Today at Ho(t)me(n) Depot, there I was reading through training materials on installing sinks and faucets and such, and in came the Human Resources Manager for the store. She who hired me. In her arms was a bundle. The moment had come: I have earned my apron. On the right side--it should be the left! Closest to my heart!--was my name, written in black magic marker.
This means that when I go to work tomorrow, I'll report not to the training room, but to the Kitchens and Baths department manager, thereafter to be unleashed onto an unsuspecting world.
"Oh my gosh," I said, trying to contain myself, "Should I kneel?"
"No, no, no reason to kneel," she told me.
"Will there be cake?" I asked.
"Y'know, there ought to be cake," she agreed, "But there's no cake."
But there was a tape measure, a utility knife, a black magic marker, and a blue pen.
These things don't belong to me, mind you, they're just given to me by Ho(t)me(n) Depot to use at work.
Not like I'm not nervous. To quiet my nerves, I've been running over What-I'll-Say-To-Customer-Who-Wants-To-Buy-A-New-Toilet-For-Powder-Room-He-Added-To-His-New-Finished-Basement and Things-To-Say-To-Help-People-Wondering-Whether-To-Go-With-A-Gas-Or-Electric-Stove-Top (which is Not. What. You'd. Think.) and such.
It's been a long time since I've been a Productive Member of Society. It sure will feel good. Ah, work. Such good stuff there. Opportunities to shine. Chances to be The Man. Being the Go To Guy.
And oh yeah. The Go To Gay Guy.
Last night, I worked until close. After I clocked out, I was heading towards the door, and a woman asked me if I was the "New Guy" in Kitchens and Baths. I confirmed that I was. We talked for a bit. And I broke in... "Have we met somewhere?"
I asked where she grew up, and she said "Near Doylestown."
I asked where she went to high school, and she said, "Central Bucks East."
(That fly-paper mind of mine.)
"You sat in front of me in Current World Problems in Tenth Grade!"
And we were off to the races.
So then, with that certain gleam in her eyes (that gleam that I don't get from guys), she asked, "So are you married?"
No. Not married.
Dating anybody? In a relationship?
Nope. Not in a relationship.
Are you gay?
Yes. I. Am.
So doubtless the word is out.
And I totally don't mind that.
So I'm the gay guy in the orange apron.
And orange, as we know, is my favorite color.
The only downside to working at Ho(t)me(n) Depot would be that all of my favorite shirts are orange. And I can't wear orange to work. Which ain't so bad. Standing in my closet and looking around, all you see is orange and what my sister once called "any color as long as mud comes in that." So the downside isn't much of a downside, since if I'm wearing it and it's not orange, then it goes with orange.