Friday, December 14, 2007


Hardware stores are my Mecca. I frequently travel to one to rejuvenate my spirit while I worship among the tools and gadgets and wondrous inventions of man. I don’t necessarily have to buy something to justify my trip there. I just need sometimes to wander the aisles and soak in the essence of the accumulated wonders. To have so many obviously needed items all gathered in one place is truly a blessing.

When I can get Mary to accompany me to my favorite place, that can be the best of all worlds for me. She has the checkbook. And usually coupons. The two are a wonderful combination.

Recently we made the trip to my favorite Ace Hardware store with the intention of purchasing something, I forget exactly what, that she desperately needed. Once there, she discovered to her dismay that she had forgotten the all important coupon at home. She then made the rash decision to leave me unchaperoned in the confines of said Ace Hardware store with a nearly empty shopping cart begging to be filled.

In the half hour it took her to drive home, grab the coupon, and drive back to the store and me, I managed to find all sorts of amazing gizmos and gadgets and little tools and chemicals and objects of wonder that until I laid eyes on them, I didn’t know existed and that I couldn’t live without. When she returned, she found me struggling to move a heavily laden cart toward the checkout.

Of course she exercised her wifely veto power and made me edit my cart full of newly acquired favorite things. Killjoy. I did my whining and begging act and even tried to explain how important each of those objects was to, not just my wellbeing, but hers as well. She wasn’t buying any of it. Literally. She made me put back the majority of the stuff despite my foot stomping and breath holding. She’s a tough nut to crack.

I did manage to salvage some nifty little clamps and thus a modicum of dignity. So the trip wasn’t a total loss. Despite not getting to keep all my found treasures, I did get to spend some quality time alone in that inspiring hardware cathedral and renew my spirit. I should be good for another week or so before I get the urge to add that neat rat nose pliers I saw hanging on the wall. Maybe she’ll have a coupon.

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