DEAR READERS: I received a deluge of mail in response to the upset woman with serious carpentry skills who had been called things like "cute," and then dumped by guys who couldn't take it that she could outswing them with a hammer. She asked primarily for men to respond to a question on how they really feel about a female builder. Here are the best examples of the answers -- the first three from men, and the second from a woman. (Ms. DIY even got a job offer!)
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Cute? Red Flag! For any guy to call the DIY woman who has devoted so much effort and passion to developing carpentry skills "cute" is demeaning. Would we say that about men who are expert cooks, designers or who work in any number of other professions? She deserves nothing less than a man who's bursting with pride about her talent, as I imagine is the case with her father. I can't guarantee results, but I'd seriously suggest that she relocate from Transcona to Wolseley, buy an old house, get busy renovating it and meet the locals. It's one community where people tend to see beyond outdated gender roles, and there certainly are others like it in Winnipeg. Good luck, and don't compromise. -- Male Enthusiast, Wolseley
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This is regarding the "DIY Builder" I don't think that DIY Builder needs to change for anybody, I think that it is awesome if she can build or fix anything on her own. Whoever she dates -- they should appreciate that she can do all that building and fixing. -- Feel the Funk, Winnipeg
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I read your column this morning about the handy woman. If you have a way of getting hold of her could you please let her know that we might be interested in hiring her if she is looking for a job. We are always looking for young people, as our industry is quickly aging. You can view our website below and see what it is we do. If you could pass on the information, that would be great. Thank you so much. Visit our website at www.qdimillwork.com -- Bill Wagar, President Quality Design Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: The woman with the carpentry skills should be told about Habitat for Humanity's "Women Build." If she volunteered with them she would meet other women with DIY and carpentry skills, so she wouldn't feel so unusual. Perhaps her new friends would introduce her to a better social network. To get involved and learn more about Women Build, please contact at 235-2400 or email@example.com -- Hot Hint, Winnipeg
Dear Readers: Now for Miss L.'s own never-to-be-humble opinion. Go after your building passion in the biggest way possible and you will rub shoulders with many good men who will be proud to know you and sincerely admire your skills and not be intimidated. The best way to find a great partnership is through mutual admiration, support and shared passion. If this isn't your life work at the moment, at least buy a patch of land and build yourself a fantasy cabin. There is nothing like an imaginative building project to attract other passionate builders.
Questions or comments? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send letters c/o Miss Lonelyhearts, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6