Date night at Home Depot

Remember when you were first dating, you’d go out for a romantic dinner with candlelight, cloth napkins, unchipped plates and sturdy silverware? Spending hours just chatting and then afterwards, seeing a movie or going for a walk along a pier with an ice cream in hand, or maybe going to an outdoor concert for some good music and holding of hands? Maybe even taking a trip to Niagara Falls and finding yourselves under a gazebo next to the falls where you’d make out under the mist? Or maybe sitting on a grassy hill in a beautiful park where you’d make out under a gorgeous sunset?

And not for a nanosecond did the option of going to a home repair superstore ever pop into either of your heads when you tossed about answers to “What do you want to do tonight?”

Funny how things change, isn’t it? Because now, Nate and I will catch a greasy burger on the fly at Bill Gray’s and then, more often than not, wind up in the aisles of Home Depot and let me tell you, nothing screams romance louder than X-GROOVED, INSULATED, SANDED-TOP, SUB FLOORING ON SALE TODAY ONLY! Whew, just saying the words gets me all hot and bothered.

To be fair, we did try to act as if we were still on a date when we first started frequenting Home Depot. We’d hold hands, stroll leisurely through the paint and flooring sections, pointing out things we’d like to try in our own house when we married. We would read the item descriptions together and actually discuss the pros and cons of whatever home decorating decision we were struggling with at the time. We had conversations with words and everything.

But inevitably, the charm of being surrounded by compound miter saws, drywall and Quikrete quickly wears off and you realize that they could pump that place full of edible panties and Viagra and it won’t matter. The magic is gone, long gone and all you’re left with is the smell of sawdust and offers of $500 mail-in rebates in aisle ten for a limited time only so HURRY UP AND GET THERE ALREADY.

These days, Nate practically skips into Home Depot. I follow at a slug’s pace, reading the plethora of signs and advertisements, wondering whether I can fill out an application for the sole purpose of taking a drug test because that would take up some of the “just five minutes” destined to turn into two hours. But it turns out they don’t give drug tests willy nilly to just anyone so I’m out of luck. And hungry. And then it dawns on me that Home Depot could really widen its customer base by offering a dessert bar.

Because Nate automatically develops tunnel vision upon walking through the doors of Home Depot, he is immediately immersed in what I’m sure is a fascinating mental discussion of the benefits of 1-5/8 inch drywall screws as opposed to 1-1/4 inch drywall screws. I am left to wander around aimlessly and without purpose.

Sometimes I wind up in the paint department where I pretend that I live in a world where I actually have a say in the colors we choose for our walls (if this makes no sense, see my PEACH BLOSSOM MIST post). I pick a dozen or so paint swatches and create wonderfully colorful schemes that will never see the light of day in our house. Then I get sad and depressed, crumple up my paint swatches and continue my pointless meandering.

On one such meander, I found myself in the flooring section and came across some very plain, bare, white twelve inch ceramic tiles. They looked so lonely sitting there amongst all the colorfully decorated smaller tiles. I felt an immediate kinship with them, having spent more than my fair share of time as one of “those” moms who watches her daughter’s gymnastics while attired in a bulky sweatshirt, dirty sneakers and no make-up, while sitting next to one of “those” moms with trendy flipped-up hair, smart leather jacket, high heel boots and a french manicure. My heart went out to those lonely twelve inch tiles and I experienced an “I AM NOT AN ANIMAL, I AM A HUMAN BEING” epiphany, grabbed those tiles up and headed to the checkout where I met up with Nate who, though he’ll deny it, had completely forgotten that I had come with him.

At home, I went to work. I created my designs in photoshop, had them printed, trimmed them and then battled fiercely with Mod Podge, a battle I ultimately won but not before I had cried buckets and doubted my self worth. After I reached what I thought was the end of my journey, I leaned my tiles up against our walls to admire my handiwork. I dragged Nate from his beloved TV to show him and he stared at them for a minute before asking what purpose they served. Out of sheer frustration, I yelled “THEY’RE ART – THEY DON’T HAVE TO SERVE A PURPOSE – HENCE, THEY’RE ART” and proceeded to move them around to show their versatility. Upon moving one of the tiles, we immediately noticed that our walls looked as if we had locked a rabid cat in the room that had scratched her claws down to the nub trying to escape. Apparently, the naked backs of the tiles did not play nicely with our freshly painted walls and after Nate turned all shades of purple but before he had an actual heart attack, I ran out to the fabric store, picked up some felt, covered those naked backs and thereby saved Nate’s life, and that of my tiles, in one fell swoop.

And these are the fruits of my labors:

And because I had tiles and creative juices left over, I decided to make some more, taking full advantage of the free time I had since I had decided that doing laundry and going grocery shopping just wasn’t fun anymore. And you know, you can never have enough altered twelve inch tiles, a fact that I keep trying to drill into Nate’s head, but he won’t listen to me anymore:

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with these, but I like looking at them. They make me think of possibilities, of creating something out of nothing, of making that proverbial lemonade out of lemons.

