It is Saturday, and although I spend five days a week working directly across the street from this hardware store, I drove twenty minutes to buy three hinges. They have one. I drive five minutes further to the other hardware store. They have one. I drive home muttering about another weekend wasted.
APRIL - BACKYARD
Every Canadian backyard needs a rhubarb plant, and I went to plant one only to find thirty wheelbarrow loads of a broken concrete foundation buried in the garden. I start to wonder if home ownership is just a series of 15 tasks that turn into blister-inducing 30-hour projects.
MAY - HOME
My tomato seedlings are outgrowing their red solo cups. “Plant tomatoes” has been on my to-do list for three weeks, and I realize that if I wait to plant them until I build the planter boxes I’ve been fantasizing about, the tomatoes will be dumped from their red solo cups into the compost as the first snowflakes fall. A winter of pinteresting planter boxes does not a planter box make.
JUNE - HARDWARE STORE
In a unusual moment of letting my guard down, I have been ambushed in Aisle 29 of the hardware store by an eager associate desperate to help. Reluctantly I tell him I haven't been able to find dishwasher hose, and he tells me it's his first day. Together we wander the three plumbing aisles like I had just done, with his only expertise being the nametag he is wearing. I resolve never to let them catch me again. If there are circles of home renovation hell, one is being stuck in the hardware store where it's everyone's first day on the job.
JULY - HARDWARE STORE
My partner (and co-owner of the house we continue to try to improve) is diligently searching the electrical aisle gathering our list of items. I'm doing hot laps through the rest of the store, avoiding all associates, lingering as little as possible, and ducking into dark corners when I need to google something. Twenty minutes later I notice he's being helped by someone who is knowledgeable and distinctly lacking the glazed-over first-day look of the other associates. Turns out he's not an associate -- just a customer who is more helpful than anyone who works there.