Gender Bender Spender, or, I Could Be Completely Off with This One.

Hair ties (& jaw clips)
Hair ties (& jaw clips) Manly, yes. But I like it, too.

Hang on, everybody. This isn’t just gonna be gender-bending; it’ll take a few twists here and there — but worth it, as long as you have a sense of humor. You’ll also learn why a few gorgeous girlie things are essential for every man’s workshop. (Then again, maybe I’m wrong.)

(NOTE: While this sounds sexist, it is not: women already know these tips.)


Finn from "Adventure Time" walking; caption reads: "Haters Gonna Hate."I’m a woman, the home handyman, and NOT a shopper. Groceries get delivered, I avoid any and all buildings labeled “Galleria,” and my favorite of my three or four pairs of shoes are my Dollar General flip-flops. Apologies for this seemingly sexist post which appears to presume readers live in homes where the opposite is true. That said, anyone who still has an issue*, I suggest you embrace the following:
Haters Gonna Hate.


Next time the shopper in your home says “Hey! Let’s go spend money recreationally!”


(In response to Reee Witherspoon's Legally Blonde character's derision that "orange is the new pink."
Do not be afraid; rely instead on U.S. President Obama, who assures us (in reference to House Speaker and faux tan addict Boehner’s ill treatment in DC) that orange is the new BLACK.


Stop sulking over visions of more pink, orange, or whatever, imagining all the home improvements The Good Men at The ABCs of Home Improvement could have done for you instead. Try this:

YOU: “Can I come?”

PARTNER: “Wait, what?”

YOU: “I want to come with you.”

(Here is the part where you get to blow someone’s mind. Ready?)

YOU: “I need stuff from the Dollar Store Hair & Accessories aisle.”

reaction GIF, woman blinking in confusion.
This a good way to get your shopper into a Dollar Store, and also a good way to keep your relationship FULL of surprises. WARNING, though: do NOT laugh. Not only is it essential to good comedy to avoid laughing at your own jokes during delivery, it is essential to survival to avoid laughing at a confused woman.


While You’re Down There…

This is what you want, and why you want it.

Hair ties:

Hair ties (& jaw clips)
Hair ties (& jaw clips)

also known as ponytail holders. These look like rubber bands but are far superior in function. To avoid damaging human hair, which is fragile, they’re coated with fabric – and this vaults them over rubber bands for use in your workshop to corral power cords, holiday lights, or anything you can wrap up lasso-style and turn into an ersatz “ponytail” for storage.


Because PHYSICS: The numbers are NOT in your favor. Nearly infinite ways to tangle; one way NOT. WORST Vegas odds EVER.This is key because PHYSICS: the same reason those earbuds you struggle with are eternally tangled, and why those holiday lights are every season. Physics is basically numbers, like casino slots, and those numbers are NOT in your favor. There are nearly an infinite number of ways for cords to arrange themselves to tangle, versus ONE way for them NOT to tangle. Dollar Store hair tie beats infinity … pretty impressive.

Hair ties come in various sizes, and can be ridiculously expensive outside dollar stores, so stock up.

Jaw Clip, or Hair Claw:

Closeup, giant jaw clip keeping my own badly-designed vacuum cleaner cord in place. (Told ya women know these tips.)
Closeup, giant jaw clip keeping my own badly-designed vacuum cleaner cord in place. (Told ya women know these tips.)


These are named for the way they look: Typically made of plastic, these hinged, levered accessories are basically like a toothy mouth that will ideally sweep up sections of hair and hold them – duh – in its jaw.

These are FANTASTIC for the same reason, but function as a sort of “quick release” cord holder. They also work well in tandem with hair ties, holding together several lightweight but related cords: think phone chargers.

Jaw clips are also good for taming items which are too cumbersome to get a hair tie or rubber band all the way around – for instance, the power cord from a computer monitor that may be affixed to the monitor. Some jaw clips are big enough to catch the cord and the tool.

Most jaw clips, since they’re designed to be decorative, have a place you can hang them from if you want.

Since jaw clips also vary in size – far more widely even than hair ties – get yourself a bunch.

The warning here for you is that these clips are NOT STRONG, so don’t pick them up in the hopes of finding yourself a treasure trove of extra clamps. They’re designed with HAIR in mind. Hair. Fragile, breakable, HAIR.

Fragile: unlike women. (grin.)


* If I wrote it, I believe it, or did at the time, so I’ll woman up to it, but if ever you find a factual error, let me know and I WILL correct it at once, along with a humble apology. ALSO? Feel free to let me know how you feel any old time. 

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