Yesterday I spent the day on the road, driving to Vermont to pick up toilets and countertops at Home Depot. I haven’t had much experience with big box stores and when I got the email saying my items had arrived, I set out in my truck, figuring: 2-hour drive, 1/2 hour to load, 2-hour drive home. No problem!
How foolish. For one thing, I had never visited Burlington on a Saturday. I only drive to Vermont for medical appointments, invariably on weekdays. The traffic crawled. When I finally arrived, Home Depot was jammed. My order could not be located. The customer service people couldn’t have been nicer. “Would you like to go out for lunch and then return? I bet we will have found your order by then!”
Go out for lunch?! I tried to be cheerful but I was checking my watch. I was supposed to be home and dressed for a wedding at 3 PM. This is when I call on my father internally. Dad’s gracious Southern manners rarely failed, and certainly not in public or with people attempting to provide a service.
I took a deep breath and smiled.
An hour and a half later, lunch-less, I was back on the road, the truck groaning under my order. The butcher block countertops weighed a ton and in loading them I’d mashed a finger; the fingernail was rapidly turning purple. I had toilet pieces leaning against me in the front seat. As I drove I kept my eye on my watch. Late, late, late! Home at last, I raced into the house, washed my hair (mashed under a baseball cap all day) in the kitchen sink, toweled it dry, and jumped into a dress and shoes.
I arrived twenty minutes before the ceremony. The wedding was beautiful.
This morning I discovered that three weeks ago, I somehow ordered the wrong toilets. I meant to order elongated bowls, and these are round. My mistake — I clearly clicked on the wrong link. Now I have to decide if it is worth returning these toilets and reordering. Part of me says, “You will live with these toilets for the rest of your life. Take the time.” The other part says, “Have you ever noticed the shape of a toilet?”
My preoccupations these days are not glamorous — or perhaps even rational.