Photo feature: Kicking back

Posted: Friday, May 23, 2008

I don't really know if men are from Mars, I think they are from Home Depot.

This is especially true when it comes to conversations. Example: The other day we were are at the hardware store (again) getting supplies for the cabin we have been building for the past several years. And let me say right here for any couple considering taking on a major building project, it will take twice as long, cost twice as much and be more than twice the headache you ever dreamed it would be. Kind of like babies are bad advertising. You take one of those adorable little creatures home and before you know it you have a 2-year-old, coming in from the garage, swinging his little tyke hammer, muttering, "darnit, darnit, darnit!"

I digress, as I was whining, we were at Home Depot the other day I noticed my hubby was obviously in severe pain, so I asked him what was up. He simply shrugged.

Then along came the sales associate, who greeted my husband by name and before I knew it they were deep in an animated conversation regarding the merits of canned spackle as opposed to the virtues of using a spackle gun (which, of course, would require a three-hundred-thousand-horsepower 2000 Ninja XLT series air compressor as a accessory). Who said women talk a lot? Hello? I couldn't get a word in edgewise to say I was on my way to the paint department to browse for the perfect shade of green. I knew he wanted green based on a previous conservation that went exactly like this:

Me: "So what color do you want?"

Hubby: "Green."

By the time my man meandered over to "paint," it was obvious that he had traded up to the air compressor. My first clue was that he had one of those big flat bed shopping carts in tow and on it was you guessed it was a great big, candy apple red air compressor.

When I suggested that a few cans of the spackle would have been much cheaper, he began a passionate dissertation as to why he needed an air compressor. He included specific examples of the many other functions the compressor could perform, something about nuts, bolts and pneumatic wrenches, then he eloquently enumerated all of the occasions when he has so desperately needed one in the past, besides, it was on sale after all. (Hey, that's my line!) By the time he was finished I wondered how he had managed to ever live without one. Besides, it would be so darned handy when I happened to have a flat tire conveniently in the driveway yeah, right.

I chalked it up to having one darned good balloon blower-upper; besides, maybe I could dust the house with it?

Then he asked, rather impatiently I might add, if I had the paint yet.

Me: "You mean picked out?"

Hubby: "No, mixed."

Long, uncomfortable pause ...

Me: "I wanted your opinion."

Hubby: "I want green."

Me: "Well, yes, honey, I know you want green, but what kind of green? Look, there's Golden Green, Low Tide Sea-Foam Slime Green, Linen in the Mist Green, Hinty-Minty Green, Viridian Banquet Green, Dew on the Sarah Green, When Rhinos are in Heet Green, and what about these blue-greens?"

Hubby: (looking at his watch) "I want blue-green like your eyes."

Me: "Nice try, you're only buttering me up because you don't want me to veto the compressor. Hey, you look kind of seasick green, are you all right?"


"Good start, what about your shoulder?"


"Elaborate, make a whole sentence. Give me a subject and a predicate and maybe even a descriptive adjective."

I held a paint swatch up threateningly as I demanded, "Cough it up buddy or I'm holding you hostage right here if you don't fess up and I'll force you to look at every shade of pink known to woman-kind and then we'll go visit Kitchen and Bath where I will point out all the tools I NEED, and did I mention that I happen to have my very own credit card at this very store ... interest free until 3010 or something like that ..."

Hubby: "Fine."

Me: "Fine what?"

Hubby: "Fine, I tore my rotator cuff."

Me: "When did this happen?"

Hubby: "'Bout a week ago."

I stared at him in disbelief and then asked, "Why do you have to be such a man all the time?"

At that moment I realized there really is such a thing as a "logic impaired" question. We both stood there for a long time, amazed and utterly confounded by the question I just asked.

I could tell that he was thinking because his forehead got all wrinkled up, but he couldn't seem to form any words, finally he offered, "Because I am?"

Hubby: (while headed to the checkout lane) "Let's go."

Me: "But we don't even have the paint picked out, the spackle and primer will dry in no time, if we don't get the paint now we'll have to ..."

I didn't bother saying any more. I could tell his mind was already elsewhere, probably scheming how he could get help loading the compressor into the truck with out actually having to ask. Besides, I knew his time limit for shopping had already been exceeded by four and a half minutes.

I have to admit with 120 lbs. p.s.i. blowing goo over the walls, the spackling job went quickly and the primer, as I suspected, dried in no time.

And there he was sitting in the truck, waiting for me to jump in.

"So where are we off to?" I inquired slyly.


It was a standoff; he wasn't going to admit that we should have got the paint when we were right there and I wasn't going to let him off the hook that easily. I admit I was ready to get into a heated discussion at that point. I was soooo tempted to tell him, as a matter of fact: Roses are red, however, my eyes are gray-blue, if he hadn't noticed by now and from there I would go on about how exactly what I thought about this whole cabin building business being such a bonding experience-kind of like super-glue to cement shoes if you know what I mean, but I thought it over before I spoke. Finally I decided that men are from the hardware store and women are from Hallmark so I climbed in the truck, tenderly kissed him on the cheek and whispered ever so sweetly into his ear, those three little magic words every hubby so doesn't want to hear: "I told'ja so."

Jacki Michels is a freelance writer who lives in Soldotna. She says her hubby insists that he said "Because I am!" with an exclamation point, not a question mark. (Sure, if you say so honey ...)

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