BBQs & Choosing Happiness at The Home Depot

Virgo I forgot to look at my horoscope yesterday morning, and therein lies the rub.

You see, I never have been very good at running errands. I’m especially poor at it now that I rarely have to leave the house if I choose not to. The whole idea of putting on make-up, shading in my sad excuse for eyebrows, and tying back my unruly hair just to take care of the odds and ends of our life is tiresome. All that starting and stopping — getting in and out of cars. So gauche. So we tolerate things that don’t quite work, or need adjustments, or go without something that needs replacing. Shabby chic?

I spent years semi-silently grousing about not being able to take care of such things because I was teaching and couldn’t call for appointments, let alone actually go to an appointment. If I could only find the time…It seemed that everyone else in the world had closed up shop before I could get there. Poor, sad creature. Mistreated and maligned soul.

I shouldn’t be complaining because my exercise in futility yesterday couldn’t have been for a greater cause. Last Sunday, the MoH and I went on a BBQ finding expedition. Our beast has seen better days, and although still functional, it’s only a matter of time that the cooked-on grease holding it all together finally gives way and it collapses right in the middle of a swanky get together with just a few of our very dearest friends. Okay, well it sounds good, right? The swanky part. Not the crashing thing.

We looked at BBQs with stainless steel exteriors, ceramic grates, steel grates, drawers, and cabinets. We looked at rotisseries, burners, split lids, and sliding propane holders. Did we purchase one? No. Because we don’t have a truck. So I called a few days later to graciously inquire as to whether there is a cost associated with putting a BBQ together. I imagined that I might tackle it, but my dremel would most likely not get the job done. And the image of a crazed woman, hair on ends, a hammer and wrench clutched in a vise-like grip, and crouched in a corner of the garage waiting like a fiend for the MoH to arrive home did cross my mind. No, I would not be putting the BBQ together, so purchasing the big box wasn’t going to happen. Besides, I could also picture the big box falling out of the trunk of my car while driving up the hill, rolling backward for some distance, and picking up speed until it crashed into the brand-spanking new Mercedes CL550 coupe following me up the hill. Oops.

Perhaps I could have the BBQ delivered? “Can’t you borrow a friend’s truck?” the man on the phone from customer service inquired. I wondered whether his ingenuity had allowed this question to come forth, or if he’s coached to ask this of customers. I quickly searched my mental Rolodex of friends, woefully knowing before I became too engrossed in the task that we knew of only one person who owned an SUV. No one who owned a truck. Well, my brother owns a truck, but he’s an hour away, and all that hullabaloo just to get a BBQ to our house?

So I doctored up my face, made sure my arm pits were smelling fresh, and just for good measure, spritzed on one of at least ten flavors of body sprays I’ve collected from the RT’s gift giving, before backing out of the garage smelling like a cross between a cucumber and a melon. You know. Fresh. Salad-like? Ready to take on the day. The sunroof was open, and the new CD I burned yesterday was playing on the Bose. Good attitude, right? Making the best of a situation I don’t prefer. Going to buy my sweetie a BBQ for Father’s Day. He’s worth it — fab Dad that he is.

Do I have to tell you that they didn’t have any of the BBQs we picked out Sunday?

  • There was no one to answer questions once I arrived. Even after I stood near the BBQs, waiting, patiently.

  • No one came after I asked the customer service lady about getting assistance. Nicely.

  • The second time I went to customer service, the young man followed me to the BBQs but couldn’t answer my questions, so had to call someone else for help. I looked at the new Weber’s grilling recipe book. Patiently.

  • The next guy confirmed they had 5 of the model we liked in stock, but couldn’t find one anywhere — in or out of a box. I followed him on an in-store field trip looking for BBQs. But would I like him to call another store?

  • Yes, he called another store, who said they also had 5, already put together, and would I like one reserved, and 25 bucks off for my trouble? An officer and a gentleman, that guy. Things were certainly looking up!

  • I couldn’t find the other store — 20 minutes away. Even after driving down the rather lengthy road. It wasn’t where I thought it was. There was not a single gigantic orange Home Depot sign in sight.

  • I wondered what my horoscope had been for the day.

  • 411 knew of no Home Depot on that street.

  • I called 411 for the first store to confirm that there IS a Home Depot on that street. They insisted it was.

  • I pulled into the Bank of American ATM to get cash because I never have money in my wallet.

  • I then pulled into the Mc Donald’s to order a Big Mac meal (non-super sized, thank you — at least I hadn’t completely gone berserk) and stuffed my face while driving back down the very lengthy road, getting secret sauce on my face all the while, and guzzled diet Coke which I really don’t like.

After finding The Home Depot, which actually did have a sign, around the corner on the other street, my stomach quite full considering I haven’t slummed at Mickey D’s for months and months, my guilt about eating Muck Phood just beginning to bloom, the 9 million calories… I cheerfully shopped and gathered hickory chips, a light for the BBQ, and raided the plant section to spruce up my patio. I approached the customer service desk, my basket a raucously colorful display of flowers, and myself, cheerful just by association. “Hello,” I said, knowing that I’d soon be done and home.  The such and such store called about reserving a BBQ for me? It has my name on it and should be here.”

  • They sent me to the contractor’s counter.

  • The contractor people didn’t know what I was talking about so sent me back to the customer service counter.

  • The lady at customer service greeted me with an, “Oh. You’re back,” and smiled sweetly with no discernible hints of sarcasm. I asked her again about the reserved BBQ, and she said I needed to go outside to the “Summer Sale” jumble of BBQs, lawn sets, and other seasonal stuff.

