I think it is in Don Miller’s ‘Blue Like Jazz’ that he talks about how he loved to visit Home Depot.
I remember the first time I went to Home Depot. I was shocked to see the vast selection of different things. I remembered my Uncle telling me that Home Depot has everything we need to build a home. This was when I first came to this country. Since that day I was intrigued by Home Depot in the back of my mind but I never visited that place because there was no need to do so. I was living in an apartment and every time a light bulb burns out I would call their maintenance phone number. So, why would I go to Home Depot? After few more years, once I wanted to buy a tool and I went to Home Depot which was located less than 1/2 mile away from my apartment.
I entered this huge store and looked around with amazement. I felt like I was looking for a coin lost in an ocean. I went to the first aisle. It was an aisle for screws. "One whole aisle for just screws?" I thought to myself. I looked at the tall shelves on the both sides of the aisle filled with stacks of different types of screws. No, I didn’t become philosophical about American consumerism or anything. I wondered how someone would pick the right screw from this. Are they going to try each one of them to see which one fits? It took me few more years to figure out there is a 'size' for each screw. So if you know the size, you can just go to the box which labeled with that particular size.
But still, if I am missing a screw for something at home, how would I know the size of that screw? Should I measure? If so, how? Well, I still don't know. I don't know the use for 90% things in Home Depot. But I still love visiting Home Depot. I don't know why. I like looking at the various tools and such. When my wife calls me to go shopping with her at Kohls or JC Penny, I always wish if she was calling me to go to Home Depot instead. Or Lowes Or Best Buy. I always get a head ache when I visit stores like JC Penny. I don't like that section for perfumes. I can't stand that intense smell from people trying out different perfumes. I never liked the smell of any lady perfumes. May be it’s not made to impress men like me. I like one men's perfume. It's called 'Obsession'. No, I am not obsessed with it either.
In my office, we have a 4 member team including me. The other three are women. I work closely with them all the time. Each time I go for a meeting or something, I go with women and I come back with women. Sometimes I wonder if I started talking like women. So I remind myself to behave like men and I would change the way I talk and the way I walk. I also thought what others might think seeing me always working with only women. So sometimes when my teammates come to call me to go for a meeting or something, I would act busy so that they would leave and I can walk to the meeting room just by myself.
I deliberately tried to make some men friends just to prove to others that I talk to men too. I would go to some men's cubicles and try to start a conversation. Unfortunately, it usually ends in one or two minutes. I always wondered why. I learned some techniques to start a conversation with men. I would start by saying how crappy iPhone 4 really is and how I hate Steve Jobs arrogance. One day I went to this new guy and was about to break a conversation by saying the antenna problems of iPhone4 and how arrogantly Mr. Jobs said "Do not hold it like that". Then I immediately (luckily) noticed an iPhone on his desk and changed the topic.
I read the 'Science/Technology' section of Google News every day. So that I can keep myself up to date with what is happening in the tech world. Since I know nothing about Sports or beer, tech news is the only thing I can use to converse with men. Oh wait, I know two beer brands - bud light and bud wiser. I have seen those trucks.
With men, I always have to make things up. With women, things are much easier. I talk about how I put my kids to sleep at night, how funny my 4 year old is. And they tell stories about their kids, diet, cooking, vacation plans, movies and then of course office rumors. And I love that. When they share rumors, I try hard to hide my enthusiasm to listen. After all, I am a man. I shouldn't show any interest to listen to lady gossips. The only problem is that they whisper when they share rumors. Unfortunately they don't know that others would listen more attentively when they hear whisper voce. I think I should tell them to say it in a normal voice.
People say women are complicated and hard to understand. Well, I disagree. At least from my experience, men are complicated and are hard to understand. Because most of the time, they say something and mean something else. They act a lot. They act they are bold, all-knowing and all that. I know it because I act all the time. When I go to the car dealer I act like I know everything about cars. I am ego-centric. If I invest my ego into something, I will defend it till my death even if I know that I was wrong. Women have no issue to accept that they made a mistake and they say sorry very easily without any struggle. But for me, to apologize to someone is like eating a spoiled burrito.
Women (mostly) speak their heart out. And with them, I can speak my heart out too. Life is easy. I don't have to keep up with the latest NFL news and all that crap.