Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm feeling pretty manly these days.

Lately, I've experienced a profound transformation. I've gone from a reserved, unable, meek male to a hardened, domesticated, sturdy MAN. It all started this weekend when I decided to install some shelves in my garage.

I headed down to the ol' Home Depot to check out the storage systems. The aisle showcased several options. Fully assembled, easy-to-install options. The price tags were a little more than I wanted to swallow, however. But what other options did I have? I inquired of a sales associate.

ME: Excuse me, are these all the garage shelf systems you have?

HOME DEPOT GUY: Sure are. Unless you want to just build your own. Lumber is in aisle 45.

It was at this point that I realized the Home Depot guy wasn't really being helpful. He wanted to take a jab at my void of manliness. He saw a scrawny father of two standing amongst the wire shelving units (one row over from the decorative hanging lights, mind you) and he took his shot.

Well, the shot stuck.

I curled up my bottom lip, puffed up my chest and headed for aisle 45.

It was like a whole new world. A completely different culture. It was filled with real men. Everywhere. I mean, these guys came to Home Depot wearing their own gloves and everything. Everywhere I turned, guys were haulin' lumber. Taking measurements. Casually swearing. The whole nine yards.

Upon entering this world, I was quickly spotted as an outsider. I'm sure my lack of leather tool belt and gloves gave me away. So I quickly turned my focus to the stacks of lumber, pretending I knew what I was looking for. But after about 20 minutes of this facade, I realized I was in over my head. I had to make my escape. I coughed up some minor fit, like they didn't have the exact kind of wood I like to work with or something. I tossed my hands into the air, said something involving the words "hell" and "damn" and stormed out into the parking lot.

Once there, I snuck into my 1999 Honda Accord and returned back to my home. But, I never made it back home. At least not to the home I remembered, the home where I wasn't a real man. I now had a new resolve. I was a changed "man" as it were.

But I still had a problem. Like any changed hero, I needed to cross over the threshold. I needed to conquer the shelves. Through means of real wood, real hardware and real power tools.

I retired to the privacy of my bedroom, where I secretly googled "How to build garage shelving." My search results took me to a site called And wouldn't you know it, they had a five-video tutorial on how to build some simple storage shelving. As I soaked in the tutorials, an amazing sense of excitement overcame me.

I can do this. In fact, this looks really easy.

I watched the videos a second time just to make sure.

I swept out any remaining doubt, found my hardly-used work gloves in the garage, fastened a measuring tape to my hip that was part of a simple man's toolkit I was given as a wedding gift and returned to Home Depot. Without hesitation, I confidently obtained a lumber cart. I even entered through the contractor's entrance.

This time I blended right in. I strutted around, throwing lumber onto my cart like it was nothin' doin'. And it felt awesome. Just then I spied a feeble father entering into the area for his first time. I could see the pain and confusion in his eyes. This world was so desirous, but, at the moment, unobtainable. I offered a hardened scowl as I passed. I was going to spit by his shoes to show him just how desensitized this world was, but a painful canker sore held me back. So the scowl had to suffice.

I confidently lined up in the contractor's checkout line sharing company with society's most calloused.

I returned to my garage. With the tutorials still fresh in my mind, I went to work. I turned on the classic rock radio station and let ACDC take the lead. With a power drill in one hand and a two-inch deck screw in the other, it began.

Two hours later I emerged from my garage. I had done it. I had crossed over. I had become a real man. I had built, perhaps the finest garage shelf Longmont, CO had ever seen.

And from that moment, I have been forever changed.

So now, as a real, manly man, it really doesn't bother me that the rental car we were given from our insurance company while our wrecked car is in the shop is a BIG, HUGE, HONKIN', EXTENDED CAB, MONSTER OF A TRUCK.

I'm probably gonna use it to haul some stuff to the dump this weekend. Or maybe even pick up some landscaping boulders.

Or maybe even both.


Blogger Ellie's Mama said...

You have got to post pictures of your manly shelves. They are, dare I say it? Bitchin'.

10:02 AM

Blogger : STEVE : said...

Well, in her complete state of being impressed, Hailey claimed she was going to blog about it. Well, as you can see...that hasn't happened yet. If she doesn't make that post by tonight, I'll up and steal her thunder with pictures of my own.

10:37 AM

Blogger oh snap said...

This is huge.

Were I there, I'd celebrate your victory by buying you a cheap near-beer and we'd go bowling.

10:50 AM

Blogger Hailey Happens said...

yeah, I keep getting impressed with the manly steve. This is the anal part of Steve that comes in handy. Everything has to be perfect. Love them!

12:48 PM

Blogger Sarah Nanine said...

I want to see the pictures Steve. We have been discussing shelves for our "new" cold storage area. You know the place you are suppose to have the 2 year supply. I want my man to be manly enough too.

4:12 PM

Anonymous jenn said...

One of your best posts. Ever.

10:59 AM

Blogger Fritz said...

um. hilarious. we got a truck once while our car was in the shop because it was the only one that would seat 6. that's right...the whole fam rode in that mother. word.

2:17 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home