Edith Adams pages – July 14, 1954

By Edith Adams

July 14, 1954

There’s one drawback to this “do it yourself” craze that has the nation’s home owners painting, paperhanging and building furniture – it’s hard on the wife of the man who has no affinity for the hammer, but who has no intention of being outdone by his handyman neighbours.

Mama suggests that the outside of the house needs painting, and she thinks she ought to get that Mr. Smith who painted it last time, the one who was so neat and didn’t paint the glass of the windows along with the trim.

But papa yells “Nonsense! I can paint it myself. Jim painted his house in three weeks and, if he can do it, I can. Think of the money we’ll save.”


So papa buys ladders, brushes, coveralls, buckets, paint brush cleaner, canvas – all the equipment of a professional – and starts gaily to work. That is, the first day is gay; after that it’s grim going, and it gets grimmer as the job goes on and on.

By the time he finally gets around to where he started, mama is convinced the first paint is going to be so beaten it won’t match the last.

Our unhandy papa decides to patch the roof in his spare time – a good idea until he falls off and breaks an arm. Then mama has to nurse him back to health and wait until he is back at work to quietly call in the roofing man she wanted to get in the first place.

But the more usual outcome when the businessman gets delusions about being a handyman is that he just vetoes hiring a pro, saying that he’ll take care of it just as soon as he ‘gets time.’


Meanwhile, he finds time for golf, fishing, puttering, but not time for the job it would be silly to hire for.

If mama keeps after him, she’s nagging. So she waits for the “do-it-yourself” craze to wear off.

Meanwhile, she fondly remembers the good old days when, if she wanted a job done, she called a man in the business to do it. Those dear old days before ‘Do-it-yourself.’

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