Our tax refund was deposited into our account on Friday.
Tom and I decided that we wanted to buy things to organize the Bog of Eternal Mess.
Also known as the garage.
Admittedly, it's a disaster. Boxes balancing precariously on top of other boxes, totes, totes, and, oh look at that, more totes. Multiple tools that my husband rarely uses, yet insisted that he "needed". Exercise equipment that Chuck Norris endorses that Tom promised that he'd use, but has only touched a handful of times when he realized it wasn't as easy to use as Chuck Norris made it out to be.
"I'm still going to use it," Tom insisted as he folded up the weight bench.
"Yeah. And I'm going to start wearing panties without holes in them," I answered.
Bottom line? The garage was basically an accident waiting to happen. In fact, Tommy was once toppled with a few boxes and told me seriously that he nearly died. I coddled him and went along with the pretense that he had just survived a harrowing experience. Even though the boxes that had fallen on him contained had blankets and pillows and at best, weighed about two pounds.
On Saturday we went out to Lowes to find things to make our garage safe. Lowes is one of Tom's favorite places in the world. He normally hates to shop--I have to force him into Target and hear him moan when I go down aisle after aisle--yet, while in Lowes, he'll happily take his time and marvel that there are fifty different types of nails.
"I've never SEEN a nail like this? Have you?" he once asked me, sticking one under my nose.
"Can we go home?" was my response. Birds were flying around overhead and I was paranoid that one would poop on me.
When we walked into Lowes on Saturday, Tom immediately strolled over to the grills and practically drooled on top of them. He stroked one like a cat and tossed me a look that reminded me of our six-year-old's expression when he wants a toy.
"No," I said sternly.
He looked crushed and continued to move his palm along the top of a Char-Broil Commercial series grill with quantum infrared grates. I remembered the name because it reminded me of that show Quantum Leap. Plus, it also reminded me of a robot name.
"Say goodbye to the grill, Tom," I said firmly and pulled him along. He shuffled beside me and did the pouting thing for a few minutes. But then he perked up when we walked past the power drills.
"You have a power drill, Tom," I reminded him as he rushed over.
"But not THIS one," Tom answered and nearly put me to sleep as he launched into a speech about lithium ion drills and how cool they were and blah blah blah...
I think bath bombs are cool but I know enough not to gush to Tom about them. ("And this bath bomb has actual ROSE petals in it, and this one smells like lavender...")
"Tom. We're here for totes. Remember?" I asked through clenched teeth. At that point I was losing my patience because Natalie decided that she was too good for the shopping cart and wanted out. Tommy had gone over beside Tom and was poking at a drill, wondering when he could have one.
"When I'm ten?" he begged hopefully.
"Um. No," I replied and gestured wildly for Tom to walk beside me. Natalie was now standing up in her seat and had her arms grasped around my neck so that not only couldn't I see, but I also couldn't breathe.
"Please....let....go....of....Mommy," I gasped and managed to unclasp her hands. I ended up balancing her on my hip as we walked to the tote area.
Our plan was to take all our stuff out of boxes and put them in massive size bigger-than-us totes.
We picked up four of those and then out of the corner of my eye, I spotted bookshelves.
We currenly have two. But I love to read so they are both stuffed with books. Books are on top of books. Basically, my bookshelves nearly resemble the garage.
"Oooo...can we get one of these?" I begged Tom.
He pretended not to hear me.
I grabbed his arm. "Tom. Look, a bookshelf."
He sniffed. Then he blinked dramatically. "Oh. I'm sorry. Did you SAY something? Because weren't you the same person who refused to let me get a grill?"
But a grill is a GRILL. A bookshelf is a beautiful thing. A grill just...well...grills.
I can get steak at Texas Roadhouse. Who needs a grill in 2009?
Plus, my bookshelf was $69.
Tom's grill was like FIVE hundred dollars. I'm not kidding.
"I'll put it together myself," I added firmly. I marched over to the bookshelf, which was in a large rectangular box. I bent down to pick it up and...
The box wasn't lifting.
Because it was heavier than I expected. So there I was grunting and puffing and I think Tom was embarrassed by my appearance.
No folks, she's not taking a crap. She's just trying to lift up that box. Move along, move along...
"Oh. Let me," Tom said, pushing me aside.
He had the box in the cart in less than thirty seconds.
Note to self: work on my arms. Obviously they have no muscle.
Soon after that, we had a brief arguement over trash bags. I had tossed the Flex ones in the cart and Tom had insisted that no, they really wouldn't flex with the crap we had in the garage and that we needed something called Contractor trash bags. I thought he was making it up and just being difficult until he lifted up a box and proved me wrong.
Then he had to look down another aisle that had nothing to do with organizing the garage.
So to entertain myself, I made fun of Lug Nuts, which were hanging across from me.
"Hey Tom? Do you have lug nuts?" I called out, and then burst into loud guffaws.
Tom looked horrified. His eyes flicked over to the older man beside him, who looked as though he were trying not to laugh.
"Do you have to make a comment on everything?" Tom snapped, coming up beside me.
"Hey," I replied with a shrug. "It's better than that time where I placed a screw in your hand and asked if you WANTED to screw."
A strange sound came out of the older man who was a few feet away from us. It may have been a laugh. When he passed us, he threw Tom a sympathetic look.
Dude. I've been there. It's best to leave the womenfolk at home...
We left soon after that. I think Tom was paranoid that I'd come up with another way to humiliate him in his beloved store.
When we got home, Tom carried the bookshelf box in for me and set it on the floor.
"Have at it," he said and then walked off.
I stared at the box and rubbed my palms together. "Okay," I said, taking a deep breath. I was armed with my pink drill and ready to go. "I can do this."
I tore open the box and tried not to panic when various pieces tumbled out.
I found the directions and opened them.
I couldn't even COMPREHEND what it was telling me to do.
But then I realized I was looking at the Spanish section.
I flipped to the American section and didn't feel much better after I scanned them.
They read like a scary Algebra problem.
Where was piece G2?
And what in the world was THAT kind of screw called?