When you own your own home, you starting paying attention to all the little pieces of a house that never really registered before. For us, the first instance of this was our outlets. And we have a lot of them.
We first noticed the sheer number of them the night before we started painting, when we went around and started removing them. Not only do we have lots of electrical and light switch outlets, but we have a bunch of cable and phone outlets and a few outlets that are part of the central vacuuming system the house came with.
We also had FIOS installed that day and have no use for a landline. So nearly a third of the outlets in the house are useless to us. We decided to buy blank outlet covers to put over them instead of replacing the useless covers with the open plugs.
During one of our many trips to Home Depot, we brought one of our current covers to match at the store. Strangely enough, they didn’t have our brand, Pass & Seymour, at that particular store. And none of the colors looked exactly right. My dad, who has bought a lot of outlet covers in his life and knew the standard colors by heart, guessed that ours were Light Almond.
Without much thought, I jumped online and found an electrical supply outlet that sold them in bulk, and placed an order for 13 blank covers in Light Almond.
The covers arrived a few days later and lo and behold, they were the wrong color. We thought maybe it wouldn’t matter but once we got one up on the wall it was very obvious.
At this point, Joe’s sanity was at stake. Open outlet covers are a major pet peeve of his. We went online to check that the Lowe’s closest to us carried Pass & Seymour and we headed out with less than an hour before closing.
The organization of the Lowe’s outlet aisle leaves a lot to be desired. They clearly just took the boxes the outlets were shipped in and dumped them on the shelves in no particular order. That, coupled with people searching through them all day meant all the boxes were mixed and matched into oblivion.
We searched through the shelves in the area where we saw most of the Pass & Seymour White offerings, which is what we matched our color to. It wasn’t perfect but considering our outlets are nearly 13 years old, some discoloration is to be expected. We asked an associate for help but they couldn’t make anymore sense out of the mess than we could.
Finally, with less than five minutes until the store closed, after we had nearly all the boxes pulled off the bottom three shelves, Joe found a single box of blank covers and we were able to grab the 13 we needed. Just in the nick of time!
The next day we finished screwing in all the new covers. And that, my friends, is how we saved Joe’s sanity.