“Thank you both for coming with me,” I smiled at my friends, “I’m sure a trip to Home Depot is not exactly the pinnacle of your week.”
“Are you kidding?” Gina laughed incredulously. “I would go to a tractor pull if it would get my ass out of the house today. We have my aunt, uncle, and three people I’m not even sure are relatives staying with us for Joe’s wedding this weekend.”
“Wait a minute,” Kelly said with a shake of her head. “Is your brother getting married AGAIN?” Gina arched her perfectly sculpted brows.
“Yes. . .yes, he is.” She sighed. “Apparently he’s hoping that the third time will indeed be the charm.”
Kelly mused in silence for a moment. “You know,” she said, “It’s interesting. If you screw up as a parent, they take your kids away; if you’re a shitty driver, they revoke your license, but they’ll let you get married as many times as you want. Personally, I call bullshit.”
“Agreed!” I cried, high-fiving Kelly for emphasis as we wandered toward the paint center. “I think that at some point the licensing offices should intervene before every woman in the greater metro area is walking around with your last name. For example, if you’re 40 or under and already on your THIRD marriage, that should be the point where the government just needs to step in and say ‘Dude, seriously…we’re cutting you off. CLEARLY you suck at this.’”*
*Not that I’m thinking of anyone in particular ((*cough*)) Gil ((*cough)).
“Whatever,” Gina groaned, “I’m just ready for all of the goddamned relatives to leave town. Between his fiancee’s North Dakota relatives and the Asian Contagion from our side of the family, it’s like a Coen Brothers remake of ‘The Joy Luck Club’; only. . .you know, with less ‘joy’.”
Kelly tilted her head analytically. “Aren’t you Japanese? I thought ‘The Joy Luck Club’ was Chinese.”
“Fine, White Girl.” Gina said with a toss of her hair. “How about ‘Coen Brothers meets Hello Kitty’. Is THAT racial epithet more to your liking?”
“Much.” Kelly grinned. “OK, Jen, so what are looking for today?”
“Paint for my garden shed.” I said, poring over the wall of paint samples. “Oh! And did I tell you why my mom thinks I should put a lock on it?”
“On your shed?” replied Kelly, “Well, other than the obvious ‘so no one steals your shit’ answer, I’m stumped.”
I snorted with laughter, pulling paint swatches from the rack. “Mom fears that since I live so close to the high school, the local teens will feel compelled to walk the 1.3 miles from campus, scale the poison oak infested hill to the back of my house, and use my stank-ass rickety shed as…and I quote: ‘A Fucking Shack’.”
Kelly choked on her Chai tea in astonishment. “Are you SERIOUS!?!?”
“What?” Gina asked, looking up from the stack of countertop brochures, “That could happen, right? I mean, if they don’t want to get caught having sex.”
“Dude, are you kidding me?” I said with a roll of my eyes. “This is Lake Oswego; the median income is over $80,000. Trust me, if any of these kids want to get their freak on they’ll use their parents’ pool house or pay for a hotel.”
Gina chuckled. “Well, how did YOU get away with it in high school?”
I stared at her incredulously. “Obviously you haven’t seen pictures of me in high school. My cankled, frizzy-haired, neon-clad milkshake wasn’t bringing ANYONE to the yard. For me it wasn’t a question of venue, it was more a case of looking like Screech from ‘Saved By The Bell’.”
Kelly snorted with laughter and held up a paint sample. “How about this one?” she suggested, “It’s pretty close to your house color.”
I tilted my head judiciously. “I like it, but I want to give the shed a little ‘bling’. I mean, it’s not like I’m going to be using it for actual TOOLS and lawnmowers or anything.”
“You ARE turning it into a Fucking Shed, aren’t you!” Kelly cried. “I KNEW it. . .Whore.”
“Ease up there, Pat Robertson.” I drawled, “I’m making it into a clubhouse for the shorties.”
“That is so cool!” Gina smiled. “Ooh! How about this one!” She held up a color swatch and waved it happily. “It’s blue and has glitter in it!”
My eyes widened in horror. “It looks like Ke$ha got gangbanged by the Smurfs. Maybe something a little more Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and a little less Studio 54.”
Gina pouted and flicked the paint swatch at my head before turning to peruse the cans stacked against the opposite wall. “Oh my GOD!” she cried, pointing at the display before her. “Valspar!?!? Isn’t that a herpes medication?”
“Valspar?” I asked, crinkling my brow. “That’s a paint brand. What are you. . .wait, do you mean ‘Valtrex’?”
She narrowed her eyes at me quizzically. “Are you sure it’s not Valspar?”
“Oh, sure,” I nodded, “because nothing cleans up a case of the herp like a layer of high-gloss interior latex.”
Kelly shrugged. “Well, actually, if you have some latex up in your interior it might keep you from getting the herp in the first place.”
“Nice.” I acknowledged, bumping fists with Kelly over the counter. “But for the purposes of my shed, a latex wouldn’t work. Since it gets partial Southern exposure, I’m much better off using a heat-resistant oil-based paint over a water-based primer to season the wood.”
Kelly gaped at me in shock. “Well! Check out the big brain on Brad!”*
*In order to hang with my posse, you must be able to effectively quote ‘Pulp Fiction’. . .and ‘Mean Girls’. Oh, and on Wednesday’s? We wear pink.
“Yeah,” Gina agreed with no small amount of awe. “Look at you bein’ all HGTV up in heah!”
I grinned smugly. "Six months ago I couldn't tell a flat-head screwdriver from a Phillips and now I'm just a bullhorn and a Red Bull away from being Ty Pennington."
"OK, OK," Kelly conceded, raising her hands in mock surrender. "Let's not start yelling 'Move that bus' quite yet. You still have the upstairs bathroom to contend with."*
*My upstairs bathroom is like the ugly bridesmaid you crop out of the wedding photos or your deformed Cousin Eddie that lives under the stairs. It's supreme hideousness makes me profoundly sad so I simply close the door and attempt to deny its existence.
I nodded morosely. "I know. Dad and I are going to paint and replace the vanity, but. . .ultimately I know I'll have to replace the linoleum, and recaulk the shower. . ." I paused, listening to my friends chuckling softly. "What?"
Gina snorted softly. "Nothing. . .it's just. . ."
I rolled my eyes dramatically. "Seriously? You lose your shit when I say 'recaulk'? What are you? Twelve?"
"Ha!" Gina cried. "Were you or were you not the one who practically wet her pants and had a seizure when the door guy discussed digging his caulk out of the glass?"*
*Worst part about having a friend who's an attorney? She will call you on your shit. Every. Damned. Time."
I smirked wickedly. "Tell you what, Geen, I will give you twenty bucks if you'll walk up to the next guy you see in an orange vest and ask him where you can find a good, stiff caulk."
Gina's brown eyes widened in horror. "Twenty bucks? I think not."
Kelly burrowed through her woven handbag. . .*
*I love Kelly mad hard and fully embrace her vegan lifestyle, but the accessories that look like they were made by a Manson youth on peyote? Oh, Honey...no.
. . .and pulled out a five dollar bill. "OK, twenty five dollars in cash, AND I'll buy you a Depot Dog."
Gina squinted, her legal mind whirring furiously. "With sauerkraut?"
"And onions." Kelly wheedled, waving the fiver in front of Gina's face.
"Done." Gina said, snatching the proferred cash and shoving it unceremoniously down her bra while walking off in quest of an employee. "Oh!" she stated, turning back to address us. "For the record? I would have done it for ten."
Best. Friends. Ever.