Home Improvement Store Revelations

Just say "No"

I’ve painted every room in a house, tiled a whole floor, and landscaped four times. Why? I get bored. I have a store credit card. And because these big box stores exist to rope you into totally unnecessary home improvement projects that never, ever end. Yet we keep going back! We must secrete some hormone that lets us forget just how time-consuming and torturous home improvement projects really are, just like pregnancy, moving, and homemade lasagna.

The next time your nearest home improvement superstore sings its siren song, keep these things in mind:

They lie. Home improvement projects are NEVER easy.

If you’ve ever seen a commercial for one of these megacenters you know that a friendly-looking person will flash some pearly whites at you while they hand you a trowel for your simple new tile backsplash.

What they do not tell you is that grouting is the most godawful task known to man and you will never, ever be done with that “weekend project” before Monday. You will rinse and squeeze and wipe and rinse and squeeze and wipe and even the gentlest of souls will find themselves pretending it isn’t a giant sponge but instead a neck they are wringing.

If you do finally finish a project, however, you will be rewarded with a newfound sense of satisfaction in your home just the goddamn way it is.

::grasps crotch::

Got your home improvement right here, pal.

The stores themselves reinforce antisocial behavior.

“Can I help you find something?”

Why yes, but only if you actually know where it is. If you’re just going to drag me back to the aisle I was just in and stare at the wall of items like a drunk chimpanzee hoping the right thing will leap off the shelf and into my hands I ALREADY TRIED THAT AND IT DIDN’T WORK.

After losing twenty minutes waiting for a staff member to turn around and shrug at you you’ll find yourself nurturing your inner introvert. You avoid eye contact. You hold very still when they pass by, feigning fascination in the product in front of you.

“Can I help you find something?”

No, no I don’t think you can.

Mind your receipts; they track your mental and relationship decline over time.

Trip 1: Gallon of paint. Primer. Paintbrushes.

Trip 2: Blue painter’s tape. Tinted primer. Two Dr. Peppers.

Trip 3: More painter’s tape. Foam rollers. More paint. Two Kit-Kats. Two more Dr. Peppers.

Trip 4: Sandpaper. Trim brush. More painter’s tape. Another gallon of paint. Paint trays.

Trip 5: Five-gallon bucket of paint. Power paint roller. Bottle of Valium from the dealer in back.

Trip 6: Rubber gloves. Axe. Shovel. Bags of concrete. One Dr. Pepper.

About OnBlank

Kristina is a type-A lunatic and a culinary klutz. She has many opinions, most of them about bread. She's awesome at setting nachos on fire and drinking beer. This in mind she's the brains at the food blog OnBlank.com. She dabbles in graphic design, self-help writing, bad poetry and working her husband's wood. (No really, he's a fine woodworker. You know, like a carpenter? Sha...buncha perverts.) She live-tweets meltdowns at @onblank and is always trying to keep her cheese from slipping off her cracker.


  1. Just watching HGTV gives me hives!!

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  2. Lovelyn says:

    I just bought a fixer-upper and will be heading to the home improvement store today. I’m not looking forward to it.

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  3. Anne says:

    I am still laughing. I have one of those credit cards, too. Somehow I am always enmeshed in some indoor or outdoor home improvement project. I have also learned not to make eye contact with those store people!

  4. My husband and I have reno’d EIGHT houses in our marriage. We are now in our final home.. nursing ***

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