This past weekend, I was supposed to go out on both Friday and Saturday nights.
Instead, I fell asleep on my couch at 8:30pm both nights.
I am officially old.
I was going to recount my rather uneventful weekend here, but I really doubt you're interested in knowing what I bought at the used CD store on Sunday. Blah.
You see, most of my weekend was spent cleaning, organizing, painting my kitchen, hanging pictures and doing other household chores in preparation for my housewarming party this coming weekend. So it wasn't much to write home about. My room is finally clean and my kitchen is now blue. The end.
There are really only 2 bits of news I want to share:
1. I have lost 4 pounds. Go me.
2. Lady Starfish is in town for training this week, so I finally get to see my best friend. [Insert "YAY!!!" here.] We have only talked on the phone for the last year, so I am about to pee in my pants at the idea of actually seeing her and talking face-to-face with her. This means we will inevitably go out to eat, where I will proceed to re-gain all 4 pounds I worked so hard to lose. Not to mention the fact that all my alloted gym time for the week will now be re-allocated to long, analytical discussions about our love lives. Or, in my case, a lack thereof.
I do have a quick vent, though. I made a couple trips to Home Depot and Lowe's this weekend. And I have decided I hate both of these stores. Being a girl who is both a first-time home owner and extremely mechanically challenged, my first order of business in these places is to catch an employee and cling onto them helplessly until I get what I need from them: the answers to all 463 of my questions.
As if that isn't hard enough, I then have to select and make my purchases, take them home and figure out how to use/install them. If I am successful, I have bragging rights among my circle of girlfriends and a new feature in my home. If I fail, I have wasted time and money, and I have to continue making trips until I am successful. Which gets tiring. I am ignorant of the environment, fearful of what lies around each corner and do not speak the language of the natives. I am only armed with the most insignificant of weapons: my poor knowledge of all things home-improvement related. And I'm most definitely not dressed to blend into my surroundings.
In short, going to Home Depot and Lowe's is the Wild Safari of the Single Girl.
I have been looking for Hercules Hooks because I really suck at hanging pictures, and I think they'd be great. I had heard they were sold at these two stores. The employees of these two businesses looked at me as though I had just asked them if I could buy Lichtenstein. They had no idea what I was talking about. You'd think that being A) male and B) into home improvement inventions would equal C) a thorough knowledge of Billy Mays' infomercial. Apparently not.
Fine, I thought. I'll just move down my list and see if they have the other things I need.
"Ok, how about a 13 x 19 air filter?" Doesn't exist, according to these guys.
Of course, what no one told me was that if you look closely at the air filter, on the other side of the cardboard frame, it says in large numbers "14 x 20", which is a very common size. I found this out when I got home and looked at it again. Previously, I had looked at the more detailed side of the frame.: "13.5 x 19.5" it read. Argh.
Nice work, home professionals. Keep up that fantastic training. Way to help the end user with their needs.
Next on my list...
"I have a lamp that doesn't work," I said. "The switch to turn it on/off doesn't catch. I need a new...thingie." (One of the things I dislike about these places is that unless you can 'talk shop' with them, you are reduced to using words like "thingie", "dohickey" and "what's-it-called". Because you don't look stupid enough already, wandering around in there like a lost little lamb. Then, when you are explaining what you need in plain English, they look at you like you are either mentally impaired or speaking Swahili.) It's always tempting for me to yell, "Look! Stop being assholes! You know what I'm talking about!" -- I guess I am a little paranoid that they are getting sick pleasure out of my desperation.
Then again, I can't really blame them. I would be doing the same thing if I were them.
While I will give them credit for actually understanding what I needed [Note to self: The technical term for lamp thingie is: " replacement lamp socket"] and showing me where it was, they neglected to realize that I have no experience whatsoever with dismantling small electrical equipment, and therefore, am totally terrified of anything which has the potential to electrocute me. I am also inexperienced with the following: tools, wires, electrical currents, dismantling, reassembling, knowing the names of small parts and of course, sockets. So I said to the guy, "Are these relatively easy to do yourself, even if you don't know how to do it and have never done it before?"
He replied, "Oh, yeah. You just remove the influx capacitor, switch the wires around, making sure the copper one is on the right-hand side and that they're not touching or twisted, and then you tie the Underwriter's knot in the wires, which prevents the nucleus of the energy units from mitosis. After that, you insert one pi's worth of energy into aligning the socket switches, taking care not to confuse this type of socket with one only capable of handling no more than 100 units of calendration at any given time. Then you just screw in the bulb and go. Theoretically."
At least, I think that's what he said.
I replied, "Ok, let me rephrase that. Are these relatively easy to do if you are the dumb blonde, first-time home owner, mechanically challenged human that I am, running loose in the home improvement store like a free-range chicken?"
He laughed, and then repeated what he had just said.
Needless to say, my lamp still isn't fixed. Look, I feel smart when I get the proper bulb wattage in my lamp. Replacing the entire "malfunctioning lamp socket" is entirely out of my skill set, people.
I went in looking for ten items, and ended up buying two fan pulls and a diet Coke. Quite the productive trip, no?
So much for "building something together." Because I can assure you, Home Depot, I can't do it. And you apparently can't help me.
Next time, I'm going to Ace Hardware. At least they bill themselves as "The Helpful Place". I'll have to put that idea to the test.
I think I need to hire a guide for my next trip. Someone who can interpret the natives and hunt down things much better than I can. One day, I'm gonna get hurt out there.
And if I ever see one of those guys here in the library, and they ask for back issues of Popular Mechanics, I'm going to snicker, and then reply, "Ok, first you look at our OPAC, which will take you into our catalog. Once you do a title search, you need to see if we carry it online or if we have a hard copy. Then, you have to see which issues and volume numbers our specific branch has here, to see if we have the issue which contains the article you're looking for. If we don't have the actual issue you need, either electronically or physically, you must fill out an Interlibrary Loan request form, located downstairs...you do have the title, page number, volume of the issue and author of the article, right?"