7 Life Lessons From an Old Ho in an Orange Bib


I put customers first, don’t you know. I am so sorry to have neglected my interwebz friends this summer as I have been too busy WITH MY PART-TIME JOB WITH FULL-TIME SLAVE HOURS dispensing paint and arguing with your Polish grandpa why he shouldn’t stain his brand new pressure treated deck UNTIL NEXT YEAR when the enviro-urine otherwise known as acid rain has time to literally eat away the factory coating of the cancer-causing-Erin-Brockovitch-style-lawsuit-waiting-to-happen factory residue that makes the wood so green and fresh looking. And yes, I understand he could be dead by then, but so could we all in this perilous world, accidents happen, any time anywhere. He’s so cute though, your grandpa Dziadzia, I love old people very so much, they are so sweet like children in a way, they just say what they want to say but! he is a such stubborn asshole that I want to throw a 5 gallon pail of Deckover on his head when he dismisses me in this manner: “Let me speak to a MAN who knowsss what he eez doingk.” Whatevs, Mr. Manski, I have been staining pressure treated wood every fucking summer on my parent’s fence since I was a tomboy growing up on Walton”s Mountain IN THE 19-MOTHERFUCKING-70s, but I will find you another sales associate with a penis who will placate your infantile histrionics with his magic wiener wand.

I actually enjoy my job but sometimes you customers are a bunch of savages, take a number and stand in line, what part of “waiting your turn” did you miss in nursery school? After 3 months of listening to your never-ending stories of how your paint just “spontaneously peeled off your walls” and heads up: it’s because you are a dumb fuckwit who will watch cat videos on youtube all day in your office cubicle but don’t have the wherewithal to google: “how to paint,” Oh no, that would be too boring for you with your busy life making your “hard-earned” money. There is a special place in hell for you, and that is picking out paint chips for your Polish grandma’s laundry room in FIFTY FUCKING MILLION SHADES OF BEIGE. Christ on a stick, Babcia, “griege dreams” looks exactly like “oyster puree” which is also indistinguishable to the naked eye to the colour of depression if it was manifested into a tint by Pantone.

Customer shmustomer, I put my hookers first. The one thing I truly love about going to work is seeing my posse, those that work on the Home Depot front, they are the true heroes, not you with your hodgepodge shopping list which includes that “thing on youtube that comes in a spray can and is supposed to repel water” and your fantasies of DIY home repair that include a happy ending because you saw it in a porno movie back in the day when plumbers were Lotharios before the internet nipped narrative structure in the bud, thank gods for that, I’m just saying. My little orange HD family is what keeps me going back. Yes, we are a dysfunctional lot and talk trash behind each other backs, who needs meds for OCD and whatnot, but really at the end of the day we support each other because we have one common enemy and that’s you, your Polish grandparents, and upper management of course.

There’s a lot of young people working at “The Deep.” Sometimes I feel like a den mother to them, I love them all as though they were my own spawn, even that really weird kid with the overbite who kind of just stands, swaying, in front of the pro desk wearing an non-regulation orange vest although I’m seriously beginning think just pretends to work there. And he eats all the brownies in the break room. When people say that young people these days are lazyass hoodlums, they need to come by the HD and see these kids hauling their pants to the ground asses to work at 6 a.m to until 11 a.m. I would be very proud if I were their parents. My kids are good, don’t get me wrong, but they would be nonplussed to get up at 5 in the morning, I would probably have to bribe them with money because donuts don’t work anymore.

Anyway I embrace my little orange chitluns as my own, I want them to nestle under my soft downy wing and pass on my motherly advice to them all. I know people will make mistakes no matter what, but I want them to know they are not alone and I am there to lend an ear. Here is a list because that’s how I do things on this blog:

1. Don’t sweat it, you will make lots of placenta in the future! Random, I know, but one day in the summer one of my favourite girls asked me what childbirth was like, maybe she was interested in knowing for future reference, who knows, so I told her my two tales of push and spew and for some reason, she got hung up on the placenta part and how some people eat it after in the form of pate canapes. Oh, how we recoiled in horror at the idea of that and from then on “placenta” was our code word for “Hey Ho!!” Soon enough “Placenta” became my prison nickname. Then just before the summer ended she came up to me in tears because her really cute and bittersweet Home Depot boyfriend (yes, we are an incestuous family) dumped her just before they were both going to move to Kingston together for school. It’s a typical boy move, it seems. Dude thinks he’s going to broaden his horizons and Johnny Appleseed his way across the TransCanada Highway but little does he know that girl he let go was someone very special and I will bet my donut money that he begs for her back by Halloween but! I hope she doesn’t take him back because bitches gotta duck the punches like a ballerina and move on. In steel toe boots, no less.

