Writer, Comedian, Author of Gonepausal

Gail Forrest

  NEW:  My New Dating Site: Home

     Depot – Or “It’s in Aisle 12 on

     the Left”

Published on Ageist, June 2, 2021

I spent more time at Home Depot during the pandemic than the grocery store. The aisles were wide, people were scarce, and paper towels, toilet paper and light bulbs were cheap. I was shocked, however, to realize I was literally in “man land.” Rarely a woman in sight. In fact, on more than one occasion I was the only female in the store except for the cashiers. Whoa, baby. So when my friend David suggested now that I was vaccinated and getting restless I should get a job, I burst out laughing when he mentioned Home Depot. Then I stopped laughing and started thinking that could be genius. Genius, I say.

Home Depot could be my own personal dating site. Men galore and I can pick and choose. No wondering if someone lied about their height and weight on their online profile, or if their pictures were from fifteen years ago; I could see for myself. What a time saver. Adding to the allure, all the employees get to wear orange — the new black! Out with my former art-dealer-black wardrobe and in with Home Depot-orange. Twenty four years as an art advisor and I never found a date, only happily coupled straight or gay men. Intelligent, sophisticated and wealthy, but taken. Definitely not an alternative dating site, but a great business.

Spoiler alert: I know absolutely nothing about tools, home repair, or any item sold at Home Depot except the candy at the checkout counter. I have never gone in alone but always with my handy helper David to buy even a single nail. And did you know there are hundreds of kinds of nails? The stores are gigantic — like Disneyland for home repair junkies. The aisles are clearly labeled but still made me dizzy: Dry Wall (as opposed to?), Masonry, Tools, Hardware, Plumbing, Lighting, Bath, Electrical, Automotive, Flooring, Roofing, Power Tools, Ceiling Fans…there are seventy-one freaking aisles and the only sign that I understand is Ladies Room. There is not one aisle that reads Lingerie, Sportswear, or Shoes. Oh, how I love shoes… but I’m on a mission and although the learning curve would be incredibly steep, my alternative is back to online dating. I will learn what dry wall means if it kills me or falls on me.

I noticed in the parking lot there were two Teslas, a few tricked-out Jeeps, Hummers, three Porsche SUVs, one Mercedes E350 and a Lexus. Promising. The heaviest man-traffic time of day is very early, which doesn’t bode well for me the lazy riser. That is, however, when the hunky young contractors come in to pick up their materials for work. And they are lusciously tanned in their perfectly worn out jeans, tight t-shirts, muscled arms and flat abs. Anyone else feeling hot? Later in the day you can spy the Ralph Lauren blue blazer types and Bernie Sanders disheveled look. The homeowners appear — no flat abs, but the Porsche SUV and 350 Benz. So many men, so little ability to help them.

I believe they would start me as a cashier where I would be useless, as a computer screen other than my own scares the crap out of me. I am basically a techno illiterate, but the checkout is near the candy about which I could be of service. “Sir, are you sure you want Skittles? They’re not chocolate, you know.” I could really help people make better choices about candy bars.

How hard could checking someone out be for a smart person like me? Impossible, as I cannot follow instructions (it’s part of my charm). I watched the cashier carefully. 1) You aim the pricing gun at the item, 2) check the computer screen 3) ask how they want to pay — credit or cash. 4) Continue with “Do you want an electronic receipt also?” Four steps which I have already forgotten. If they want to return something I fake fainting.

I would definitely prefer to work the floor. I’m a very good schmoozer from my art dealing days, but I knew a lot about art, and I know nothing about home repair, tools, or appliances. I recently turned on the oven to make a pizza and melted my microwave having forgotten I stored it in there. Make sure you check the oven before preheating. I’m a quick study.

When I graduate from cashier status I would roam the aisles looking for attractive men and praying no one has a question. I have ingeniously developed two encompassing responses if asked anything: “It’s in aisle twelve on the left…unless they moved it.” That covers me most of the time. If I’m busted and they come looking for me saying Aisle 12 is lighting and not automotive, I quickly and politely respond “Give me a second, I’ll get someone over here.” In the meantime, I flirt with the cute guy I sent on a wild goose chase. Do you see the genius?

So women, heed my words but please don’t encroach on the Home Depot near me. My own private man land! I will, however, leave you with a few good starter words: circular saw, reciprocating saw, crosscut saw, table saw, hack saw, and band saw.