Where’s the fun in buying DIY tools?

Handy man: Nick Knowles.
Handy man: Nick Knowles.
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It is fair to say I know very little about power tools.

Though I do know this: they make the dullest, most boring of gifts.

I was going to add “known to man” but that just wouldn’t be true, seeing as Bloke has just pleaded for a new drill for his birthday.

I fought valiantly against this; because buying your man DIY kit feels like a cop-out. It’s just not romantic; not in any sense. Plus it wouldn’t be a surprise, which all birthday presents should be. And neither would it require more than a smidgen of time and effort on my part. No great gift was ever bought in less than a day.

Plus this practical, and very specific, purchase would not only be robbing me of 84 quid, but also of many hours of enjoyable deliberating. For women, present-buying is a pleasure, not a chore.

We like all that mooching around shops in search of the absolutely just right thing the recipient never even realised they’d love to possess.

But then I got this email from him: “Just found the perfect drill on B+Q website - it’s on offer at £84 - was £150...” Even in electronic form, his excitement was palpable.

Hell’s bells, I thought; what have I married? A wannabe Nick Knowles?

I made up my mind to have a drill debate when we got home. After Corrie, I said: “So why do you want it?”

“To drill holes with,” he replied. Honest to God, that’s what he said. Why do men always take things so literally?

Patiently, I pointed out he already has one and it does, in actual fact, drill holes.

“But it’s old and it takes ages,” he whined. Call me saintly, but I refrained from the “just like its owner” volley.

“The new one is cordless; I could take it down the allotment and make a bench for the greenhouse,” he said, eyes all a-gleam. “Plus I can use it as a screwdriver...”

So I gave in. Clearly, it was futile to argue in favour of romance with a man who is yearning to build a bench.

Plus, I realised it’s the giving of a DIY power tool that feels rubbish, not the receiving of (so long as it’s what a man has truly set his sights on).

The whole wants versus needs thing; how it differs across the sexes. Women convince themselves - and anyone within earshot - that the things they want are actually needed (like a shearling coat or another cashmere sweater), whereas men just want what they need.

They sit on the loo, ploughing through Screwfix catalogues looking for useful new things to need, but see something like another pair of shoes when they already have three as utterly undesirable.

And so it was that he placed the order and I was sent off to get it. We could have gone together, but that would have spoiled the surprise, apparently.

At B&Q I asked the man behind the counter for the powerless drill my husband had reserved, only realising my faux pas when he tried to hide a snigger behind a dry, tickly cough.

And come Thursday, Bloke will be sitting up in bed, excitedly tearing the wrapping off his new Bosch cordless and hoping that the little extra I insisted I wanted to get for him as a surprise turns out to be a set of drill bits.