2. There is no such thing as menial labour, every job is an opportunity to grow or simply blog about, that’s my story. I know we all bitch and moan about our employment situation no matter what it is but every job has some leverage and/or a lesson to learn. The more assholes in your face, the better you become at snapping the rubber gloves on and lubricating your forefinger on way to your to the top. There has to be a reason that a twentysomething girl named Candi with an “i” moved up to a management position. You just know by looking at her that she must have been conceived by two teenagers from a deep spot in a KOA campground on a dark summer night and then raised by her obese grandmother on her father’s side who wears sweatshirts with airbrushed unicorns and probably takes her dead pets (ferrets and other fine rodents) to a taxidermist where she displays them on top of the fridge. If Candi can do it, so can you, my little hookers! Carry on and don’t forget wear protection, obviously.

3. Take care of your teeth. Sometimes the young people’s’ grooming habits have me going OCD. I can’t even get with the stories in the morning that you “passed out on someone’s couch” the night before. It’s obvious to me that you neglected to brush your teeth and I have no time for that so don’t be proud you drank 27 beers and 4 rum coolers, gross, just gross. The most important thing you can do for your health and looks is take care of your teeth, whatever you might think that nothing bad will ever happen because you are invincible, it’s not true. BRUSH AND FLOSS YOUR TEETH EVERY DAY! And go to the dentist, YOU HAVE A FUCKING DENTAL PLAN, USE IT!

4. Shyness is nice but shyness will stop you from doing things in life you really want to. I didn’t make this up, this was a lyric from the Smiths song from the olden days where I came from that actually stuck in my head and I have used it as a mantra. I used to be a really shy child and young adult, people would forget me really easily even though I am a monster amazon-type. But then ever so slowly I learned to use my voice and let the shit come out. I have a slight stutter sometimes when talking to strangers but instead of ignoring it, I acknowledge it and make a joke of it and they smile kindly, like they are thinking “how sweet, this giant wooden Indian tobacco statue can actually speak.” Most people are nice and they respond to your vulnerability so don’t be afraid to let it show. And by the way, pro tip: most people are quite low functioning and/or self-absorbed that they do not even notice things past the tip of their own dick. It’s sad really.

5. I like your tattoos but I am really worried about those earrings that have turned your lobes into dangling onion rings. That is all.

6. Learn to eat better! You are a young ho, I get it, you can eat what you want and never gain weight but realize that is a one way train ride into Delusionville. One lovely young lady, who may or may not be an exception to my metabolic shift rule, is so tiny and skinny and she eats double orders of fast food in one meal. A couple of days ago, and this just kills me, she had some kind of foot long hoagie (and yes, I am that old, I call a sub a hoagie) from Subway, along with an order of fries from Harvey’s, a portion of food intake twice the size of her head. I watched her eat every bite because I am not joking, her mealtime my porn hour. It happens every single day and I think she may be the exception and she is pushing 25 and still no signs of some kind of Pokemon-style Snorlax transformation. She is simply a goddess and I will let her have that crown of meatballs. The rest of you though, this shit will sneak up on you and you will be all like “what the hell” and stuffing your junk in your skinny jeans pretending nothing is happening but it is. Just a friendly warning. But! Remember I will still love you just the same with your fresh pudge layer.

7. You are not old, I am old, so fuck you. My calming force in my department, my walking human anti-anxiety medication, said to me the other day: “I just turned 27, I feel old.” Ugh, I know, right? But his point is he feels bad because he is over-edcuated and not in the place he wants to be at the stage in life he is in and this is understandable. I remember feeling old and misplaced in my twenties which seems wrong in retrospect but it’s the pressures of modern day society to be “successful,” whatever that means, I still don’t know. I don’t have much advice except to just pursue what makes you passionate and happiness (and despair, it’s a swirly really, let’s not kid ourselves) will follow. I know this might be the lamest thing I will ever say, but nothing makes my heart pound faster than prying open up a freshly shaken can of paint of all the hundreds of cans I open in any given day, and it is not your Polish grandma’s “perogie barf beige.” It’s a deep crimson red, let’s call it “shark attack.” Hooha!

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