Going to the toy store is the biggest thrill for a child. From the moment the smell of hard plastic hits your face you’re off and running to your favorite section, hoping to see all the latest and coolest stuff. I remember that I was on a lifelong search for a doll that looked exactly like me; even in the early eighties it was hard to find dolls that weren’t blonde. In every store I’d run to the doll section searching for brown hair. Unfortunately, brown hair only came with brown skin and my search continued. Then, one day, my grandparents discovered the doll I wanted was at a Toys R Us in Buffalo, New York. We went all the way there to pick her up. I barely sat still the entire time. And finally, I saw her. Straight brown hair, pink leggings, blue leg warmers and a yellow sweatshirt. She was perfect. She was mine, and once I freed her of the millions of metal twist ties holding her in the box, I never let her go. I never did anything special with her except have her sit on my bed. It was just comforting to know she was there, being just like me. For some reason, this was very important.
Today I experienced the same feeling. My husband and I have been searching for ceramic tiles for our kitchen for over a year. We just couldn’t find something to go with our kitchen and bathroom colors, and nothing felt like “us”…until today. We found the perfect ones at Home Depot. I was so excited I ran home to measure again and worked out the price. We’ll probably pick them up tomorrow. How will I sleep?
I realized that Home Depot and Rona have become my grown-up Toys R Us. As soon as I walk in and smell the rubber and glue I get a little anxious. I stop myself from running to my favorite aisle (lighting) to see all the new stock. If anyone could see me they would see my eyes glaze over, looking up into the energy-saving bulbs, imagining how each light would accent my home, just as my doll accented my bed.
The point is, I like strolling around Home Depot on the weekends. I know it’s a mocked pass time in movies and on television and big box stores are the enemy, but I truly enjoy it. It may be too simple to say it’s an adult toy store. I think it’s more interesting to think of it as a place where all there are countless possibilities for projects and I can let my imagination run free. A magical place where I will buy my perfect tiles and all my renovation dreams will have come true. For now…