Eustacia is home for the summer, and now I have to hear a phrase that makes those little hairs on the back of my neck bristle—"I'm bored." I've been told that if you're bored, you're boring, but I don't believe that's quite true. And even if it is, it's an unkind retort to someone who's accustomed to activity and people and raucous noise and then has to spend the summer in a quiet house so devoid of activity that in the mornings when the porch doors are open, it sounds like wilderness with nothing to hear but chirping birds and agitated squirrels.
The other day, my reply to Eustacia's whine was to suggest she clean up the pile of DVDs she had dumped on the dining room floor. I was envisioning an entire summer having to walk around the things, and I think it isn't unreasonable for an unemployed person to get off her slothful rear end and pick up after herself.
Anyway, she decided that instead of shoving the movies in a cobwebby box from the garage, she would build one customized to suit. She measured and sketched and presented me with a plan to build a DVD box. We don't have wood in the house. We also don't have a power saw. So, we took the plan to Lowes and marched in ready to be mocked.
We walked up to a man who looked like he knew about woodworking, and I said, "First, let me just say that we're out of our element here. Second, we need help with this." I shoved the plan at him, said we wanted wood for the project, and asked if he'd cut it to the specifications for us.
I was expecting to be laughed at, or at least have some punk roll his eyes at me and my stupidity when it comes to wood and saws, but instead I got respect and help. How nice. We were introduced to a guy, a kid from my perspective, named Travis. Travis listened to what we needed, walked us through an aisle filled with plywood, and took us back to a big, dirty saw where he patiently cut up a board into all the little pieces we needed. He seemed to take on the project as his own and was so proud at how he'd figured it out that when he was finished, he put down his goggles and said, "I'm a genius."
Yes, Travis is a genius. He's also kind and polite and helpful. When he could have been a jerk and acted imposed upon, he did his job and kept some customers from feeling a little embarrassed. If he's not careful, we might show up with another project someday. Eustacia might want to build her own desk. Or a whole house.