Thursday, December 20, 2012

Where The Guys Are

Let's take a break from madmen and guns and horrific tragedy today, shall we?  Let's discuss something utterly inconsequential -- say, our current home renovation.

Devoted readers (if there are indeed any of you out there) will recall that Larry, seized by the desire to make our holiday season as challenging as possible, ripped all the walls out of the den on our main floor - the den that is connected to the living room by a wide archway and is therefore visible to anyone on the main floor of our lovely townhome.

All. The. Walls.

So here we are, three weeks later, and I will admit that Larry has performed admirably.  The electrician has come and gone, having installed a ceiling fan and the ungodly number of electrical outlets that any household needs nowadays.  The handyman is at our house putting the finishing touches on the drywall and the trim.  Trim, it seems, includes things like baseboards - you know, those white strips of wood that run along the bottom of the walls that you never even notice until you own a home?

There are many, many different types of baseboards, people.  And Larry brought home what, in my opinion, were the wrong ones.  So, there I was, standing in the unfinished den with a handyman who was threatening not to come back until Larry and I resolved our baseboard differences.  In a fit of desperation, I promised him that I would go get the baseboards and the trim for the fireplace myself, while he finished patching the walls.  "I'll be right back," I said, grabbing my purse and Susie and heading for the car.  "Don't leave!"

That's how I came to find myself standing in the middle of the wood trim aisle of Home Depot, dressed stylishly in my cherry red wool coat and chic Danskos, staring at stacks of quarter-round while my 7-year-old did her best to injure herself on the weird-looking cart I had dragged in from outside the store.  What had the handyman said he needed for the fireplace?  2 six-foot pieces and one 8-foot piece?  I gamely grabbed a huge stick and attempted to measure it against the ruler thing plastered on a column.  Only, I was too short to read the darn thing.  Twelve feet?  Was that the same as 2 6-foot pieces?  I voiced this question aloud to a fellow customer who had drawn near with a justifiably concerned look on his face.

"Well, ma'am," he said, "You might have some trouble fitting that in your car."

It's NOTHING like Joanne Fabrics.  NOTHING.
Oh.  Oh, yeah.  "Of course!" I said and dragged the behemoth over to what looked like a cutting table in the middle of the aisle.  Funny, but it didn't look like the cutting tables I'm used to seeing at the fabric store.  The ones at Joanne's definitely don't have saws.  No matter.  I hoisted the stick up there and tried to determine how to measure it for the cut.  Mr. Concerned Customer approached me once again and said, "Can I help you with that?"

At which point, ladies and gents, I just gave up.  Putting my pride in my pocket, I said, "Yes.  Or else, I could just keep on pretending I know what I'm doing."

At least he had the grace to laugh.  After cutting my pieces of quarter-round and watching me stow them (incorrectly) on the weird cart, he asked, "Do you need any more help?"

"Oh, no," I said airily. "Thank you very much. I'm just heading over to the lumber aisle to pick up some wood for baseboards."  Really - I'm so much better at baseboards than quarter-round.  I'm a flipping expert at baseboards.

My savior followed me (discreetly) to the other aisle and helped me find the 1x5 planks I needed (no mean feat), waited patiently while I called an obviously irritated handyman on the phone to check some details, and demonstrated how to sight the length of the boards to make sure they were straight.  He then loaded them - correctly - onto the cart, and I thanked him.  Repeatedly.

I'd like to announce that I DID manage to check out all by myself.  And the baseboards look great.  MUCH better than the ones my house-wrecking spouse selected.  But my main point here is this - all you single ladies looking for pleasant, competent guys with a sense of humor?  I've got a great place for you to hang out.


  1. I don't now about single guys in Home Depot, but next time you go there, please remind SubHub that he has family and that supper is ready. Yes, I am sure he will be there, in electric tools isle. Thank you in advance ;)

  2. I'll admit it, even if the feminist sisterhood gives me the side eye: what I miss most about marriage is having someone else do most of the driving and all of the Lowe's shopping trips. I usually leave Lowe's cloaked in failure.

  3. I actually have a friend that met a guy at Home Depot and then went on several dates with him lol.

  4. I am so glad you posted about this. I need to get my mind off other topics.

    Home renovation is anything but inconsequential. Bravo to you for obtaining the baseboards. We had an addition built onto our house and the carpenter picked out the awfullest windowsills ever. If the men are going to be the ones who work with the wood, they need to develop a better decorative wood picker talent.

  5. You know, that sounds a lot like my experiences at HD. They are super helpful there.
    On trim, just thank your stars that you don't have to install a bannister--newels, posts, gah!

    1. Does EVERYONE's newel post wobble? 'Cause EVERYONE'S kids swing around that baby when they hit the bottom of the stairs...

  6. I get hubby to write a detailed list. Sometimes he even gets to go with me to the store. He is not allowed there with out a responsible grownup. Come to think of it, he is not allowed in Microcenter with out me, either...

  7. The baseboards and other trim in our house were OBVIOUSLY selected by someone who never worried about dusting. Because they gather dust like it was a fashion statemetn.
    Plus they were a pain in the butt to paint.
    That is all.

  8. Heading to Home Depot right now, forget!

    And I just had to laugh out loud at, "Well, ma'am," he said, "You might have some trouble fitting that in your car."

    Is there a chance this room will be ready for Christmas?

    1. It all depends on how quickly the paint color debate is resolved. It's like the fiscal cliff negotiations, only with more at stake. So, the odds are not good...

  9. Green Girl- I totally feel your pain on stairs...

    And I have to admit that I laughed out loud at your attempt to measure the boards. Usually, the length is on the tag on the outside of the bin the wood is in. And I can testify that if you're willing to drive with wood resting on the dash and stretching back between the seats, that the Saturn compact station wagon and Nissan Versa hatchback will both accomodate 8 foot long board. But no longer!

    1. No, it was the quarter-round that comes in 12-ft strips that you can cut to the desired length. I fit the 8-ft boards all right in my Toyota Sienna. 12 feet would have been harder to manage, particularly with a child in the car.

    2. I can get 12 ft long sheets of drywall in my 15 passenger van. Just have to encourage my sons to pull the seats out and put them on the front porch. Of course, I can not lift them easily, so usually get 8 ft pieces.

  10. Oh, I'd have helped you! I love having an excuse to use the weird little cutting station, although the saw is usually dull. In our first house we ended up installing ALL the baseboards ourselves. That's the problem with building violins. It's really hard to opt out of certain jobs because if you can build a violin, surely you can [insert home project involving wood 'here'].

    Looking forward to pictures of the finished work.

  11. I dunno -- our Home Depot usually caters to contractors and won't talk to *ahem* females. I live for LOWES. They like me there...

  12. I've never gotten that kind of help at Home Depot. I must need Danskos.

  13. "Customer assistance needed at the cutting table." I hate home improvement stores. It's like they expect the women to stay with the light fixtures and curtains and only men are welcome on the lumber aisle.



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