“Do you hate it here yet?” I have a fellow in-mate at the Home Depot who keeps asking me this question and I always answer: “NOOOOOOO! I still love it here!” He thinks I am being sarcastic but I’m not. There are free popsicles in the freezer and sucking one back while flopping down on the leather couch in the break room is the highlight of my day. It doesn’t take much to amuse me. Sometimes when I’m feeling subversive, I put my feet up and hog the whole couch. As I lick my popsicle, I check my Facebook and scroll through all the photos you post sitting on docks at “The Cottage” with your “life is good” caption. I never “like” these photos of yours, not because I am jelly stuck in South Etobicoke in my orange apron slinging out cans of paint and stain, I don’t “like” them because I really feel sorry for you. I know what you are really doing up there, chores galore, admit it, and here’s a pro tip from the ho at Home Depot: You need to power wash your deck and remove all the old flaking shit before you apply a new coating of stain, dumbass. And also before you paint your skanky old cabin, you need to get rid of the mould and mildew with Concrobium, bleach might cost less but it doesn’t do the job, you cheap bitch. And patch that roof up so you won’t have mould in the first place. Okay, I am jelly and do hate you a little bit. I would give anything to come up to your happy little shack in Halifuckingburton or even that creepy trailer in Tweed to apply a layer of Thompson Water Seal on your deck and swim in your murky lake for a day off. My summer has been bullshit this year. I have not been swimming once and I have yet to have any sort of cocktail with Pimm’s in it :(.
However, I may have been breathing in dust for two months but! I have lost weight without trying and I no longer have insomnia! I have been saving money because I am always at work and can’t spend money! It turns out it’s not what you make, it’s what you don’t spend that counts. Who knew?
I have made peace with my lot in life and have even learned a thing or two at the Depot:
1. I have developed a Poker Face. When I first started, I was afraid that people would think I was a fraud because I knew nothing and would run to Paint Jesus for every question a customer had. Seriously what is up with all your convoluted quagmires like: “How do I glue a piece of velvet on porcelain?” “How do I build a cat tree but I don’t want to use nails or staples?” “When I open the can of paint, there are bubbles…is there something wrong with it?” Just when I think there are no more crazy-assed questions, someone comes up with something more insane than the last one so guess what I do now? I MAKE UP AN ANSWER USING LOGIC…who knew I even had any? Don’t want to use staples or nails because your cat’s paws are so delicate, use a tube of No More Nails. It’s glue so the cat will probably be mid-scratch and fall on it’s ass when the carpet rips off the wood but whatevs. Do people even google anything anymore? The bubbles in your paint could be the farts from a drowning rat that got caught in the can at the factory, here’s a complimentary stir stick so you can twirl around and see if there is a rodent corpse in there. And if the porcelain you are going to glue velvet onto is a toilet seat, then better use something waterproof like marine glue. And then tear it off using Goo Gone because that was a really disgusting idea in the first place.
2. I have developed thick skin. Every so often, there is a certain type of man who thinks he is Mr. Handy Plus but is about to embark on a project that is so majorly wrong that when you advise him that it won’t work, he yells and calls you a stupid idiot and could he possibly talk to someone who knows, like Paint Jesus, who for some reason gets twenty dollar bills slipped into the pocket of his apron on a regular basis. Yes, Paint Jesus is hot and knows everything but even I know you can’t put wood stain on pre-primed pressure board trim because it doesn’t even have a grain, for fuck sake, but try telling that to the crazy old Chinese man who screamed at me, insisting a can of Minwax “Mission Oak” was just what he wanted to finish his home improvement project. Go right ahead, sir, Paint Jesus gives you his blessing. “Who gives a fuck?” is actually what he said. You maketh your mess and buy more paint to fix it up. No problem.
3. I have developed a crush. This happens to me in any given situation where I am confined to a place for a lengthy period of time. Even back in the day, when I was in real estate school and stuck going to classes for what seemed like an eternity (but was really only 3 weeks) at that 80s relic hotel “Inn on the Park,” I took a shine to this weirdly elfish looking dude in my quadrant of seating. I liked him because he used to dig in his ears with his pen when he thought people weren’t looking. But I was and I could relate because I have the same ear fetish or affliction depending on how you look at ti. Other than that, he was really kind of revolting in every other way which makes me wonder about myself a little bit. If I was in solitary, I would probably start lusting after a wall spider or the hand that pushes my lunch in my cell. I think I think I develop these crushes as a survival mechanism, it gets me excited to go to work in the morning and slightly more motivated to beautify, especially making sure those eyebrows don’t get too long and curly because that is what happens when I’m not paying attention. Here is how I developed the crush in case you want one too: He said ‘hi” to me while I was squatting in the caulking aisle, fishing for rogue silicone filler. I said “hi’ back. Then I saw him again the next week in the break room, and he walked by me on his way to his locker and said “hi’ and I said “hi’ back. Even though I remember what he was wearing each time and that he had shaving cut on the right side of his neck, I thought nothing of these causal exchanges until I saw him in the men’s washroom, that door is always wide open for some reason, and HE WAS ZIPPING UP HIS FLY and we locked eyes for maybe a half a second longer than appropriate for someone who has just freshly packed away his man meat… aaaaand I was smitten. But! He is a rare sighting and I AM NOT STALKING HIM even though I can’t help but check his schedule because sometimes the binder just flies open to his page and it is hardly ever the same as mine….sigh…..sooooo:
4. I have developed another crush. What can I say, it’s a big place and why confine oneself to one person? When the representative for Behr paints walks into the Depot, it’s like a sex bomb explodes. Some people just have it and it can’t be helped. It’s the power of the Mojo at Home Depot. *SIGH* So what if he’s married? It’s harmless flirtation, so…..
5. I have developed a way to hone my own fading mojo. On any given day, at 7 in the morning, there is a line up of contractors. These men are hung-ray and it is the crack of dawn and they are holding hard hammers, if you know what I mean. This area is located right at the entrance where you have to pass by to go to your department no matter where it is, although if you were a shrinking violet, you could take an annoying detour around building supplies and ignore what is known as the “Morning Wood Runway” altogether. But this is what makes the early shifts worthwhile in my world. You know that Robin Thicke “Blurred Lines” video that everyone was all freaked out over and you had no idea why until you realized there was an unrated vevo.com version and then you watched it 700 times so you could learn a thing or two because you wondered: Why is it there are 3 perfect naked women and only one of them stands out? It’s what I will call the Emily factor, that is the brunette one as if you didn’t already google that. Well I have watched it 700 times and analyzed it so you don’t have to: It is all about eyes and body language. The girl can’t dance worth shit but she has the Power of the Mojo, the other two I couldn’t pick out in a line up 10 seconds after watching the video for the 701st time. What does she do? She struts while she twirls her hair. Try doing that as an old bitch in an orange apron and safety boots but guess what? The impact of a steel toe boot on a concrete floor makes everything shake even without hardly trying.And I already have that OCD hair twirling thing down pat. Work that runway, sister, a lumber yard of morning wood, what more could a ho ask for? Life is good, bitches.