Sweet Juniper: Becoming a little more annoying every day

Posted by jdg | Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Just last night I stood at the entrance of Home Depot, taking in the acres of big-box rafters up above and the swarming orange-smocked associates hawking everything from circular saws to laminate floors down below, and I said to myself, "holy shit I am so fucked."

My friend and his girlfriend were over here the other night and he told me he "doesn't really get" this blog. I told him that was okay, that it was mostly about babies and parenting, and that when I was in his position (i.e pre-kid), nothing bored me more than having to encounter others talking about their kids' sleeping habits. That was pretty much true, but my feelings were still hurt. But last night, when I stood looking at all those aisles of drywall and window treatments and power tools I realized that with the purchase of our new home this week we had joined another unique species of American known as the homo domiciles onerous. All through those blissful days of renting I looked forward to the day we'd own our own home, not knowing that owning a home would involve things like outdoor lighting and being responsible for your own toilet when it breaks. At Home Depot we quickly discovered that there was a whole new dialect we needed to learn, words like spackle and primer and subfloors and moldings. "Do it yourself" took on whole new dimensions. It even has a television network, apparently. The cable channels (yes: we have cable now, but no internet yet) are clotted with shows about renovating your high school math teacher's bedroom or tattooed homosexuals discussing how to arrange your furniture. Over the years I have listened stonefaced to dozens of friends talk about what a pain in the ass it was to paint their walls ("how bad could it be? You had rollers, damn it," I thought), but Wood and I have just spent the last two days painting half our walls and goddamn now I understand, people. Jesus, I understand now why I have had to listen to and read your tales of rolling down two layers of radish paint in your rumpus rooms and bosphorous pink in your nurseries. You needed to talk about that shit, just like you need to talk about what a pain in the ass it is to have a kid who won't sleep. I understand now.

Wood's stepdad works for Sherwin-Williams, so he and her mother gave us a wonderful housewarming present of four gallons of top-quality paint, all the necessary supplies, and a toolbox full of tools. My parents visited our new house yesterday for the first time and showed up with a housewarming present I could have done without: my dad filled his truck with everything I'd accumulated in 18 years of living under their roof, including six giant tubs filled with worthless late 80s baseball cards, and he dumped them off on our stoop. It was as though he'd said, "well, he's got his own house now, so let him store all this crap." I wanted to scream at him, "Dad we moved back to this state so you could be closer to your granddaughter, and you thank me by clearing out my old room so you can store more of your hood ornament collection in there?" Doesn't he realize parents are supposed to throw away baseball card collections so that kids have one more thing to talk to their therapists about? The only silver lining here is that I found my old Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammel Starting Lineup figures. Juniper will soon be using them to imagine some spectacular double plays. As soon as she stops calling them babies and making them kiss each other.

None of our actual furniture is here yet, but we do have sixteen tubs full of crap like my eighth grade Iowa test scores and loose condoms that expired in 1998. We also won't have a high-speed internet connection or a phone line until the eleventh, so I am going crazy not being able to keep up with blogs. But Detroit is awesome, and things should be back to normal around here fairly soon.

Juniper still needs a bed, so today we are tackling the third and most daunting member of the big box triumverate. Having survived Wal Mart and Home Depot, today we take on the great blue and yellow menace from the north: IKEA.