Girls Build Too Ya Know

This is going to sound a little ranty, but here is a real conversation from the lumber aisle at Lowe’s today between a middle aged man and myself. We’re going to call him Douchey McGee:

*setting the scene: Girl in sundress and pixie haircut sorting through 1×6’s in the lumber aisle with a big blue metal cart. Man eyeballs her from 10 feet away*

DMG: Hey there, little lady, whatcha building, huh?
Killer b: I’m building a trundle coffee table.
DMG: Oh, yeah? You build it all yourself, do you? *condescending tone here*
Kb: Yeah, I sell them. This is the third one I’ll build this week.
DMG: What? Really? Wait a minute, you’re telling me you use a table saw and stuff?
Kb: *rolls eyes* Why would I use a table saw to make short straight cuts? I use my compound miter saw for that, and a jigsaw to notch out the handles.
DMG: *incredulous* So you use saws? What do you put it together with, a hammer and nails?! *chuckles*
Kb: No, I use my Kreg Jig to make pocket holes for the self-tapping square-head screws. It gives me a tighter join on the planking and a more solid construction. But I use finishing nails and my nail gun for the trim.
DMG: *somewhat believing me now* So what do you sell these things for? You making good money? *what a tacky question right?*
Kb: $150 each. And I have an order for two more next week. If you don’t mind, I’ve got a lot of lumber to get and a busy day of building ahead of me… *walks off*

Ugh! Seriously, he called me LITTLE LADY. I should have told him I also have a reciprocating saw and I know just where he can shove it. I know women aren’t a huge presence in the carpentry scene yet, but we’re still out there. And even if you need an extra hand from your husband now and then, it doesn’t mean you’re weak or helpless. I have a brain too, and it works just fine, thankyouverymuch. You don’t own the Lowe’s lumber aisle buddy. And while I appreciate the offers for help, lately it seems like I get at least 4 reps per trip asking me if I need help choosing my lumber and loading the cart. Even when I decline several times, they keep giving me the side eye, like they’re thinking, “Like this chick knows anything about wood…” Here’s what I built this week, all by my lonesome:

A surfboard kids table with two stools, waiting to be painted. I’d like to mention that it has splay legs from a double bevel construction that I cut with the miter saw. I figured that shizz out myself, DMG. I’m going to donate it to a charity auction for Boxer Rescue in Austin, here’s hoping it saves some pups!

A trundle coffee table for Nurse Friend Sam (should I just call her Sam now? Can I lose the prefix?) She needed a better toy storage solution and knew just who to call. I didn’t get a chance to snap a finished pic, but I stained it a really pretty walnut color and added button plugs to the top. It’s snazzy. I also finished a new console plan from Ana that needs to be painted and photographed here soon. And then the hubs tag teamed with me to finish a table for Nurse Friend Pam (separate from Sam! ) that I need to deliver next week. Anyway, you guys aren’t the ones I need to justify anything to. I just get so frustrated when men look at me like I’m nuts because I use a saw. Maybe if I wore a bikini while I built they wouldn’t have any problems? Whatever. I’ve become buddies with the nice woman at the lumber checkout who gets a kick out of asking me what I’m building this time. And she always smiles at Charlie and asks about her when I’m alone. That makes up for all the Douchey McGees crowding the “man section”!


7 thoughts on “Girls Build Too Ya Know

  1. Lol, love it Brooke! Some people are so closed minded, you should seriously dress as girly as possible every time you go in there just to throw them off…bunch of dummies. Just because you don’t dress butch or just because you’re a girl doesn’t mean you don’t know what you’re talking about. I use to have people treat me like that when I worked with my dad. By the way I totally need to buy one of those coffee tables from you, but not quite ready for it yet!

  2. I will admit to not having a table saw, So a little flirting with the young lowes worker gets me very precise cuts everytime. I give in to the “girl in the lumber aisle” to Get him to actually pay attention to ripping a sheet of plywood. I always look for the same kid, never the crotchy old men that are there, because I have found they couldnt care less. I’ve actually stalled building a project so I can get my lumber kid. Should I be ashamed?

    1. Definitely not! There’s nothing wrong with getting some cutting help. My issue came from the fact that his attitude was, “You have no idea what you’re doing, you silly little woman!” You know? Does the cutting man grill you about your know-how? No! He’s just helpful and nice. And I totally understand the need to flirt to get a little more attention to detail when cutting! They’re notoriously horrible about accurate cuts

  3. Wow. . . just wow. . . There aren’t a whole lot of words for that one, except RUDE. I cannot believe he said that. Talk about bad customer service. That’s just awful. “Little lady”? Who does Douchey think he is?!

    Anyway, that trundle coffee table you made is legit. It looks perfect. I am super impressed.

    On an unrelated note, I used your freezer paper trick to decorate onesies for a friend and it turned out amazing. Thanks again for the great idea.

    1. Let me clarify: this wasn’t a Lowe’s employee, it was just some regular Joe Blow customer who felt like hassling someone he felt shouldn’t be there. I’m very impressed with how helpful the orange and blue associates are, and even though I do get a little exasperated after the fourth offer to help me with my lumber, I’m glad they still offer. And hooray for onesie presents! I’m glad it worked well for you too

  4. When I moved my belongings out of a tiny store room into the house I bought, the movers could not do so till I cut the lock off. My sis lost the key while I was deployed to Kuwait. So I went to Home Depot to buy bolt cutters. I got the biggest one I could find. What a sight I was TROMPING angrily from the back, to the cash register with these giant bold cutters slung over my shoulder. “So little lady, what do you have planned for those?” Nervously asked by the male employee. Me…”Well after I cut off the hands of the person that lost my keys, I will then cut the pad lock off my store room.

  5. Good for you. I totally know what you mean by surprising people when you want to buy wood for a build. I even caught my husband off guard. Although when I finished my first Anna White project (super simple photo ledges), he was my biggest support. I still don’t own a saw so I too need to get the lumber guy to make exact cuts but I find Hubby is good at that as he gets taken more seriously by our local grumpy cut man. I’m currently working on 2 tables on my balcony if only my neighbors didn’t yell at me for using the electric sander on holidays I would be done by now.

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