Monday, July 11, 2011

A Fitting Tribute To This Fine Nation We Live In

For the past two years, we've been in Fairhope, AL or Seacrest Beach, FL for the Fourth of July (which I would like to point out is NOT the "Forth" of July). We watched fireworks celebrations from great vantage points & drank strawberry Crush from tall, glass soda bottles, a tradition my grandma started when I was a wee babe, toddling around the family picnics we had on or about the Fourth. Going to pick one out of the freezing-cold soda cooler at Aileen's Grocery is an incredibly fond memory & one I would re-live in a heartbeat if given the chance. Those were the days, were they not?

This year, Chuck & I went to Home Depot. To celebrate our nation's independence. Complete with festive, prom-like balloon arches. Where were my sequins and dye-to-match satin pumps? What? No one is here to photograph us under it? I feel robbed already!
We were there because he needed a new soaker hose. And a new nozzle. (I know there's a joke there. It writes itself, so I won't.) He needed the soaker hose to water the garden we have that consists of 4 hosta sprouts & 6-8 marigolds. Don't get me wrong, I'm very appreciative that his mother carted plants from Missouri to improve our landscape. It's more than we've done since we moved into our house in 1997, not counting new shrubs. HOWEVER, the garden hose we currently have would MORE than have covered this patch of botanical glory. If anything, we should have been there in search of grass seed. Quick-growing, no-fail grass seed. Because our front yard is 1/2 grass & half dusty baseball field. They're only young once so I say "who cares"? Let it be a ball field. But he needed a soaker hose. And he gets a CART.

I point out that we don't need a cart. Surely between the two of us we can lug this hose to the check-out lane, right? No. Because as ANY man will tell you, when entering Home Depot, "You never know what we might pick up." Barring a check-out girl (or boy) or a shiny new toilet, I can't really imagine what we're going to pick up that we need a cart for. But we have one. And we set out. We find the hose & nozzle right away. After waiting for an elderly couple (read 'Chuck & Noelle in 28 years') to argue over the length of garden hose they need & move out of our way, we quickly find a suitable soaker hose. But then, as you know, if you've ever been to Home Depot, now is the part where we look for the stuff we DIDN'T come for. Like toilets, and light fixtures & mailboxes, oh my!

"Lightbulbs! We need lightbulbs!" he says. All I can think is "It's still gonna take a lot of lightbulbs to justify this cart." But we head for the lightbulbs & argue over what size we need, (yep, just like the old couple - we're well on our way) until I lose it and refuse to do a return if they're wrong, because I do not do returns. If I'm not sure, I don't buy it & if by chance I make a mistake, the item will stay in the bag with the receipt well after the 30 days pass & Chuck yells (ok, that's too strong, but he raises his voice) at me that I've wasted his hard-earned money. (See exhibit A - pair of jeans from Target, hanging on our pegboard in Target bag. Perhaps they would fit your son. You may have them.) So after assuring him that we don't need ANYTHING else, we head for the checkout. And our cart looks like this:

Thank God they're not gas-powered. What a waste THAT would have been. Those of you who know Chuck from his younger days manning the Western Auto sales floor will appreciate the fact that he next insists on self-check. He swears it saves time. I swear it's because getting behind that machine is the closest he ever gets to being behind a cash register again. That was a time in his life that he talks about often. And if it takes him back to a fond memory he'd re-live in a heartbeat if given the chance, then I say ok, sweet wife that I am.

And God Bless America! Balloon arches, soaker hoses & all.

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