Saturday, July 28, 2012

man's land

He's gone and done it again. Big Dave went clothes-shopping without me. He has been warned never to attempt this activity unless I accompany,  I am the sole manifestation of class and good taste in his little simple life.  I see the Kohl's bags on the floor and I sigh painfully as I take out his newly purchased khaki work pants, what is this awful shiny material?  My husband will look like an Italian pimp when he shows up at the office.

I myself went shopping today. After several years of procrastination I  finally committed to painting the old beat up bench that sits outside my front door. I entered the hardware store with my usual trepidation, the same feeling I get when I talk to a mechanic.  I have entered Man's Land and I don't understand the language or the smells or the lack of color-coordinated decor. Chin up, I am the daughter of a paint store owner, I can do this.

 "Can I help you, ma'am," says the clerk, himself a man, already looking at me like I am a child with chocolate syrup on my face. Yes, I say and I explain the dilemma of the bench, the one with the paint so embedded in the grain that paint stripper has no effect. I'll be scrubbing and sanding the wood, I tell him, sounding totally in charge of my project, just direct me to the proper paint shelf. "And what color are you thinking?"  Something along the line of a burnt sienna orange, I say, and I see his eyes roll ever so slightly as my response  reminds him of my gender or maybe I'm imagining all this. No, I'm not. I have lost all credibility with this man and I am just another silly woman who paints ordinary objects outrageous colors.

For truth to be told the only comfortable commercial setting for me is a bakery, those wonderful warm and aromatic little shops, the promise of sensual fulfillment in the form of a cream-filled, chocolate-covered long john.  There and only there does the world make sense for me.


AmySueRose said...

Never ever let your plans be known to male clerks in hardware stores. You should have ignored him and found your way to the sample paint cards and found the color yourself (better yet you should have taken Sonny with you and he would have had that guy on his knees begging for mercy). I think these dudes get their kicks convincing women we don't really know what we need (common male trait).

Arizaphale said...

I once went to an auto wreckers asking for a new speedo head for my 1969 Torana. The middle aged male clerk raised his eyebrows derisively and assured me I needed a speedo cable. Somewhat taken aback I assured him that it WAS a speedo head I required. He now chuckled openly, if somewhat indulgently, and once more assured me that no, it was a cable I needed. I drew myself up to my full 5'2" and announced that 'since I had disconnected the head and the grinding noise had was OBVIOUSLY the head causing the problem since the cable was still rotating!" He blanched visibly and, to his credit, apologised profusely saying "Sorry love, most women don't really know anything about cars." It was a moral victory. Be encouraged ladies :-)