Saturday, September 02, 2006

If I Had a Hammer


The adventures of Kristie and Lisa – Bookshelf Builders

When last we heard from these two intrepid bookshelf builders they had just done a scouting visit to Home Depot to get a look see at what they needed for Project Bookshelves. That was last Saturday and they had set today as the day to go “live”, to actually purchase the list of things they needed to build said bookshelves



L-shaped brackets

It was a gray and overcast morning that threatened rain. They planned to start early in the day. Lisa suggested that they just start with two sections of shelves so if anything went wrong – lumber the wrong size, too heavy etc, then they wouldn’t be out that much money. Lisa lives out of town, about 45 minutes from Kristie. She called Kristie at 9:00 – she was on her way, and how about stopping off for breakfast first. That sounded like a fine idea to Kristie. Lisa arrived and they set out for breakfast. By 10:30 they were ready to head to Home Depot. It is important to remember once again that Kristie is a novice at any kind of home repair or building. She mostly just nodded at Lisa’s ideas, not really sure what Lisa had in mind.

They arrived at Home Depot, bellies full, all ready to begin the project in earnest. But this is Home Depot we are talking about. Try and find anyone available to help on a Saturday morning. They passed a row of screwdrivers and Kristie decided to get herself one because she couldn’t find any around the house. They passed the aisle with brackets and picked up twelve of them, the number they would need for the two rows of shelves, four on one section, three on the other. Then they found the aisle with the screws. After wandering around for a while, they finally found an employee who wasn’t off rushing to help someone else. The employee confirmed that yes; wood could be special cut for them. Lisa had thought that 2X6X8 would be the right size the week before on the scout out visit. Kristie nodded her head. Today Lisa had rethought her earlier decision and figured 1X6X8 would be better. Kristie nodded her head. Unfortunately the wood didn’t come in this size. Instead the closet they could find was 1X6X12. Because of the longer length, Kristie needed to track down one of those funny cart-like things. This meant having to go outside where it had started to rain. She finally made it back in the store, only to look on in dismay as they closed off the section that contained the particular wood they wanted. At this point Kristie became somewhat annoyed at the lack of service and suggested a smaller lumber store might be the place to go. They paid for their purchases and off they went to a Home Hardware store to get the lumber. They arrived and no sooner did they walk into the store when a store employee asked if they needed any help. What a difference they thought!!! Kristie began to explain the project they had in mind; a somewhat scrambled explanation since Lisa was the brains behind it really. But the employee managed to understand what Kristie was looking for. Lisa later pointed out that dear rambling Kristie didn’t really need to give the poor store employee a complete rundown of what they had planned. But Kristie replied in her oft heard reasoning “Why say in ten words what you can say in one hundred.

