Saturday, September 10, 2011
The Thrill Of...The Grill? More Like Girl v. Grill: My Adventures In Purchasing My First BBQing Thingy
A few weeks ago I woke up, put on my stilettos, and got in my car to go on a mission--I, Whitney, girlie girl, high maintenance, Barbie girl, was off...to buy my first outdoor grill. Why? Because I got a little bug in my bonnet and decided that I wanted to try my hand in the Man's Land of what my friend, Katie, calls, "THE Q".
The grill. Everything about this object screams MAN TOY to me. However, I happen to think those MAN TOYS make pretty friggin' delicious food, so I thought, "Meh...why the heck not get one and see if blonde girls can make pretty friggin' delicious food with these thingymabobbers."
How hard could it be? I'd walk in the store, see the grill that best matched my shoes, purchase it, and badda-bing-badda-boom---FRIGGIN' DELICIOUS FOOD...right? Um...wrong. And I was kidding about matching my grill to my shoes--I only have one pair of stainless steel gray stilettos, and they are bedazzled with Swarovski crystals. There's no way I'd ever wear them to grill, regarless of color coordination with "my Q". I'm not risking the dripping of grill sludge on those babies.
It's verging on fall. I figured it was a great time of year to buy a grill because they would be trying to get rid of grills at the store so they could make room for the snow blowers. Pretty good logic for a chick, right? I had seen an ad in the paper and saw that Sears had been advertising grills at up to 50% off. SA-weet! Well then that makes it easy! Enter store. Buy grill. Peace out. Grill burgers. Right? Um...wrong-O again, blondie. It went a little like this...
I entered Sears. An overly zealous salesman jumped on me. Not literally--I mean, people weren't like, "Hey! Get a room!", but he jumped on me as a customer. He could sense that I was on a mission. He asked if he could help me, and I told him that I was interested in looking at grills. He told me, "Well, I can take you over there and show them to you, but I have to warn you, I'm brand new at this job, so I will tell you what I can." Translation?...Holmes knew jack diddly about grills. He was like, "Um, this is a nice one. And this one is a nice color." Color? Really? You think I give a crap about color? A flipping monkey could tell me, "This is a red grill, this is a brown grill." I NEEDED SOMEONE TO TELL ME ABOUT GRILLS! I felt like the blind was leading the blonde. He must have actually thought I knew what I was looking at. I felt bad--I tried to let him know that I appreciated his effort, but then asked him if he could send someone over who knew something about grills...someone who could HELP ME.
After I waited around for about 15 minutes flipping lids on grills that all looked the same to me, a new salesman finally came to help. Wait...did I say, "HELP?" cuz that's an overstatement. "Fill up space and suck out oxygen from the atmosphere" would be more appropriate. They sent me Warren. Remember Warren? The guy in the earmuffs in, "There's Something About Mary?" it was him. Ok, not really THE WARREN...I don't think he works at Sears. This guy knew nothing about grilling. And the only grill in my price range, size, and with all the bells and whistles on it was cappuccino brown. I love fashion, but I steer clear of "trends" with my fashion, just as I do with my grills. My parents had a colored grill back in the 80s. This whole new "Espresso finish" and "Cappuccino finish" are going to be gone in two years--then I'm going to be left with a grill that looks like it's...well...from 1988. Anyway, the sales guy tried to sell me the grill I didn't want, then he tried to tell me that it would be two weeks before they could "put it together". What? "Put it together?" What is this--the friggin' Space Shuttle? Ugh. I ended up just leaving the store. I didn't learn squat about grills--other than all the new ones have this "infrared" feature that's supposed to keep the meat more juicy and tender. Well add that to the list then, peeps.
Off to Lowe's. It took me about 10 minutes to sift through all of the crap they had on house arrest in their parking lot (all the grills they had outside that had been tied with wire rope and padlocked together), and decided that they didn't have what I was looking for. On to Home Depot...
At this point let me just insert a rant, "I HATE GRILL SHOPPING!!!!" Thank you.
I went into Home Depot and nobody came to help me. Didn't really matter at this point because grill shopping became much like my car shopping--remember when I said I recently went shopping for my new car and all I wanted was BRAKES and HEATED SEATS (with a car looking thing surrounding it, of course)? Well now all I wanted in a grill was STAINLESS STEEL and INFRARED...and small.
When I was in the store I didn't see anything I would purchase. They had el cheapo of cheap in the size grill I was looking for, and it went all the way up to the "Tim the Tool Man Taylor" $2500 grill that was the size of my king size bed and I think it came with it's own griller who was stored in the bottom cabinets--I think his name was Rico. Anywho,...
I was less than impressed and it was nearly time to pick the kids up at school. I decided that maybe I didn't need a grill after all. Off to my car I went.
