So, okay … I decided I’d had enough of the broken plastic tiles in the basement, and I was going to fix the problem once and for all. Go get ‘em, girl!
I strode into the flooring store ready to pick out a solution and get on with my life.
I entered said store and was immediately overwhelmed by the glorious selections hanging from wall to wall. I never realized I had been floor-deprived before, but I suddenly felt like I had entered a new dimension: one where floors stay politely underfoot and don’t slide backward as you go out the door. Or fall to pieces if one dares to sweep out the corners.
A nice gentleman strode up and asked me a simple question, which quickly made me realize that I not only was I floor deficient, I also have an uncanny ability to become an instant idiot. Recipe? Just ask a question and wait.
“So what are you looking for?”
Seemed like a straightforward query, but my one-word answer, “Flooring,” didn’t take us anywhere. I finally clued into his pointed stare and responded with “… for a hallway and a bathroom,” regaining a semblance of composure.
Which I lost again within seconds.
“So what are the dimensions?”
He might as well have asked the circumference of the moon. I had realized approximately a nanosecond before he spoke — not only what he was going to ask — but that I had not a centimeter’s clue as to the answer.
My I-might-as-well-fake-it response, “Well, about from here to the door and about yay-wide” only brought a completely composed expression from the salesman. Though I do suspect that behind the mask, he was wondering why he hadn’t retired the day before.
Ladies, I feel I owe you a collective apology. Not only do I never knock out the bad guys like in every Marvel movie ever, but my retorts to clear questions are lame, and when face to face with the average salesman or repairman, I usually leave the impression that I don’t know which end of a hammer pounds a nail.
Why is that?
It’s not that I don’t have any savvy role models in my life. I know plenty of intelligent, quick-witted women who can make conversation sparkle like champagne. But put me in a room with more than one other person — or a repair guy — and I might as well have been born in the Neolithic age.
Good Heavens! I’ve raised eight kids and lived to tell about it. My whole life is one escapade after another. But my adventures are not the big-screen kind. And that may be part of my problem. Being a woman in the modern age appears to require a level of heroism unmatched in human history. And frankly, I don’t know how the gorgeous, snappy-talking, totally composed, strong-as-titanium women presented to the world through big and little screens actually feel, but I wonder if the load gets a bit heavy sometimes.
I’m hardly advocating floor-dimension-ignorance when shopping for tiles, but I imagine that the sales guy wasn’t nearly as scandalized by my imperfections as I was. I’ll still tackle my list of home improvement projects, and hopefully, remember to bring any significant information into the process, but I won’t bother to go into it with a kick-a attitude.
I will measure the floor, though.