An Alien in America

An alien's perspective on life and everything else

The Home Depot

Posted by nickxyz on May 21, 2006

Went to the HomeDepot, yet again. For anyone not familiar with this American institution, it is THE place to be for any wanna be home owner, gardner and construction crew. Paradise on earth for the male part of the population.

While it looks quite innocent from the outside, or rather like any other retail store in the US with a huge parking lot, that assumption is fairly quickly proven wrong.

The population in the garden section is predominantly female, mostly centered around plants, shrubs and planting utensils. The purpose of male companions is mostly to carry heavy items, lug the potting soil bags to the seemingly industrial sized shopping carts and push the beast up and down the annuals aisle.

Switching to the inside of the large building, the distribution of roles changes dramatically. While it appears to be quite balanced initially within the garden tool section containing various implements, fertilizers and bug sprays, it changes within a single aisle venturing deeper into the belly of the beast. All hope is lost as soon as the outdoor BBQ aisle is reached. Male testosterone takes over. It is quite amusing to casually stand by a highly intellectual conversation of two male specimen regarding the advantages and disadvantages of using either propane or charcoal for certain cuts of meats.

Further into the building, the landscape changes to an endless supply of construction supplies, utility belts, power tools, both cordless and battery powered, saw blades, vitally important huge selection of different kind of hammers, even in ergonomic shapes!

Sales events are usually attributed to the female population only. However, in the world of HomeDepots and Loewes, this preconceived notion changes gender. I was not aware until very recently, that one could always pick up another drill bit or additional nuts and bolts, nails, screwdrivers and other various tools that happen to be on sale, even though the garage and any other nook and cranny en route to the garage is already filled with “just in case” constrution pencils, flat head screw drivers and construction adhesives.

The highest population increase or fluctuation routinely occurs on Saturday mornings, in line with spring and fall being announced.  Should one then make it to the check-out counter after a sudden spontaneous ballooning of the carefully pre-trip  constructed shopping list, a rude awakening unavoidably looms in the form of the receipt, accompanied by the friendly smile of the check-out clerk. Plastic is patient, at least until the current bill cycle closes.

Would it not be an interesting economic study worthy of a graduate student evaluating the sales patterns of home improvement stores located in American suburbia, accounted for seasonality and day of the week….

Happy you can do it. we can help……..


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