This is the story of a girl.
A girl who knew nothing about tools. A girl who, every time she wanted to do projects around the house (and this was something she wanted to do a lot), had to rely on her husband’s help.
And don’t get me wrong, the girl’s husband was very kind, and he did help. Often.
But she hated that she always had to wait for him when she wanted to work on projects. Because waiting was hard. She hated that the tools frightened her–that they were loud and sharp and posed potential loss of limbs. Because really, she liked all of her fingers and both her hands. For the very first time in her existence, she resented (only slightly) being a girl because she felt being a girl gave her a disadvantage, that had she not been a girl, she would know about scary things like miter saws and circular saws and table saws and other power-wielding tools. And this was a very hard admission for her to make, even if it was felt only slightly, because really she loved being a girl.
So one day, that girl decided to change her destiny.
This decision started like most decisions in the girl’s life–it started with the desire for change. She had been sitting on her couch, and she had been staring at her fireplace, a fireplace she had wanted to update for years, and she suddenly decided she was going to do it, and nothing was going to stop her.
That included loud and scary tools.
You see, my friends, the one really great trait about this girl was that she was extremely determined (even when scared).
And she was scared.
With hubby at work, one child at preschool, and her baby napping, the girl ventured out into the garage and stared down the miter saw. She stared it down hard.
She had seen her hubby use it a thousand times. She knew what to do. She could do this.
So she plugged it in. Then she tried to lift up the blade.
It wouldn’t budge.
She tried again. It still wouldn’t budge. So she yanked. She circled. She poked cautiously here and there. She yanked a few more times. Ugh. The blade was locked, and she had no idea how to unlock it.
Now, you can imagine the girl’s frustration, I’m sure. To decide to conquer one’s fear is in itself unnerving as all get out. To decide to conquer one’s fear only to be deterred by a locking mechanism…
That was, the girl decided, utter bull@&%#.
She was faced with an obstacle she had not anticipated. She could call her husband at work, but she didn’t want to hear the words, “Just wait ’til I get home.” She was tired of waiting. And truly, she was ready to accomplish this on her own (and for the sake of all future projects). So she called the next tool-knowledgeable person she knew. Her father in law…far, far away in Florida. Secretly praying he wouldn’t try to talk her out of it, she asked him to explain how to unlock the miter saw, and was grateful when he didn’t question what she was up to. It took a few minutes, but finally, she was able to figure it out.
Now, there was nothing left to stand in her way except her own fear.
The girl will tell you that it is one single terrifying moment when you grasp the handle of the saw and actually squeeze, bringing the blade to life with its roaring scream. She will tell you that it is scary as hell guiding that blade down into a board for the first time, and watching that board slice in two, thanking Sweet Baby Jesus that it was a board slicing into two and not her fingers.
And she will tell you that she loved every second of it.
The girl will warn you that being victorious over one tool does not stave off fear of all future tools; that each new tool will, in fact, produce a new and equally petrifying terror of losing one’s limbs (especially the table saw).
But on that particular day, she didn’t know that.
What she knew was that she had faced the miter saw head on, declared, “You will not scare me anymore,” and conquered the beast. All by herself. The girl felt exhilarated and empowered (and maybe even slightly invincible) that day.
She felt like a queen.
The girl would go on to conquer many more projects.
Some more adventurous than others.
And all of the them fun.
But this first one…this is the one that got her started. This is the one, that when finished, she told her husband, “You will now refer to me as the Miter Saw Queen.”
P.S. The girl would like to apologize for all grainy and unedited photos. They were taken at a time when the girl didn’t know she would one day blog about her adventures in DIY. At the time, she was simply documenting her very first by-herself-project.
P.P.S. The girl no longer refers to the miter saw as a beast. They are actually very good friends now. They hang out a lot.