When I used to shoot stock photography, in the forum we’d all joke about how we had tried to apply the Undo or Clone or whatever (as in Photoshop) in real life. I’ve often wished I could hit an imaginary Back button in real life, and especially an Undo as applies to words. I’m pretty sure I won the Undo award at Home Depot tonight.
One of the guys who works there (he’s at least in his 40s, so is not some silly kid) is used to me, and I’ve said some dumb-ass stuff to him before, believe me, but I’m still cringing from tonight. I was in the lumber section and long story short, he said did I see the planks over there? We walked over there and I gasped. “Ooh! I walked right by those! Those are nice.”
“Yeah, these will be good for what you want, I bet.”
We both stood there running our hands over the planks, talking about what I’d use them for, etc. And I mean we were having a normal conversation while caressing the planks the whole time. I said I’d have to go back home and “measure twice, cut once” and he nodded sagely. Our conversation was pretty much done but I couldn’t stop touching (okay, stroking, caressing, running my hands all over) the planks. I said, “I just love a good piece of wood. Don’t you just love a good piece of wood? Gosh this feels good.”
Tears actually came up in his eyes right away, but he kept an almost straight face. He has a mustache and his entire mouth disappeared under it as he struggled. His face got all pink right away too. I remember kind of blinking and I’m pretty sure my face crumpled up. We just stood there looking at each other and it was totally not awkward. It was just a sort of an acknowledgment of: Yup, you said that, there is no save.
I made some kind of horrible apologetic face that probably made me look like I had to throw up, and there was a stupid smile in there somewhere. His eyebrows went up like: All righty, then… move along.
I said, “Right. Measure twice, cut once. So… going home now.” He nodded. I walked away wanting to cry.
I know this is funny now, but it wasn’t so much at the time. Well, it kind of was, and I could have brayed out my usual awkward laughter as when something like this happens, but tonight was really a bit beyond the usual.
And I still have to go back there. Oh boy.