit. I had a good internal laugh, after which, I was calm.
I looked up at him, turned on my electric sander and gave him my best “Cat that ate the Canary” grin.
His lips were moving, but I could not hear a word he was saying. ( Thank Heaven for Power Tools!)
My attention was focused on sanding. I assumed that the “M.C.P.” got the hint, because when I turned off my sander to change the paper, he was (thankfully) gone.
This was not an isolated incident. It would seem that despite the fact that we are in the 21st Century, many men (and women) still believe that gender is a factor in determining what men and women may have as hobbies.
I believe that we can do whatever we put our minds to, despite our gender. Gender has no bearing on my ability to learn or do anything that I want to do. I am able to learn anything I choose to learn. If I have an interest in something, I will explore that interest.
I enjoy restoring old wood. Some would say that this is not something women traditionally do. I could care less. I love finding a small beat up antique wood piece that many people would toss in the trash, and bringing it back to life.
I go into a “zone” when I work with old pieces. It relaxes me. These pieces have stood the test of time. They were created by artists, not manufactured with machines as they are today.
I am in awe of the imagination, innovation and craftsmanship of the talented artisans who created the unique wood pieces that I have had the honor of restoring.
Age is not a friend to anything that has not been properly cared for.
The many layers of dirt, grease and grime have to be removed before the bare wood is exposed. Only then can it be restored to its original beauty.
Without a doubt, a metaphor for my life.