Yesterday, I went to Lowes (gigantic box of do-it-yourself tools and supplies) to take down some item numbers of the various parts and pieces I will need when I close on the house. (Though the house isn’t a complete fixer-upper, it does need a little love).

Although I experienced a twinge of “stuff lust” again as I walked through the aisles of ceiling fans and snow blowers, mostly I marveled at what a congenial bunch the “do-it-yourself” crowd is.

As I was staring up at a wall-o-sinks, trying to decide whether the one I needed to replace was a 17-inch or a 19-inch, an older male customer and an older male Lowes employee walked up, also looking at the basins. They immediately found what they were looking for, and so decided to assist me.

“Are you finding what you need?” asked the male customer who sort of seemed like he might own the place.
When I told them that I had just bought a house and was making a list of repairs for my dad, both men instantly nodded in approval. “Smart girl,” I imagined them saying in their minds.

“My daughter’s in her third year at Franklin, and I hope she’ll do the same thing,” said the customer.

“Have you seen our on-line do-it-yourself projects?” the employee asked.

Later, a guy in the door department told me all about the state tax credits I could take advantage of for purchasing an insulated door. (And when he saw my Taylor University alumni sweatshirt, he also mentioned I could get a tax credit for donating to my alma mater). And the lady in the paint section who pulled out a sample just a shade away from the blue I was looking at told me how it took her 10 years in her first house before she started painting.

“Now I love it,” she said. “I want to paint every room.”

Wherever I go, whenever I tell someone I’ve just bought my first house, they suddenly treat me like I’m in the club. First, they congratulate me–as if I’ve just won the big game or climbed a big mountain. Then they start nodding, with that knowing look, and give me a little advice. “You know, when I bought my first house . . .”

This club certainly has a steep membership fee (especially when I realize that by the time I pay off my 30-year mortgage I could have bought the house twice), but I have to admit it feels good. Since I haven’t married yet and don’t have any children, this is the first major change in my life since college a a few years back (who’s counting).

Maybe this club I’ve joined is less about the house and more about settling down, taking on more responsibility, and paying taxes.

Lord help us all.