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May 24, 2018

figured i'd save time by parking in the covered lumber yard at Lowe's
and pre-pay for the stringers and lone pressure treated 4x6x8 i needed.
either the barcode was smudgy or my picture was blurry, so it took a long
time for the cashier to ring me up; i apologized to the person behind me.
back in the yard, all i could find was soggy, worm-eaten, shoddily milled;
i saw one snap under its own weight as a guy loaded it over his tailgate.
when my turn came, i got so mad sorting through the stack i started throwing
the rejects down, complaining loudly to anyone who happened by. (even
after 20 years in seattle, i haven't yet learned to internalize my grievance.)
a dude young enough to be my son (if ever i had one) pointed out politely
how they were for landscaping, not structural, and it suddenly made sense.
(i hadn't read the fine print on the pricetag but i should have known better.)
they didn't have 4x6x8 structural so i found a solid 4x6x10 and heaved it
onto my rack after going back in for quick exchange dance--the first time
i bought something and returned it without having taken possession.
on my way out i explained to the sharp-eyed gate guard why i had three
receipts--purchase, return, replacement--and had to admit it was my fault.
"you're never too old to make a rookie mistake," i said. she smiled,
tender and elderly. dumb as it was, owning my error made me feel better.