Grudge Match Round One: Me versus My Project
I went to Home Depot on a Saturday morning, bright and early. I am a loyalist to Home Depot for the simple fact that it’s the store my family always chose and I get such a kick out of their employees, especially on this particular Saturday.
I walked confidentally through their doors and headed straight towards the lumber section- I had smarts, a plan and was fueled with enough coffee and excitement to make an elephant hyper. I had my list of lumber I needed, by way of my smart phone, and got to work looking for my boards. I had to pull plenty of boards off their racks to set on the floor to check for twists, curves, cracks and holes. I welcomed character, but I didn’t want my boards to resemble a canoe.
As I was inspecting boards, I noticed that I was causing a scene. Men of all ages were staring outright at me. I was wearing every piece of random wood, dust and bits in the lumber section, my hair was sticking up in every direction and I was sweating. I didn’t dress as if I was going down the runway, I dressed as if I was going to buy lumber. I figured it out quickly, though, when two distinguishing looking gentlemen in their late 80’s came to a stop right in front of me and one with a jaunty looking hat, took my hand. “It’s so good to see a young lady that can do anything.” He gave me a cheeky smile and off they went. A female, of any age/size/shape dressed in anything from a prom dress to a garbage sack, seemed to not be a common sight in the lumber section. What a shame. Let’s change that, shall we?
This kind of thing happens to me often for some reason and I gave it a couple of more seconds of thought, with a smile on my face, before moving on to wrestle boards off their racks. I stepped back to take a break and look at my list as a very nice employee stopped by to check on me. As I told him that I thought I would need to check for flat boards from a pile that was out of my reach, I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked towards the entrance and saw a guy walking towards my section of the lumber department. His walk was uneven as he stumbled one way, then another and then spotted me, the anomaly in Home Depot, and staggered a zig zagged line towards me.
He stopped before me and muttered something in my direction and waited for my response. This particular guy was either drunk, high or both. I looked at the Home Depot employee who was also staring at the guy and asked, “What did he say?” The Home Depot guy was at a loss as well and Mr. Drunk and High garbled out what he had originally said with more force and waited, impatiently, for my response. I recognized he was getting agitated, but felt comfortable in saying, “I’m so sorry, I can’t understand what you’re saying.” This seemed to anger Mr. Drunk and High and he yelled out, “I said, you look nice today!” No, dear reader, I did not. I headed to Home Depot so excited about starting my project, that I rolled out of bed and straight into my car. I cared more about the coffee in my hand (a necessity) than the condition of my hair style (an un-needed luxury). There was nothing nice about any part of me and I’m not being modest either.
I told Mr. Drunk and High, “Oh! Thank you!” He waited for more and when he realized he wasn’t going to get more, he looked at the Home Depot employee. I looked at the Home Depot employee, as well, because this was so above and beyond his job title and saw the look on his face and recognized it as being “We are a united front- this customer and I- and I won’t let you alienate anyone that is here to buy what they need, much less a woman that tramples the stereotype and buys her own lumber.” Mr. Drunk and High got the message and tottered right back out of the store.
The Home Depot employee turned towards me and said, “He’ll be waiting in the parking lot. When you’re ready to drag this out to your car, get one of us and we’ll watch your back.” I wasn’t a damsel in distress and I was more than capable of loading my own car, and he knew it. Everyone could use a wingman/woman/person, though, and he recognized that anyone could be snuck up on while loading things like lumber into your car.
Three hours into my lumber shopping spree, I loaded my car while an employee looked on for Mr. Drunk and High, who never made an appearance, though I had a good deterrent in the priceless employee that looked on.
Can you see how my simple project grew from an easy weekend project into a weekend eating monster?!
Stick around for round two of my grudge match against my project…