The lumber was somewhat more expensive there but the excellent service more than made up for the slight price increase. It was at this time Kristie decided she needed a hammer since she couldn’t recall seeing one. She asked for one with a pink handle but didn’t think the store employee had read To Die For by Linda Howard as he gave her a rather confused look. They loaded the lumber into the car and happily headed back to Kristie’s. Lisa had wanted to stop at Canadian Tire first to get something she wanted. Kristie decided to do a bit of price comparison while there and was happy to see that she had gotten the better deal for L-shaped brackets at Home Depot. Once they had arrived back at Kristie’s and unloaded the car of the brackets, lumber, hammer, and screwdriver, they realized that the bracket idea wouldn’t work. Lisa had thought staggered bookshelves would look sharp but the L-shaped brackets were too large to allow four shelves on a section. Back to Home Depot they headed. They would rather have gone to the smaller lumber store but they had earlier checked prices and they were much less expensive at Home Depot. Kristie realized, once they were half way there, much to her dismay that she hadn’t thought to bring the earlier purchased brackets for a refund. By this time the threatened rain had indeed become a reality and the parking lot was much fuller than it was several hours earlier. In their previous visit they had thought of an alternate way of hanging the shelves but as it would be more costly, they had decided to go with the less expensive method. But now they knew they would have to pay more in order for their plan of alternating book shelves to work. For this plan they would need (and this would be in Kristie’s words) the long metal thingie that has slot holes all down it to put the bracket holders in.
They found them and looked at each other in dismay. The length they needed was 45” but they only came in 72”, 46” 35” and 12” lengths. They once again looked around some time for someone to help them and finally managed to stop a store employee to ask if they could get the metal thingie’s cut. The employee answered that unfortunately, no, the store doesn’t do that kind of thing anymore but informed them they could probably cut them themselves with a hacksaw which could be purchased relatively inexpensively. “Oh dear sweet heavens!” Kristie thought to herself. “Cut metal with a hacksaw myself??? What the hell do I know about this kind of shit. I don’t even hammer stuff!!” But thankfully she managed to keep from blurting that out loud. They managed to find the saw aisle and then stared rather blankly at the numerous saws available. Yet again they had to seek out a store employee to help them pick out the right size and type of saw. Just a little further down Kristie noticed the measuring tapes and decided to get one as she hadn’t been able to locate one before. By this time the store was much more crowded and the check-out lines were quite large. Lisa noticed a self-serve check out line and thought that might be quicker. Ha!! Kristie had never used one of those before and stood there for a few moments trying to figure out how they worked. She began but immediately made a mistake and had to wait for help. She rang a couple more items through and again made a mistake and had to wait for help. This happened twice more to the poor girl. In the meantime, people were beginning to line up behind her and of course that made her more flustered than ever. However, she finally finished the purchase and Kristie and Lisa made their way back to the car parked way at the back in the pouring rain. This had been their fourth time today in a lumber/hardware store. Once in the car, they looked at the clock and burst into laughter. It was after 3:00 and they hadn’t even begun with the shelves yet. So much for getting an early start.


Rosie said...

This is hilarious. Have you gotten any shelving up or are you waiting until next Saturday?

Dance Chica said...

"She asked for one with a pink handle but didn’t think the store employee had read To Die For by Linda Howard as he gave her a rather confused look."

LOL! Too funny! This was great. Are you practicing for your writing class? Because I think you have a good start. ;-)

Nicole said...

Oh, I love this!!!!

And here you are:

A pink hammer. And it's a Canadian site.

Tara Marie said...

You two are too funny.

Wish I lived close by. I'm the queen of shelving, and can do it myself.

If you don't like the adjustable shelving, decorative plant hangers make pretty brackets. But then that means another trip to HD. Yikes, forget I mentioned it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristie:
I am sitting here nearly peeing myself. *GRIN need to write a book.
Looking forward to the next step in the saga.

Kristie (J) said...

Rosie: there is more, but it was getting rather lengthy so I decided to do in stages.

Dance chica: yea - I am practicing a bit for my writing class that starts Sept. 18. It's a basic course, then there's a more advanced one after that and then another one on "Developing the writer in you" Who knows? Maybe I will write a book someday :)

Nicole: I checked out the site - that is too cool!!! I love it!! And the fund raising part of it too.

Tara Marie: If you're the queen of shelving, I'm the court jester of them *g*

Janice: there's more coming :)

Mailyn said...

LOL!!! I have to tell you that you inspired me and I told my mom just this morning that I am building a few shelves in my computer room for books, etc! I'll let you know how that goes. LOL.

ReneeW said...

OMG, you are so funny Kristie. Just think, that employee had quite a story to tell to all his friends about the women looking for the pink-handled hammer. You really know how to tell a story. I'm looking forward to the rest of the story.

ames said...

LOL-Hilarious story! I hate stores like Home Depot and Canadian Tire. I think you're brave to want to build bookshelves yourself. hehe

CindyS said...

Actually, you sound like you are exactly the right track. Bob 'the pro' can sometimes have to go back to Home Depot up to 5x a day. I stop going after visit number two.

You Go Girl!!


Kristie (J) said...

Mailyn: Way to go! I'm glad my *experience* is inspiring you. *g* Hopefully it won't take you quite as many trips.

Renee: LOL He was just a young guy - younger than my sons, so I don't think he really got the joke at all

Ames: we would have much preferred getting everything at the little Home Hardware store, but it just cost too much more and they didn't have nearly the quantity we were going to need! But they are getting our lumber business.

Cindy: It amazes me that anyone could stand that many visits to a Home Depot in one day!! But wait a minute, change that up to a book store and yea - maybe I could see it.