  • I did. There was no BBQ with my name on it, but there were three that might be kind of like the one I’d been trying to valiantly less than half-heartedly purchase for my MoH. The employee was squeezing through the rows of BBQs raising covers and looking at tags. She wasn’t sure. I asked her about delivery or truck rental while she was looking, but she had little information. She told me I had to go back inside to take care of that. “But we only have one truck,” she adds, “and it’s on a first come first serve basis. We don’t call you to let you know it’s back. You have to wait for it.” I pictured myself, sucking on the warm Diet Coke left in the car, waiting for the rent-by-the-hour Home Depot truck to get the BBQ home. I pictured myself driving the truck.

  • I called the MoH and told him he would to have to rent the truck after work.

  • I went back inside. “Oh, you’re back,” the perky person I had spoken to earlier said again. “Do you have a SKU?”

  • I wondered again what my horror-scope must have been.

  • I didn’t have an SKU. I turned to go back outside, but she stopped me, and said she’d go instead. You think it may have been because my face was five shades of purple by this time, and I was totally over this shopping experience? After she returned, she wanted me to go back out and choose the one I wanted. I followed her. Smiling.

  • We got out to the sale jumble area again, and the employee I spoke with earlier avoided making eye contact with me. She was now very helpful, suddenly more alert, informative. My BBQ was tagged. It said S-O-L-D in very large letters on a piece of paper stuck to the tags that showed it had been marked down 60 bucks since Sunday.

  • I paid for my things, was handed a direct number to the customer service desk to ask about the truck rental just in case I had any more difficulty.

The MoH went to the store last night after work and saw the truck sitting there, but someone else had already called and was coming to get it. First come first serve? So he came home without the BBQ after waiting an hour for the truck. Taco Bell on the way home seemed to make it all right. No, I absolutely did not have Taco Bell.

But this morning, I did read yesterday’s horror-scope:

Invite as many people as you can to the party because it’s truly a the-more-the-merrier type of day. The power of your personality is what influences people. Keep smiling. Happiness is a choice.

I should really go rent that big damn truck today and bring that BBQ home myself. I just don’t know how I’d get it off the flatbed after I got it here. So the MoH will have to try again to get his BBQ home tonight. And I’ll be happy to go with him, because happiness is a choice.

And if we’re lucky, The Home Depot will not have sold our already paid for BBQ.

I wonder how we’re going to get the old beast out of here after the new one arrives? Anyone want a free BBQ? It still works.





12 responses to “BBQs & Choosing Happiness at The Home Depot”

  1. I cant believe that after all OF THAT… it is still Not In Your House!…

    That sounds like a typical shopping gone awry experience I usually go through when trying to accomplish even the smallest of tasks,


  2. The things we do for love. ^^

  3. Hey Meleah — As of 6PM this evening, the new BBQ is snugly sitting on our patio. The MoH scored after work with the rental truck. I guess there are good luck fairies after all.

    And Dave…Absolutely and without question. Except for driving that truck. On Friday. With traffic. I’m not as tough as I think I am. *sigh*

  4. ‘kay well you’re more of an adult than I’ll ever be. Had that happened to me, I would have went totally postal. This is not an exaggeration, there are witnesses to my behavior when I am not pleased with a store and it’s employees. These witnesses were praying for their lives at the time.

    I’m glad you got your BBQ, though =) And, I’m thankful for this story as I will never NEVER complain about our Home Depot again as you can not walk 10 ft. without a helpful sales associate stopping to ask if they can be of assistance. And every large item we’ve purchased has arrived to our home the very next day.. Bless them.


  5. loripea

    That’s a pretty funnly story! Ha, ha. Lots of talking, lots of driving, lots of walking, lots of waiting, lots of pretend smiling. I’ve been there before. Send me a pic of you new BBQ!

  6. Hey Lis — Now why am I not surprised that you’re a wild woman? Woot! I do this slow burn thing when what I really need is a rubber room. Because what I’d like to do is throw things, and scream. I’ve perfected the art of one raised eyebrow and words that lacerate, so I seem to freak people out without trying. That’s why I have to do the smile thing.

    Lormo…You completely understand the fakey smiling, right? I’m thinking that if Shaniqua had been at the customer service desk, I’d be on the 5 o’clock news. Ya know? My picture on the door of whom to ban from the Home Depot.

  7. Oh what a familiar scenario you describe…
    I’m happy to hear the replacement beast is happily installed. And functioning correctly, I hope…
    God knows you don’t want to try and take it back!!

  8. Minx, I have to believe that you’d handle this with aplomb and sans fireworks…Yes?

    And the new beast is alive and well. Shiny to boot. The first meal — very good. Pictures to come, of course.

    Now, to rid ourselves of the old greaster. Craigslist anyone?

  9. I’m glad to know I’m not the only person who has had a horrendous experience at Home Depot while buying a BBQ! Thanks for the great story as usual 🙂

  10. Hi Deb! What do you suppose is up with that? The biggest deal was the non-follow through between the stores. One employee actually rolled her eyes in reference to the store who had sent me. Like they don’t work for the same company?

    I’m thinking maybe that’s my second career — being in charge of the BBQ department at Home Depot. Whaddayah think? I’d probably look swell in that orange apron.

  11. did you get it yet? is it home? or still there? did they sell it to someone else? (just checking, or being nosey)

  12. Hey meleah, Yep it’s here. It took me forever to get my Monday post up today, so check it out.

    All is well with our BBQ saga…maybe!

    Thanks for checking in!

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