Monday, May 16, 2005

Pick up lines.

A trip to Home Depot after work is to me what a bar is for others. A place where I can look around, let my imagination run wild and just relax. I came in to pick up some electrical wires (I am rewiring a lamp brought from France) but somehow end up at the paint department, looking at all the different colors. "Applecrunch" or "Warm Cocoon"? I am awaken from my thoughts by a similar question coming from a man, about 40, holding a small piece of paint in his hand. The paint is disgustingly dirty, a maroon color that once was yellow or beige. "What do you think" he is asking, holding in front of me a piece of paper with a small range of yellows. I'm not sure that this is even a color, so I hesitate. "I'm not sure", I venture, "this does not look like the same color at all." He nods and explains that his is working for this old woman, doing a small paint job for her and that he wants to get it exactly right. I nod still thinking about the Warm Cocoon.
He is clearly taking great pain to match the color of this small speckle of old paint. I tell him just to chose a color that will look good and forget about the matching idea. "I can't", he says, "otherwise I would have to paint the whole thing and not just the small part she is paying me to do. I'm a professional painter." Until that point I was paying little attention to the fact that he had started the conversation. It happened in a hardware store, just like in a bar. But professional contractors don't ask the opinion of the next person at the paint department. As I am thinking "This is strange", he says "I may just do it though, paint the whole thing so it will look nice. Even if she does not pay me". So now I understand his game and I am just waiting for the hook, that is not long to come. "If you need a painter, I can give you my card. I usually pick a couple of jobs here every day." I smile and decline. Home Depot is like a bar after all, except he came here to pick jobs, not women.


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8:59 PM  

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