Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Home Improvement

Sometimes I wonder how it is that the universe saw fit to approve me for a mortgage.

I'm not exactly what you'd call handy.

In fact I'm a girl who, years ago, managed to completely clog the industrial-strength toilet in my NYC pre-war apartment; this building had a septic system that had seen the likes of giant rodents, probably, and chicken bones, childrens' toys, and all manners of assorted trash. Yet with one tampon I managed to bring the efficient superflushing of this well-oiled system to its knees. My super was regularly knocking on my door with a frozen 'Ima Kill yous' hate-smile twisted on his lips (he was from eastern Europe. Please excuse the crude attempt at an accent coming from his face). In other words, I was not a person who should be trusted with her own real estate.

And yet, here I am.

Two years and I've managed not to flood or blow up or burn my little house down; in fact I've even managed to keep it in rather good working condition, save for a few minor repairs I've had to pay the good people of Louisiana to help with, since I tend to look at two wires coming out of a machine and melt into an overwhelmed heap of anxiety.

So when I decided it'd be cool to take up all the stinky wall-to-wall carpeting in the bedrooms of my house, I thought, hey. Here's an opportunity for me to learn how to do household-y things and get that sense of satisfaction that can only come with knowing you did it all on your own (with the help of my boyfriend, of course. Ok, he did most of it).

All in all, it went great. The carpets came up and we hand-laid some very convincing-looking faux-wood laminate in each room. The cats fretted at now having no viable places to revenge-urinate and I learned what it was like to sleep without being violently awoken by dry-coughing up whatever dusty parasites had been living in the rugs for the 20 year lifespan of my home.

All I needed to do now was buy quarter round. For the layperson (because I'm all home-improvementy and shit now), this is that little wooden stick thingy that goes between the wall and the floor and makes it seem like maybe a professional actually installed your floor. I took measurements of each room and brought them proudly to Lowes so that I could purchase the final leg of this very impressive project.

But when I got there, it was awful. I'm not even sure what happened. Suddenly I felt like a small child lost in a giant city, looking up at these impossibly tall skyscraper aisles, packed floor-to-ceiling with HARDWARE. I wandered, mouth slack, praying that no one could tell how confused I was and figure out that I actually did not belong there.

I must have stumbled around for a good ten minutes before a kindly teen employee asked if I needed help. I nodded and mutely palmed my sweaty sheet of measurements into his hand, looking up hopefully. The kid had to do a bunch of conversions from inches to feet on his iphone (DUH, why didn't I think of that?!!) and finally pointed me in the right direction.

But when I found what I needed I realized I would need a special cart to carry the 8 feet pieces of wood to the cash register, and then, omg, get it in my car somehow. A beefy, red-faced contractor in a dirty LSU tee shirt looked at me mockingly and asked if I was actually going to put install all the quarter-round myself. What I heard was, 'Hey there, little lady. How's about you walk those tits next door to Target and buy yourself a nice tea kettle and leave the man-shopping to dicks like me".

I urgently needed to get out of there. And so I did.

I literally speed-walked my humiliated girl-legs out the sliding doors, leaving behind all of my haughty, do-it-yourself gumption behind to rot with the sawdust in the store.

Ashamed, I jumped into my car and sped home, feeling like a world-class asshole.

I'm not sure what came over me. I just got so freaked out.

Anyway. A couple days have passed, and I'm ready to try it again.

Gulp. Wish me luck, y'all.

1 comment:

Sabrina Marie said...

Love your writing! Been reading & enjoying old blog posts - such truth - humorously written!