Tuesday, September 07, 2004

And on Labor Day, God Said Let There Be Light

I know what the statistics say. They say that the number one cause for fights between married people is money. And I'm sure that people fight about money quite a bit, because let's face it, there's never enough and the evil advertisers are always convincing you that you need a larger TV or a cooler car.

But I think the statistics are wrong. There is something that couples fight about even more than money. A force so evil that most people don't even think of mentioning it during polls about why people fight. And that's home improvement.

I'm sure that even if home improvement was to make it on the list of why couples break up, the kind folks at Home Depot and Lowe's would throw money at the scientists to bury that fact, after all, I'm sure 90 percent of people at home improvement stores on the weekends are naive couples who are getting along just fine and don't know they're about to put their marriage in jeopardy.

This is how a typical married couple's weekend day (and it's three times more likely to happen on a long weekend) begins.

- Yawn! (stretch, stretch, scratches cellulite). Honey, I was thinking I hated the wall in the living room. I think we need to tear it down and build a new one by lunch time when we have people coming over.

Husband who's still asleep:
- Whatever you want dear. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

And so begins the trip of two wide-eyed innocent people on their way to whichever of the home improvement giant is either closest to them or they feel they have a loyalty to. They buy the stuff they need, they might even be smart enough to ask one of the experts in the store about the right technique and then they head home where the mix of ingredients will cause an explosion strong enough to compete with a nuclear holocaust.

I really think that the people who make the stuff that gets sold at Lowe's and Home Depot are sadists who hate the world. These are the people who's adds on Match.com are so bad, that people forward them to their friends to laugh hysterically at them ("check this out! His hobbies include peeing and petting his 32 cats!"). And so these unhappy people are so bitter, they feel they need to destroy others' happiness.

But we didn't let the sadists win yesterday. I decided yesterday that I'd had enough. We have had these ugly ass light fixtures in our entryway and hallway ever since Sweetie Pie moved in. I hated those light fixtures. Every time I walked past them, I'd glare at them, but like bad guests, they wouldn't take the hint and leave. The kind folks at SBC sent us a $25 gift card and I said to Sweetie Pie yesterday "We are buying new lights."

And off we went to Home Depot, our first choice of course. Except the lighting selection was disappointing and we stood there for a while deciding which fixture in our $25 budget was the least worse. We finally gave up and packed it up for Lowe's who I have to say has a great selection of light fixtures that are pewter with that Alabaster glass (I like to call it a la bastard glass myself, for those of you going alawhat? It's just a fancy word for frosted glass with swirls in it) under $25. We picked out two light fixtures and went home very excited with our purchases.

Well, once we got home, we realized how sadist the sadists who made the lamps were. You see, you had to somehow feed two screws through the bottom of the lights and push them through very thick foam and then somehow, blindly find the two small holes in the electrical outlet where the screws are supposed to go while holding the fixture against the wall. Oh and the best part: the electrical box was made for the previous light fixtures (which by the way both Home Depot and Lowe's carry for the low price of $4.96. Could the builder have spent ANY LESS money????) so that the screws in our new fixture have no way of ever magically finding the holes. Oh, and with a popcorn ceiling, dust is flying in your eyes as you argue and give each other looks of death.

Hours of entertainment! And we finally realized that the second fixture would never fit and had to return it for another one, ensuring that our fun would never end. As I said to Sweetie, with SBC picking up $25 of our lighting fun, we got a whole days' worth of laughter for only $10! Lasts even longer than fun in Vegas!

Next stop: flooring! That should be weeks of fun. If we don't need marriage counseling after that one, we are unbreakable!



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