Father’s Daughter Moment: Let’s Build Something Together

I recently moved into a condo after living in a house for twenty six years and I really love it.  Obviously, condo living is different from living in a house but the place has begun to speak to me about the way it should look and feel.  You’re thinking her home speaks to her… right (I know you’re rolling your eyes).  But I do find that’s my style of decorating, I wait for the room, or home to tell me what it needs and how it should look and somehow it does. 

Perfect example, I left a fully renovated gourmet kitchen with stainless steel, granite, radiant heat, drawers instead of cabinets, and a pantry.  I arrived at a galley kitchen with oak cabinets, laminate counters, white appliances,  pukey yellowy beige walls (who finds these colors?) and absolutely no storage.  So I wait, and wait, and  over the course of seven months I paint the walls a beautiful Tuscan inspired green, install hardware on the cabinets, new lighting (so I don’t slice my fingers off) and a new tile backsplash.

Which brings me to the story; the backsplash was my first tile job.  I went to the Lowes and poked around until one of the salespeople walked up to me and asked what I was planning.  I gave him the gist of the project.  He walked me up and down the aisles until finally I left with the tile, the trowel, the float, the sponge and the grout.  He even kept me under the 100.00 bucks I had budgeted.    Next night after work I begin by tearing out the old backsplash.  Not a big deal, it’s only one of those three inch border types around the whole kitchen, read 24 feet, but it was just enough “demo” to be satisfying.  Then I begin buttering and placing the tile.  All placed, looks great, let it cure for 24 hours. Twenty four entire hours, this is the part that will make me crazy, the waiting part.

Next night I begin to grout.  It’s going great and, you guessed it, I run out of grout.  This tells you that those tiles will never come off the wall because I used enough adhesive/grout combo to cement a full bathroom on just that little 3” backsplash. 

 I am notorious for working on something until it is absolutely finished so I was prepared to work well into the night to get this done.  Off I go to the Home Depot which is literally two miles from my home to pick up more grout.  I bring the empty container with me so I buy the same stuff (learned that, love that) and I march right into the tile department where there is….nobody.  Ok, I go to the paint department where there is this guy.  I’m thinkin, laid off from construction, not the happiest sort, maybe a little bitter, has to help this woman finish her tile job and she’s one of those that brings the empty container… I’ll show her.  Obviously the Home Depot and Lowes carry different brands but adhesive/grout is what it is ,so no problem right?  He reaches up and plucks a container off the shelf and hands it to me.  This is what you need.  But it says sanded.  No it’s what you need.  But it doesn’t say adhesive.  No it’s what you need.  Ok, off I go knowing full well that I’ve been had. 

No sooner do I get home and open the container that I know like I know this isn’t the same GD stuff.  Out I go.  Now I don’t have time to go back and kick this guy in the ass to thank him for selling me the wrong grout because I’m on my way to the Lowe’s which is 25 miles away and it’s already 7:30pm.  I get another container of adhesive/grout and back to the condo to finish the job.   I finally finish around 10:30 and I am really happy with my tiny little kitchen.

Father’s Daughter moment:  I realized I was raised in old fashioned hardware stores.  The kind with planed wood floors, bins of nuts, bolts and screws, barrels of nails, and paint paint paint.  These stores had men who knew things working in them and they happily shared what they knew.  Even if they did start every sentence with “now honey…”  They always gave you the right tool for the job and you always had enough to start and finish the job properly.  Was I just lucky enough to have that experience at the Lowe’s or do they really believe that the women who make between 80-90% of all the DIY decisions are their most valued customers?  My research showed they really believe in women, it wasn’t a fluke. 

So while I had every intention of writing a Home-Depot’s-dead-to-me article because they pissed me off, my research  found they’re pretty much dead to all women.  Let’s watch this one to see what you think.