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Home improvement stores drain my brain

I’ve spent a lot of time in school during the course of my lifetime. You’d think with all that education, I’d be smart enough to resist even the most sophisticated marketing strategy.  But when I go into a store like Lowes or The Home Depot, I REALLY get stupid.

The way these companies lay out the Aisles is so clever. Every time I go to one of these super stores it’s all I can do to keep from waving my arm expansively and saying to the sales person “yes, I’ll take one of each of everything in this area here.”  

I drive a small truck which helps, because it can’t hold that much stuff, but it seems they anticipated that little logistical issue by offering home delivery. I can hear them saying, “No problem sir, we’ll use the BIG truck to deliver your stuff.”

I spend hours looking at lighting, flooring, paint, fixtures and the garden shop. The tools are another issue all together. My wife has a “thang” for shoes, but my addiction may even be worse because I can NEVER have too many tools. 

Most men are helpless when it comes to managing tool ownership. I think it’s in our DNA. 

Whenever I’m doing a home project, I get a rush when I need a specific tool and know that I have it hanging on a hook in my little shed. As I approach the tool section of Home Depot, I often find myself drooling. 

It would be embarrassing, but whenever I go to one of these stores and look around, I’m never alone. Normally there are several other men looking lustfully at battery-operated saws, drills, nail guns and air compressors. 

You can hear the wheels turning in their minds. 

“I wonder if I could hide this from my wife? Sometimes she just scans the credit card statements. I might be able to slip a $400 chipper shredder by” one might imagine them pondering. 

It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one afflicted by this condition.

I was talking to a friend at work this past week. He was saying that he went into the local mega-hardware store to buy a roll of duct tape and came out $1,800 later with a new weed trimmer, drill set, a table saw, spray paint equipment, portable car battery booster, a new ceiling fan and a barbecue grill. 

Everything except duck tape.

His wife confiscated his Visa card and now forbids him to drive within a mile of a Lowes or The Home Depot. His family did an intervention and they are encouraging him to attend TA (Tool-a-holics Anonymous). 

I shook my head solemnly in agreement, as I thought to myself, “Yes, I’ve shopped on that aisle before.”

I know that for most men, there is an underlying reason for this infatuation of mega-hardware stores. We believe deep down that we are saving money by fixing things ourselves.  

But hopefully one day all men will come to understand this infatuation with mega-stores is a trap because each time we start a small home project, we inevitably need a roll of duct tape.  It’s a vicious cycle.


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