Saturday, July 01, 2006

Looking For Wood

There's no metaphorical meaning to the title of this post. It is what it appears to be - a post about Looking for Wood. Because that's exactly what I found myself doing today.

My husband tore off the rotted wood on our back porch and we're ready to install new posts, hence a trip to the local Home Depot. Did you know that you should never buy wood until you're ready to use it? The reason is it can warp. And we don't want that! So today the moment arrived. It was time to go Looking for Wood.

Warning to all my fellow female bloggers. Looking for Wood differs from a run to the grocery store. If you should embark on such an endeavor, be prepared to allow at least three hours of your day. Don't leave dinner on the stove. Don't make plans for the evening. And you may want to take a book or magazine along. But don’t worry, Looking for Wood is not something that your husband will ever ask YOU to do. It is an art form, reserved for the male species.

We went to the local Home Depot, where all budding home improvement experts spend many a weekend and thousands of dollars. Most people there were buying grills and patio furniture, in anticipation of the 4th of July holiday, but we made a beeline for the lumber department. It was there I observed my husband doing what he does best, Looking for Wood.

The first rule of Looking for Wood appears to be that you never select the top piece. No, you must carefully move the top layer aside so that you have access to pieces never touched by any other shopper. A visual inspection points you to a good looking piece, which you must hold up at an angle and peer down the length of it. It seems to help if you assume the position of a ship’s captain looking out to see through his looking glass. This is serious stuff, I realized, as I looked down the aisle and saw several other men Looking for Wood in much the same manner – a scary sight indeed.

After eyeing up the piece to see if it is straight, you must turn it over in all directions, looking for knots and other unsightly imperfections. And then lay it down flat and see if it rocks at all. If it does, it’s an indication of warping and that’s what we don’t want. This process must be repeated for every single piece of wood needed, and it goes without saying that the first piece will never be selected.

After looking through the pile at Home Depot for a good ten or fifteen minutes, my husband decided that Lowe’s probably had a better selection. Ladies, never feel bad for searching the entire mall for that perfect pair of shoes with your husband in tow. Believe me, it can’t be half as painful as Looking for Wood, and you’ll have something to show for your efforts! Anyways, we headed for Lowes, a twenty mile drive in the opposite direction, thankful that we don’t drive a gas guzzler.

Once at Lowes, after a brief stop to drool over reciprocating saws, we headed for the lumber piles and my husband assumed his Looking for Wood stance once again. This time we hit the jackpot - well, after the top row had been set aside, of course. After about fifteen minutes but what seemed like an hour, we had six choice pieces loaded onto our cart. After a brief look at rails and posts (not to buy, mind you - remember, the first rule of Looking for Wood: never buy more than you can use that day), we headed for the checkout.

Unfortunately, Lowes did not have the brackets we needed, so we headed for the Home Depot down the road. Selecting brackets is nothing like Looking for Wood. My input on bracket selection was even welcomed and soon I had ten brackets stacked neatly in my arms, leaving my husband’s hands free for the last item on our list: Liquid Nail.

Liquid Nail really warrants its own post but I’ll be succinct here. Just be prepared; Selecting Liquid Nail is almost as painful as Looking for Wood. Do you know how many types of Liquid Nail there are? There’s Liquid Nail for concrete, for paneling, for wood, foam, plastic and even for mirrors. It comes in super adhesive, super-duper adhesive and ultra super-duper adhesive. Liquid Nail has it all over Duct Tape.

It was while I was watching my husband tediously choosing the best Liquid Nail for his project that I realized yet another benefit of being a writer. While other wives were moaning and groaning and tapping their feet impatiently, I was mentally writing this post!

Tags: Home Improvement


Katrina said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post and could clearly picture the adventure! We are not much for home improvement projects (we just don't have that "handy gene"), but for all the grousing that guys do about our shopping habits, I agree that they can be the exact same way about purchases that matter to them! Good post!

Tammy said...

I just happened onto your site...and I was laughing out loud! I can SO relate! My husband has dragged me on many adventures with him in Home Depot and Lowes...either Looking for Wood...or something else just as exciting. Worse yet, were the times when we were still dating and he actually took me to wrecking yards...Looking for Car Parts!

I loved how you wrote this! I just openned my blog to the public last week after originally writing for only friends and family, so it's still pretty basic. But come on by!
I'll be back...
God's blessings!

Jennifer said...

That's funny, and informative. See, I didn't know you had to buy wood the day you were going to use it. With our track record of projects, we would buy wood, let it warp, and use it anyway. And, yes, being a writer has its benefits. Life suddenly becomes art.

Jeannine said...

That is so funny! I usually leave Home Depot, Lowe's, and the local hardware store as my husband's domain, but when we did some minor remodeling in our kitchen a couple years ago I went along with him. I was so overwhelmed at all the choices and I was afraid I'd pick something and once it was installed wouldn't like it. I cannot understand how people remodel regularly for fun.

Blogging does make some things more bearable. :-)

Susanne said...

That's too funny! I could see my hubby doing the same thing even as I was reading about yours. And yes, since starting blogging, a person does tend to look at things differently and it is most expedius to carry notepad and pen at all times, isn't it? :D

BooMama said...

Loved this line: "Liquid Nail has it all over duct tape."

When I was a little girl I'd get the flat-out fidgets when my mama took me in a fabric store.

I have the same reaction as a 36 year old when my husband takes me in Lowe's. :-)