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.