As I put my car keys in the ignition I looked over and saw a bunch of grills outside of Home Depot. I even saw a stainless steel grill that was the right size, so I decided to check it out. Again, nobody came to help me. I still knew nothing about grills. At this point I was in, "it's ok to judge a book by its cover" mode. Just give me the flipping man toy, I'll give you my credit card, and you load it in my car. Mkay? Mkay.
EUREKA!!!! I FOUND IT! Right size, right price, stainless steel, ASSEMBLED (no Space Shuttle assembly action needed), and INFRARED COOKING! Now where the heck is the salesperson to help me with this? I went into the customer service desk and asked if someone could assist me out in the grill department. Kid you not...they sent me a 900 year old woman in an orange vest who looked like she would blow away with the next wind gust. At this point in time I had just decided that I wasn't going to learn anything about grills or grilling from salespeople. I just needed someone to help me get to the checkout stand. I had let the lady know that I would like to purchase the grill, and I figured she'd hand me a piece of paper with a bar code on it to take up to the cash register. Silly, silly, silly me...she just unlocked the stupid grill from outdoor house arrest, handed it to me, and told me to take it to the cash register. "Um...what? You want me to do WHAT?" Yep...you guessed it...she actually made me drag my new grill...WITH MY STILETTOS ON...through Home Depot and up to the cash register.
Do you remember the "My Buddy" doll? The doll that the advertisement song used to say, "My buddy and me we like to climb up a tree, my buddy and me we're the BEST FRIENDS we could be..." Yeah--well that was me with my flipping grill and my high heels trucking through Home Depot. Not only that, but I had to lug it all the way across the store because I was at the end of the store that only took RETURNS and did not deal with SALES. Cherry on top of my stupid day. I'm sure I looked hot dragging my new stainless steel BFF behind me.
Oh wait...it gets better. So after I got done dragging my friend through Home Depot to the cash register, and then back through the store and out the doors, I still had to pick up my propane tank, AND find a burly, less-than-90-something year old to help me load it into my car. A young guy met me outside the door (where was he to drag my freakin' grill through the store for me?...I do not know). He loaded my grill into the back of my car, and then told me that there wasn't room in the back for my propane tank--so he took it up to the passenger seat in my car and placed it on the seat. All I could think was, "Well this should be a really flipping fun ride home...what fun is driving if you don't do it with a bomb sitting next to you?"
I white knuckled it home. Every time I had to make a left hand turn I almost hyperventilated. I could just picture someone trying to "make it through the yellow light" and slamming into that sucker on the passenger side of the car and simultaneously exploding. My life flashed before my eyes. Then I started to think more positively--maybe I would live if I got slammed into!...my face and body might look like a grilled cheese sandwich, but I'D BE A SURVIVOR!!! All the things that go through your mind when the Home Depot guy makes you drive home with a propane bomb sitting next to you in the passenger seat. I think I prayed the whole way home. Something along the lines of, "Dear God, please don't turn me into Pizza The Hut from Spaceballs today..."
I made it home. It took me and my twin 9 year olds to haul the grill out of my car and up to my backyard (I live on a mountainside). The whole day had sucked up to that point. I was, however, all sorts of excited because I had purchased steak and shrimp to make kabobs on the grill that night.
I hooked up the propane, and quickly found out that I was too afraid to turn my grill on. I felt like it would blow up. My 19 year old daughter finally told me I was a wimp and figured out how to hook everything up properly and ignite the flame. We grilled. I was afraid of my grill, but we grilled nonetheless. I felt empowered...right up until the time I tasted the fruits of my labor (aka the shrimp kabobs) and found out the shrimp were rotten and tasted like low tide. I got up from the table, spit it into the bushes, and to this day I can still taste those shrimp--needless to say I'm OFF shrimp for a while.
I actually took all the shrimp back to the store the next day and placed them on the "return" counter. The clerk almost fell over at the fact that I brought rotten food back. She said, "You didn't have to bring them in!!!...you could've just told me!!!" to which I replied, "Well I didn't want you to think that I actually ate them and was trying to get my money back." Apparently that was funny to her. To me?...not so much...but then again my mouth still tasted like low tide.
The next night I grilled burgers. Still not a pro, but getting there. Girl v. Grill. It's been a UFC battle up to this point, but I'm not going to be scared off by a few little shrimps--or Warren at Sears--or by the fact that it was drag-your-own-grill day through Home Depot in stilettos, followed by crap-your-pants-all-the-way-home-while-sitting-next-to-a-propane-bomb-in-your-passenger-seat day. Fun times, people...fun times.
Is it legal for women to own grills? Hmmm. Maybe should've checked into that.