Tools for Girls

Is it just me, or does anyone else come from a ‘hardware as gift’  family? A tool set was the default gift for the whole family throughout my formative years.

I am the proud owner of an electric drill (Sweet 16th), a 24 piece spanner set, a combination wrench set, a variety of pocket knives (including the thinking woman’s swiss army knife, the Leatherman), assorted hammers, a bowie-knife (a hunting knife, for those Bear Grylls moments), a compact generator with tyre pressure attachment (you just never know…) and a collection of torches that could light up a small suburb. 

Initially I thought these presents were passable (more imagination needed C+) but when is a teenager ever truly impressed with a gift?  I knew they stemmed from my mother having strictly gender coded gifts as a girl – she never got that pistol she always wanted – and my grandmother always wishing she’d had her own tool set which she mention to my father, who then made sure his daughter was never short of a combination wrench.   Bless.

At boarding school my friends would show off their birthday loot -beautiful jewellery, Italian shoes and perfume.  That’s when my presents started to look a little bit butch, a little bit redneck and a whole lot unglamourous.

It’s probably only now I’m truly appreciative for the hardware; it instills a sense of self-sufficiency.  Now I know that if I want jewellery, I can just go out and buy it for myself – and ironically enough, I’ve ended up using the tools to make my own jewellery.


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