Friday, December 22, 2017

Ho, Ho, Ho! & Home Depot

Photo: Viktor Gladkov


How nice to be warmly greeted while in a vast entryway of concrete floors, harsh lighting, and merchandise stacked skyward on massive shelving.

I'm in Home Depot, the mega home improvement store.

Tom, the one welcoming me, isn't normally the store's designated greeter, nor is he a total stranger. He just happens to be friendly.

And we happen to be acquaintances from way back... when we both lived in the same Borough, where Tom also operated a storefront floral shop, and later, the floral section in an upscale Farmer's Market that was forced to close when Acme, a giant supermarket chain, inhabited the complex.

And it was there, at the Farmer's Market, among his beautiful and often exotic fresh-cut flowers where we'd stand and make small talk.

Much like we're doing now, only now, Tom is wearing an orange workman's apron over his street clothes, and instead of Peonies and Calla Lilies we're standing and chatting among light bulbs and outlets in the 'Electrical' Department, which is a distance from Home Depot's 'Garden Center' where Tom usually works. But regardless of where or when, we still converse a bit whenever we meet. Which is what Tom is doing now... filling me in on his son's recent marriage.

Half-jokingly, I interject, "You mean Home Depot let you out to attend your son's wedding? It seems like you're always here... working!"

"Yeah, it seems that way," he said with a slight chuckle, "but really I do get two days off each week. I take off weekdays. Selfishly, I like time to myself at home when everyone else is working."

"So, what do you do with your days at home?" I ask.

"I meditate and do Yoga... three times a day," he replied.

"Really???... Three times a day!!!" I didn't dare tell him I'm currently taking a meditation class and can barely manage to practice once a week.

Then just as I'm ready to say goodbye and join my husband who's somewhere in 'Hardware' looking to buy a 10-millimeter washer, a part, that should have come with his new brick-cutting tool, but didn't... Tom looks around, and signals me with his hand to follow him.

I have no idea where we're going or what's on his mind, but I try and keep pace as he leads me through a maze of boxes, boxes filled with seasonal items: artificial Christmas trees, holiday lights, ornaments, reindeer statues and more, to a place (surprisingly for this time of year) without any customers.

It's here where Tom stops and turns towards me, while mentioning some kind of animal. And in a flash...

Tom is airborne!

In one swift motion, he manages to rotate 180ยบ and land: head down, hands flat on the ground, one leg pointed straight up to the ceiling, the other bent at the knee and off to his side, in such an extreme angle that it doesn't seem humanly possible!

"Not bad for a 62-year-old man," he boasts while upside-down and trying to remain frozen in this odd contortion.

"AMAZING!!!" I say, as the blood rushes to his face.

Cat, camel, cow, monkey, peacock, goose... I don't know what pose he called it, but apparently... it's YOGA!

"IMPRESSIVE!!!" I say.

Though less impressive is his dismount... a 'Jenga'-like action thing... that has him close to crashing into some inflatable Santas!

Now upright, somewhat dazed, and ever-so-slightly embarrassed, he mumbles...

"I probably should have warmed up first."

I didn't say a word... just watched as he began lifting and stretching his arms and legs, twisting his body from side to side, and finally bending over at the waist.

Which I almost did... bend at the waist with admiration and laughter... Ho! 
Ho! Ho!

And in that moment, my holidays became more... Merry & Bright.

'Tis The Season To Be Jolly!

May all your shopping experiences
and friendships
be merry
and full of fun surprises!

XOX... Dyan