Wednesday, March 17, 2010

From Backsplash to 20 years ago

We've been trying to come up with a backsplash for our kitchen. Something to match the granite, create some "visual interest" (HGTV phrase, people) & tie together the room. We perused Lowe's, didn't see a whole lot, and then we went to a big tile place.

There was this salesman who helped us. His name was Larry. And my heart sunk the moment I saw him. He reminded me of my dad. My dad sold tile and carpet too. It's not that I instantly think anyone who sells tile should remind me of my dad, but it was more that Larry seemed so utterly unfulfilled and floundering, just like my dad. There's just no way to slice and dice it any other way. He lived with his parents until he married my mom, lived with her for 3 years, then after they got divorced, he moved back in with his parents until he moved to the nursing home. He got fired from all his jobs, his cars all got repossessed, creditors would call all the time (he had no rent to pay, just a car payment and credit cards), and he spent far too much time and money at the bar. When I came to visit him over the summer, he'd either drag me to the bar, where I'd play pinball, PacMan or video poker...or he'd leave me with my grandparents and go to the bar til it closed. Even at a young age, I knew he was trying to feel better about his life by drinking alcohol. Why wouldn't he prefer to make himself the life he wants - one where he doesn't feel compelled to drown his sorrows in hard alcohol? I dunno, it never made sense to me. Did he not have the self-esteem to believe he deserved more?

As a carpet and tile salesperson, my dad would always wear brown polyester pants. ICK! Since I visited him during the summer, most of the time he would wear short sleeve shirts with the brown polyester pants and occasionally ties. I would hate, hate, hate when he wore a pale yellow short sleeve shirt with the brown pants. White was tolerable, but then he'd put some hideous striped tie on. He was an early balder, and he chose to try to hide the bald spot with a combover. Combover + brown polyester pants + pale yellow short sleeve shirt + striped tie = sadness.

Larry had the brown polyester pants and combover. I felt so bad for him. I wanted to ask, "Are you happy? Do you drown your sorrows in screwdrivers and video poker?"

It really looked like those pants were hand-me-downs from my dad.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

:( That must have been difficult. ((hugs))