I have always taken great pride in my organizational skills at work. Throughout my career in pharmacy management and hospital administration I have always managed to keep my files organized, accessible and efficient. I learned very early in my professional life, you don't have to know everything, you just need to know how to find the information. Although I have given up administrative pursuits, at least for now, I still remain very organized. My Outlook account at the hospital is impeccably filed and organized, making it very easy for a busy night shift pharmacist to find critical clinical information and protocols leading to quick and efficient care for my ICU, OB, and ER patients at three o'clock in the morning while most of you are dreaming of sandy beaches and lush green fairways (at least that's what I dream about).
But the "at home" version of Doug, not so much! Much to the chagrin of my wife. Recently while walking my black lab throughout the neighborhood I have started walking down the alleys of the neighborhood to enjoy the backyard landscaping/gardening efforts of my neighbors. An added benefit to the back alley jaunts has been the opportunity to rubber neck some of the neighborhood garages. For me, a well organized and efficient garage is a sight to behold. I sometimes stare in awe at the creativity and neatness, I guess I am somewhat of a "peeping-Tom" of garages, a grease rag voyeur of sorts. Ewww! That sounds creepy, well maybe I am not so much of a voyeur, but more of a curious fan of the ultimate garage, you know the kind of a garage that could be termed "a man's man garage." The kind of garage that meets the definition of "finished living space" but yet also serves as a living, breathing and functioning tool to meet the family's mechanical needs.
On the other hand, my garage? Well let's just say, I like to think of my garage as an
"every-man's" garage. Some organization, a smidgeon of order but quite a bit of chaos and more than a few "piles". Yes I must admit, I fumed for months that somebody had stolen my variable speed Craftsman Drill "right out of my garage" only to find it stowed away in a box where I had placed it. Now, I am not saying that my garage isn't functional. There is room for my wife's car. The tools and machines that I use on a weekly basis to maintain my lawn and gardens are easy to find, they just aren't hung on nice plastered walls. I do have the standard peg-board wall above my makeshift work-bench, it just seems like somebody comes in periodically and takes all of the tools off of the pegs and piles it on the bench. I often find myself hurriedly pushing the garage door button to close the door before my neighbors driving through the alley have the chance to see my pitiful den, with the sheepish attitude of an anxious teen who discovers a pimple on his forehead two days before the junior prom. Contrast my demeanor with the confidence displayed by the man up the street perched upon a high-back bar-stool near the back of his lair with the garage door open for all to see as he assuredly admires his epoxy coated floor. You know the kind of haughty exuberance surrounding a car owner at a classic-car show as scores of admirers parade by to appreciate the hours of work put into restoring his candy apple red 66 Nova SS with Hooker headers and a polished chrome Spectre air-intake.
You may be tempted to interpret my diatribe as bitterness, however nothing could be more inaccurate. In fact, "everyman" admires the overachiever, he envisions his own garage with those same appointments and has an appreciation for the time and effort that it takes to create and maintain a garage with such high standards and taste. In fact, "everyman" understands that the motivation and pride that drives the custom garage owner to painstakingly create such a masterpiece. So much so, that on a recent walk when I encountered one such man's man in his garage, spending some quality time I stopped to tell him how nice his garage looked. Before walking away on this Friday afternoon, I couldn't help telling him that "he had a lot of competition throughout the neighborhood, but his is probably in the top five." Hope I didn't ruin his weekend plans, you know striving to be the boss of custom garages in the hood. You know the old saying: If You're Not The Lead Dog, The View Never Changes.
So, today, Mr. Custom Garage Owner, I salute you. You are the one who puts the MAN in
"man-cave", you are the envy of the neighborhood, keep doing what you do. You have inspired Everyman, today I will... er, aw screw it, I'm headed for the beach, my garage can wait.