If the industrial revolution had been up to me, you’d all still be behind a plow. And I don’t mean a motorized one. I’d have been the one saying things like, “Look, if we were meant to be able to grind wheat faster, then the oxen would have longer legs!” Yep. I’m the one on the airplane trapped in my own silent scream during take-off and landing. I think it’s silent.
But I am a practical coward. I drive an automobile because it is time efficient. This must be what pulled a lot of people like me through the whole shock of industrialization. Also, I don’t mind if others use all those machines to make me things to make my life more pleasant. I love my electric sewing machine and my computer. I just would never make a good factory worker. All the noises and mechanized movements would probably send me pathetically huddled to a closet. Or I would run, startled, from one machine to the other and finally fall into a vat.
That’s why it is such a huge step for me to be in my husband’s shop at all. Every time he starts up a saw or drill, I stop breathing for a few seconds and all my muscles tense. I’ve tried to attribute it to my “musical sensibilities,” but I think it’s really the feeling that monsters are coming to life and I don’t know how to control them.
When I needed to help work on irrigation plumbing – part one – (follow links to the D&B Supply blog to read more about it) this summer, I opted for hand tools. It was stressful enough to know that I would be crawling into a muddy hole for the second part of the project. I didn’t need the added emotional trauma of whirring saw blades. Fortunately, some industrial genius invented PVC pipe, which is easier for the average helpless female to work with. Now, we have working irrigation pipes again and I have close to the same mental stability that I had before I started working on it, for what it’s worth.