I’ve always held people who claim to be “handy” in very high esteem.

Handy, in truth, is a pretty vague term. Regardless, when you’re at a backyard barbecue and someone says, “My husband is really handy,” it elicits murmers of approval. A few raised eyebrows. People are impressed, secretly envious.

If you are handy, you can hang a door, fix the drippy faucet, lay a brick sidewalk. Handy people ought to be at the top of the food chain. Either you’re handy, or you get really handy at writing checks — to people who actually are handy.

I really want to be handy. I want to be wildly handy. Naturally handy.

To that end, I bought a hose at Target last fall. Oh, yeah, I thought … I am so smart. End of season? Check. Hose on sale? Check. Splurged on a sprayer? Check. I will be so ready for spring.

I bought this beautiful, tightly coiled hose, a snakeskin, copper-colored hose, and smugly placed it in my garage. Bring on spring, I thought. I’ve got myself a hose. Handy people always have a good, solid hose on hand. That’s me.

Spring is here, and with it the time to hose — screens, gardens, bird poop on the car. Things that really handy people do. I’ve got that covered, because … I got a hose. (See above.) No sweat.

That beautiful, copper-colored hose has been in residence in my garage all winter.

I cut off the strapping tapes keeping that hose coiled, those strong plastic loops one might use to, say, haul a piano to the third floor. The strapping is substantial; clearly they spared no expense in packaging my new hose.

But wait, gee-whiz, this hose has some body to it. Some real fight. Some downright vigor. I can barely uncoil my shiny new hose. It is really clenched tight in its determination to remain … coiled. Tight, like it-won’t-let-go tight. Huh. I’ve got one end of the hose, thinking I … can … do … this … but now I am flailing about my backyard as if attached to the tail of a feisty, angry dragon.

I am body-slammed to the pavement as my hose and I disagree. I remain unfazed; at this point, I am sweating, drenched in sweat really, and the hose has barely come undone.

I, on the other hand, am completely undone. I am swearing — loudly — and I mutter profanities through gritted teeth as my hose and I do battle.

This is a hose, for God’s sake. It’s empty, hollow, never-been-wet, and I feel like the last kid on the string of ice skaters playing whip-it.

My fury boils, but the hose remains coiled, tight as a drum. This hose has brawn, this hose has a mind and spirit. No wonder the damn thing was on sale; it was meant to be bought by Spartacus.

Tears collect in the corners of both eyes. I have split open the skin on my collar bone. How the heck did I do that? The pain is so piercing if feels as if I’ve somehow broken my collar bone. (Is that possible?) There is blood on my shirt, for crying out loud. Did this hose perhaps bite me? Do I call for backup? Are the neighbors watching?

I manage to stretch the hose out on my lawn. The lawn is divoted, the gleaming, copper mess-of-a-hose only slightly elongated.

I am bleeding, but water does in fact come through my boa-of-a-hose. I am able to water some flowers that are all of about 3 feet from the spigot.

I may have won the battle, but not the war. Surely there must be rain in the forecast.

Unfettered, I bandage my broken neck, make some lunch and think that next weekend, maybe I’ll install an air conditioner. Can handiness be learned?

Peg Keyser Thompson is a resident of South Portland.