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More power to me

Say what you will. A woman can get excited about buying tools, too.

I am absolutely giggly and I will tell you why, but it has to remain our little secret. I just bought myself my very own electric screwdriver and drill set.

The clandestine part is I am not going to tell my husband or my children I possess this beautiful 32-bit creature. It’s mine, I tell you. All mine. I’m going to hide it under the bed and possibly even paint it in camouflage colors. Maybe I can just disguise it as a dust bunny.

Why all the stealth? Some of you already know. Those would be the readers with spouses and/or children who never, ever put anything away when they are through with it.

The last time I tried to use the electric screwdriver that lives in our garage, I found only six flathead bits and none of them fit. I ended up having to use one that was too short and about every third turn it disappeared.

I swore, at that moment, I would have my own set one day.

The goofier my hands get with age, the more I want power tools. Besides, I am a delicate flower who should never have to exert herself any more than is absolutely necessary to tear up a rug, cut linoleum or pry loose a screw with 10 coats of paint on it.

I truly do think that the electric screwdriver is perhaps one of the world’s top 10 inventions altogether. I love getting tiresome chores done faster, faster, faster. In preparation for painting a bedroom, I zipped those sticky, old electrical outlet and light switch covers off in no time flat. It was very cool.

In addition, I had been looking for a rotary sander. I have wrestled and lost with our decades-old sheet sander. It weighs a ton. It’s weak. I hate it and it isn’t really very fond of me either. When I finish using it, my arms feel like pasta. But I have spackle to smooth and a rusty spot on my car’s wheel well to deal with.

So, with a little help, I found my very own, almost small sander … and it was on sale. Oh yeah. I am fortunate to have gotten out of there without spending more money.

The salesman was a charming 20-something with a Southern drawl who smiled and called me ma’am. I am a sucker for that. He happily explained the differences between this one and that one, then scurried off to find accessories. I haven’t felt that indulged since my last pedicure.

If it’s any comfort to those who might question my secret tool stash, I did show my husband the sander. It isn’t really manly enough for him and it doesn’t have any parts he can lose, but I might still keep it in my underwear drawer, just to be on the safe side.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer and determined handywoman. Contact her at [email protected].