October 8, 2012
My husband loves home improvement stores, and when I say he loves them, I mean it. When we step across the threshold of one of those Do-It-Yourself mega-marts early on a Saturday morning, his eyes light up, his heart rate increases, and he becomes dangerously over-stimulated. The short list of home repair or improvement items we walk in with automatically expands to include all the items required to add another wing onto our house. The guy’s a genius; he could do it, no problem.
He even has a uniform for these outings: a gray sweatshirt, jeans and work boots. You will never see him wear that get-up anywhere else but a home improvement store. It’s really very cute, but I can’t say that to him. It would ruin the effect and purpose of wearing the thing.
Lots of other guys feel the same way about these home improvement playgrounds. You can see it on their faces; they have an entirely different expression and demeanor in one of those stores than they do in a mall, am I right?
I must admit, there are areas of those stores that I find fun and interesting: lighting, kitchens and gardening are three that come to mind right off the bat. But I am perplexed when we go down aisle after aisle packed with nothing but nails and screws, looking for a particular sized nail for a specific job. Is it really necessary to manufacture and stock that many sharp, pointy metal things? If it were left up to a woman, there would be, say, 3 different size nails and the same number of screws. Everything else would just have to conform.
We went into one of these stores this past Saturday, and I wanted to pick up a sink stopper while we were there. A sink stopper – one of those round things that keeps water from draining out of the kitchen sink. There were more than 40 of them; there were more than 40 different kinds, sizes and shapes of sink stoppers. Why? Just looking at all of them gave me a headache. I decided to just forget it and live with a slowly-draining sink. My husband stepped up, read the tiny print on several of the packages, and plucked the proper stopper from its hiding place on the pegboard wall of stoppers.
Oh well. There are worse things to have to worry about in a marriage, I suppose. After all, he has traipsed through the mall, decorating stores and any other place I want to go with a good-natured smile on his face (though nothing like the home improvement smile). It won’t kill me to walk every square inch of his favorite stores every now and then, perusing miles of power tools and dodging big machines that beep when they back up.
Marriage is all about compromise, right?
Carole Townsend is also a Gwinnett Daily Post staff correspondent and author of two books: “Southern Fried White Trash” and her newest, “Red Lipstick and Clean Underwear” (releasing October 15). She is also a regular guest on FOX News Radio station WYXC 1270 AM on Wednesdays during the Drive at 5. Townsend has been quoted on msnbc.com, in the LA Times, USA Today and the Christian Science Monitor, been featured on FOX 5 Television News and CNN, and is often a guest on television and radio shows nationwide. She currently travels throughout the southeast, meeting readers at book signings and speaking publicly at various events.