Saturday, July 26, 2008

. . . haunted Home Depot

digital collage using my own photographs
Since this furniture painting gig has started, I have been to Home Depot, Lowe's, and Ace Hardware stores about once a day, sometimes more than that. I switch off between the stores so that no one store gets too used to seeing me around, although Home Depot is closest and I end up there most often. It's not my favorite. Mostly I get good advice, although sometimes one store's advice will be directly opposite of what another store's already told me. There is a learning curve here, but then isn't there always when you're starting something new and different.
So yesterday it was very hot and humid. It rained for a while early in the morning and when the sun came out, it was stifling. But I wanted to finish that black sideboard and start on another chest, so I'm out on the driveway sanding away. The sweat was actually dripping off me onto the pieces I was sanding. Gross. I'm kind of ashamed to admit that I don't sweat like that often. . . I mean, you know you are dirty when you step into the shower and the water that runs off you is brown, and to be honest, I don't enjoy being hot and sweaty.
The hardware on the drawers of the sideboard are held in by four screws on two handles on two doors: 16 screws. They have proven to be impossible to unscrew. Regular screwdrivers are too large; the tip of one of my knives snapped right off; the sewing machine screwdriver was the right size, but I couldn't budge the screws at all. I kept thinking "righty tighty lefty loosy" to make sure I was turning the screws in the proper direction, all to no avail. One of my many character flaws is that I am single-minded: I wanted to get this project done and move on to the next one. So, sweat-stained, covered with sawdust, and wearing my nasty old khaki paint-stained cargo shorts and tiny splotched T-shirt, my hair uncombed, wringing wet and tucked under a pink John Deere ballcap, I hopped in the car and went to Home Depot. Not a pretty picture. But I'm thinking, who do I need to impress? No one.
As I drive to Home Depot, I'm also thinking that my mother would throw a fit if she saw me going anywhere looking like I did. When I was a kid, I was not allowed to go downtown in shorts. I had to put on a skirt. And this was a downtown that covered maybe a two-block area. We had to get dressed up to go shopping in Topeka or Emporia. Sunday church was a fashion event. Everything we wore was always ironed crisply, mostly by us girls. I remember one time when we were in high school, my sister was sunbathing in the back yard. A car pulled up to the curb and she went to talk to the occupants in her swimsuit. I don't think there were boys in the car, just girls. But she got in into a whole pile of trouble for that. (One of the few times she got in trouble and I didn't.) To this day, I don't think I have ever seen my mom looking as nasty as I did yesterday. Surely she must sometimes. . . I know she still cleans her own house and works in the yard. Oh, sure, as the standards of appearance have relaxed, she has too, to some extent. She may wear a nice pair of slacks or even ironed jeans sometimes. But I know she puts on make-up and jewelry to go to her Thursday morning coffee with the girls at the local restaurant. It's really no wonder that my sisters and I were fashion fanatics, is it? (The operative word here is "were" for me anyway.) Maybe I should raise the level of sloppiness a bit. . . And I still don't have the screws removed.


Anonymous said...

Wait a minute--you mean I was a fashion fanatic??? What the hell--I didn't even know that. Hope the screws come loose.


Mary Buek said...

Oh, Anna, the screws are definitely loose.