Can I Get This Toolbelt in Pink?

Two things occurred to me while the surly young man at Lowes was helping me load 12 sheets of plywood into my car today. the first is that I’m not as young or as cute as I once thought I was. (Whether I was ever actually cute could be a matter of some debate but that’s a debate that I’d rather not hear -unless you’re on the “you were really really cute” side– but then the “were” part of that is going to depress me –so let’s stick with my original statement- don’t bring it up). The other is that I have kind of a strange marriage.

I spent nearly $500 at Lowes today. I bought all kinds of stuff but none of it could be described as pretty. I got a 10lb. sledgehammer and 10 joist hangers and a 1/2 inch masonry bit, that kind of stuff. And 12 sheets of 1/4 inch plywood. I was fine handling most of it on my own. I knew what I wanted and figured out where to find it.

Note: Nothing in this post is intended to be a commentary on poor customer service. The customer service was fine. No one offered to carry my purse for me but I always find those places where they fall all over themselves to shine your shoes a little too much anyway. I could always find people when I needed them and when I asked, they all helped.

I did need a little help with the joist hangers. No, not the hooks you hang your bike from in the garage, the serious hardware you hang 2×12 floor joists on so your floor doesn’t fall into your crawl space. Luckily (well, I don’t really believe it was luck, I’ve been praying really hard that I will be able to figure out how to do this job that I have no business being able to do) I first found a book hanging from a shelf by the joist hangers. it had a lot of charts and a lot of words that I couldn’t even begin to decipher but it also had pictures and some if the joists in the pictures looked like the joists that had been delivered to my house this morning. So I looked for hangers that looked like those hangers. And I didn’t find them. But I did find David.

Now I may have mentioned before that I’m in WAY over my head with this addition that we’re planning. I ‘m reasonably handy but to do this you basically need to know how to build a house. I don’t know how to build a house. But David does. David was probably at least 60, and he used to build houses for a living. He helped me find the hangers that I needed and confirmed my suspicion that the other ones that I needed were not in fact there. But he told me where he thought I might be able to find some, And he was great and now I know more about house building than I did and I love that. I really find this stuff very interesting and I can’t wait to hang my joists. I thanked David profusely (I’ll be back) and headed over to find a few more things including plywood.

Luckily (again) there was a young man just standing in the lumber aisle doing nothing working, who came over to help me get the plywood onto my cart. I thanked him he said you’re welcome and that was it, no offer to help me take the card up front. I probably would have said no but I noticed that he didn’t offer.

I could probably even have loaded the wood into my car on my own but I didn’t see any reason to do that so I asked the cashier if someone could help me.

I pulled up to the area set aside for loading and this young man comes over. I lifted the hatch and he grabbed the first sheet of plywood and between the two of us we start to slide it into the car. for a moment it looked like it wasn’t going to fit and this boy says to me, “do you have a truck?” No, I don’t have a truck. I came to the hardware store to shop for things like ladders and plywood, trust me if I had a truck this would be the time that I would be using it.

I’ve got a minivan, that’s what I’ve got and if I move this headrest out of the way this sheet will slide right in anyway. See? Boy you sure do give up easily. I think that was all he said to me the whole time we were loading the plywood.

And this is where the first realization hits me. All these boys that helped me were just that to me, boys. Geez, they’re just kids. And these kids were very obviously only helping me because it was their job. Time was the boys at the hardware store liked helping me (because I was so cute) but these days I’m the old (not cute) lady with the minivan. The man on the other hand, time was he wouldn’t have given me the time of day, young cute girls don’t need serious help with floor joist hangers.

So we got the wood into the van (it fit perfectly thank you very much) and I loaded in the level and the t-square and the pry-bar and headed home to show off my purchases. To my husband. Who was home with the kids.


But you can tell I’m the girl because I wear the pink gloves.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bythelbs
    Jun 13, 2008 @ 00:15:50

    Dude, I’m impressed. The only thing I know about a joist is that it’s worth a lot of points in scrabble, especially if you can hit the triple letter score on the “j” and the double word score overall.

    I was just wondering the other day when I made the move from “cute thang” to “mom thing“. With a mini-van. It’s kind of sad, yet then again, why the frick should I care if some kid finds me attractive? I’m a real woman, dammit! Not one of those cutesy still firmly in their 20’s (or teens) substance-less hotties.

  2. bythelbs
    Jun 13, 2008 @ 00:17:53

    Did I just roundaboutly refer to myself as a “woman of substance”? snort.

  3. chronicler
    Jun 13, 2008 @ 07:54:00

    I want to add a room to the back of the garage. We have a poured concrete slab (patio) and I want to turn it into a third bedroom. Our realtor told us it had to be in code, as far as thickness before you can frame it out and cover it in stucco and call it a third bedroom. Problem is, well, I can’t find anywhere how thick that slab has to be. Just the caution that it meet code. Arrgh! I will find it eventually.

    God luck with your addition. I will caution you about the van, and loading it with too much stuff. If you put too much weight in the van it damages the transmission. I know because it has happened to me. Twice. ugh. It isn’t instantaneous though. Just a slow demise of the transmission that makes your mechanic go huh?

  4. alison
    Jun 13, 2008 @ 08:06:39

    my husband came home the other day to find me installing a screen door. i try to use him for strong arm help–but otherwise i’m the one who takes on building challenges.

  5. Elizabeth
    Jun 13, 2008 @ 14:05:35

    Of course the plywood fit. Didn’t you get that part of the sales pitch when you bought your van? “It’s big enough to fit a sheet of plywood when you take the seats out.” I’m sure I heard that at least 5 times.

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