A few weeks ago, when the record breaking heat made our apartment a bit too uncomfortable to manage, we went to Home Depot to get an air conditioner for our living room. Normally this would have been a production involving multiple subways and a thrown out back, but with the introduction of a car in our lives, it was an easy fix. Walking through the parking lot toward the mega-store, a task most people would find onerous and grumble-inducing, Mike was beaming. The face-radiating-light spectacle continued into the store, through the reams of wood beams and paint chips and formica counter tops until finally he said, "I can't wait until we can come here all the time." I thought he was kidding, the look I shot towards him said all that was needed. "No, really, I love it here. I can't wait until we have a place that requires us to use this stuff."
Really? Aren't these outings what most people dread? Leaky faucets and overgrown lawns and gutters that need cleaning? Not so for Mike who is excitedly looking forward to future Saturday mornings spent talking about front load washers with the sales guy in aisle eight. When I pressed him on it, he said it's not just the stuff, it's what the stuff is for. Our home. Not some place we rent, but a home that is ours to take care of. Once he put it that way I put aside my fear of cars, traffic, and runaway carts in crowded parking lots and realized that one day something will be ours. It will probably be bigger than the 400 square feet we live in now. It will have closets and maybe even a door that opens to a bit of green space rather than the lobby where everyone in our building sits and smokes under the "No Smoking" sign. A place we get to take care of. And just like that he got me on board. Home Depot never looked so good.