If this inspiration lasts, I’m thinking date night at Home Depot won’t be such a bad thing after all.

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24 thoughts on “Date night at Home Depot”

  1. Avatar

    Those are FREAKING awesome!! Thanks for sharing the pictures because it’s percolating in my head that I should try something fun . . . but then I remember I don’t do crafts that don’t involve an undo button. But, man, I wish I did. Because I’d SO be copying your idea!

    And our date night? Ikea. Looking for shelving. For the bathroom. Hot and romantic it’s not! LOL

  2. Avatar

    Our date morning? (Hey, the kids are in school! Free babysitting!) Grocery shopping. Followed by watching shows off the DVR. Very romantic. 😉

    I love the tiles! I especially like the 2nd set. I have been feeling a little hybrid lately, so I might attempt this, sooner or later!

    Have a great day!

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    LOL your Date night story is so funny and recognizable.. date night here would be behind our computers chatting while in the same room and sometimes even on the same couch 😉

    LOVE your art pieces, they are gorgeous!!!

  4. Avatar

    Wow, oh wow! I LOVE your tiles!!!! I want to do that too! I love the Blah, Blah, Blah ones!

    I often find myself spending our “dates” in the isles of Home Depot as well! Now, I generally don’t mind going since I’m all about dreaming up big projects for the house that would never get finished in a million years, but after a while it becomes just another trip to the hardware store. Of course, now that they have their patio furniture in stock, I like to grab a few garden books off the shelf and curl up on one of the outdoor sofas for a good read while Jason spends hours aimlessly walking through the store. 🙂

  5. Avatar

    Great story and I love what you did with the tiles!

    Home Depot, Coastal Farm, Barnes and Noble – before kids I used to be able to spend hours just wandering the isles…. and I’m the one drooling over the power tools, not my very unhandy hubby. 🙂

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    LOL! Gotta luv the HD!! Sad thing is we don’t get “date night” there! Kids are still in tow…sitting on all the riding lawnmowers in turn and asking if they can actually USE the toilets that are out on display! 😀 and btw…you KNOW how much I love those tiles!!!!!! umm….My b-day is in Sept.!;)

  7. Avatar

    For some reason, your pics weren’t showing. Wanted to see those lovely tiles!!

    Anyway, take him to the femal Home Depot. You know, one of those pottery, craft stores and just skip your life away in there. hehehe

  8. Avatar

    Those tiles are fantastic! My DH and I go over to Lowe’s where I point out to him where to park, depending on what we are going in to peruse. I’m happy to walk all of the aisles and try to come up with some scheme I can’t afford. I usually do this in no make up and a sweatshirt, but since we have moved into summer I can switch to my old, paint-spattered, t-shirts!:) WOO HOO!

    Such a fun post! Thanks for the laugh and inspiration! 🙂

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    Love the tiles! Makes me want to get PS even more… not that I would know how to use the program if I did get it though lol. Might have to try it out at the local college 😛

  10. Avatar

    Look at you! All inspired in Home Depot. I’m going to have to show my sister what you made out of their boring old tiles. LOL (She works there) Those are gorgeous~!

  11. Avatar

    Your post had me smiling! Love your blog and those tiles are AWESOME!! I am thinking a trip to home depot sounds good about now, lol. Thanks for sharing them and inspiring me!

  12. Avatar

    What a great post! So enjoyable and I certainly can relate – however, our visits to HD still entail kids in tow and my DH always has to pick wood scraps out of the trash bin at HD (right near the cutting saw inside) – he did get a nice big piece of plywood the last time we were there from the trash, that I’m sure he’ll remind me about the fact it was FREE when he finds a good use for it – but seriously it makes me cringe when his first destination at HD is their scrap pile!!

    I love your tiles – they are way cool!

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    Love the tiles, they are definitely ART! Particularly love blah, blah, blah. I’m the one who loves the home improvement store here, always lookiing out for weird things like mini gears and tiny fuses to use on my mixed media stuff and THEN the bonus of finding rusty metal stuff like squashed bottlecaps in the carpark….oh man….orgasmic!!! lol

  14. Avatar

    Great story!! Send it in to the New Yorker Magazine!! Love the tiles. They are beautiful! Doesn’t the “blah,blah,blah represent what our husbands hear when we speak to them?!

  15. Avatar

    LOL! I could have written this! when we were remodeling our house, we’d stop by home depot on the way to a party or event (all dressed up). Love, love the tiles!

  16. Avatar

    Love the tiles and the story. Dh and I spend a lot of time in Home Depot, we have a whole house to remodel since we had a few sparce years and didnt do any upgrading. I love crafting but live in a house full of guys and their eyes glaze over and roll back in their heads when I try to “share.” Cran’t wait to see more of your creations.

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