As I walked into Menards last night, I could feel the level of my anxiety rising higher and higher as we approached the front door. I may be drinking my dinner tonight were my exact thoughts as we walked into the building. This is not the first time I have visited Menards with my husband. Oh no, we are frequent flyers of the popular home improvement/gardening/where TF are the wood stains store. Each trip inevitably involves an argument, frustration, exhaustion and/or pure blind rage.
Our first disaster trip began with a home improvement project for our old condo. This project was pre-marriage and tested our relationship better than any counseling ever could. People, I’m telling you now, skip the counseling and just do a home reno project together. It will quickly reveal who you are as a couple and help you determine if you have what it takes to survive life together. How hard could it be to rip out a little carpet and lay down some planks? It’ll be fun…they said. Now, I give my husband all the credit in the world. What he didn’t know how to do, he learned very quickly. I, on the other hand, was about as useful as a fork would be for eating a bowl of tomato soup. I’m an “indoors gal” and don’t enjoy manual labor, construction dust, or heavy lifting. My idea of the great outdoors is day drinking on a patio with my girlfriends while working on my tan. And let me tell you something, I’m not ashamed or sorry about it.
Menards trip #1: Picking out the floors was surprisingly not that big of a deal. We snagged a few samples and decided on a color without too much struggle or disagreement.
Menards trip #2: Back to the store to pick up our plank order. Before we knew it, “demo day” was upon us and ripping up the floor, while it wasn’t my favorite Saturday activity, wasn’t the worst thing I ever had to do. Midway through, we realized that half of the floor had a sub-floor and half did not. Sub-floor was a new term to me, but I immediately understood why it was a problem.
Menards trip #3: Buy a router and take down sub-floor. The word router was also new to me. Fast forward ripping up sub-floor and we’re back to the planks, cooking with gas. Laying the floor took a few days and I got several nasty looks from my neighbors as we piled up the old crap on my community lawn. Sorry… In hindsight, it would have been easier to bring in a dumpster rather than haul the junk to the dump ourselves – but hey – you live and you learn amiright!?! Now comes the time to put that devil trim back on the wall. Long story short, we needed all new baseboards. The old did not look good next to our fabulous, new, faux wood planks.
Trip to Menards #4: Is this really happening right now? Back to the store to purchase baseboards, a wood stain and a saw or horse-stand or whatever the hell they’re called. At this point in our “fun bonding project”, I am done learning new things about tools and construction. In fact, at this point, I’m ready to twitch my nose like Samantha on Bewitched and bring back the old Berber. I’m exhausted, hangry and starting to see red. As we’re loading up my husband’s Jeep, the front end of one the boards nicks his dash and smashes his front window, which has to be completely replaced. Word vomit immediately starts spewing out of my mouth and I say, “I told you we should have brought the CRV!”
That. Did. Not. Go. Over. Well.
I have since learned to hold my tongue a bit, but it hasn’t been easy. The next part of the project was a series of staining and cutting, staining and cutting. Finally, all baseboards are attached but you can see all the nails in the trim…
Hey, guess what folks? Trip to Menards #5: Operation purchase wood putty.
Here is a before and after shot – long before I started writing and taking pictures with the intention of sharing with anyone on the Internet.
I initially started this post intending to provide you with tips on how to survive a trip to Menards with your spouse. Sadly, I decided I literally have no words of wisdom for you. Every trip to that place ends in complete and utter disaster. I do however, have some suggestions for Menards.
- Provide snacks, because adults get cranky when hungry too.
- Each customer should be provided with beer at both entry and exit of the store. The first is a, I’m sorry you had to come here with your spouse today beer and the second beer is a CONGRATULATIONS! You made it out of the store without murdering anyone today beer.
If any of you can relate to my experience, I’d love to hear from you!
See ya next time.
-The Chic(ish) Chick
*Menards – if you’re reading this, please don’t be offended. This is more about marriage and common marital disagreements than you. I’ll be back…