My brother is headed back to Guatemala this evening, and he wanted to get some shopping done in the final hours he was stateside. “Do you have a Home Depot nearby?” he asked. My heart quickened.
I must admit, I feel a bit insecure when it comes to shopping at the Home Depot. There are always serious construction dudes filling their truck beds full of bags of cement and cinderblocks, while I am struggling to fit one wooden 2×3 into my Toyota Corolla.
That’s OK. Soon enough I’ll be the one buying the cement and bricks. In my flip-flops I walk right past the guys in their steel-toed boots and step inside.
Each time I walk into my local home improvement store I take a deep breath. It smells like … opportunity. You could build an entire home, from the concrete slab to the guest bathroom towel racks, with only supplies from the Home Depot (or Lowe’s). Hey, that’s a cool idea. Has the Home Depot (or Lowe’s) PR department thought of that?
I’ve spent enough time roaming the aisles in my local home improvement store (which – can you tell? – is a Home Depot) that I have favorites. Without further ado …
In Third Place: The hardware aisle. AKA the screw, nail, bolt and washer aisle. Anything you need to anchor something, you can find it here. There are parts of Home Depot – primarily the lumber section – I never walk through. Unfortunately I’m just not in the market for giant 12-foot-long roof beams yet. In the hardware aisle, I can see the 1,000-count box of drywall screws and think, “Someday, that’s going to be me.”
In Second Place: The tools aisle. Of course, for most people, the tools aisle is their top choice. And I don’t blame them. You’ve got hand tools on one side and power drills on the other, with the real bad-ass stuff like reciprocating saws and nail guns in the middle. One time I dawdled too long in the tools aisle and almost convinced myself I needed to buy a circular saw to complete a minor outdoor project. I had it in the cart before I thought better of it. “Mark, you live in an apartment,” I said to myself. “Put the power tools down and back away.”
In First Place: The Cleaning Aisle. This aisle is my personal heaven. Others may find peace in church; I come here for solace. There are literally hundreds of products to clean everything from clogged toilets to fogged mirrors. My favorite part is the breadth of selection. Not only can you find Clorox cleaning products, you can try Cloralex (the No. 1 bleach in Mexico). The cleaning aisle is one of the longest in the store, and it is packed, floor to ceiling.
I have another cleaning project on the horizon, so I’ll be headed back to my favorite aisle soon enough.