How is Harbor Freight like Merle Norman?

Keeping the 67Vette thread going.  This may be the last image you see with the hood in place for a while.

Keeping the 67Vette thread going. This may be the last image you see with the hood in place for a while.

I was helping my son pack out of his apartment the other day and I had a gender specific epiphany.  Harbor Freight is to men what Merle Norman may be to women.  I’ll leave the “may be” in there until I get some confirmation from an opposite gender expert.

At any rate, son tasked me to box a cabinet he called his Harbor Freight collection.  For you neophytes, Harbor Freight is a candy store for Gearheads.  If there was ever a tool manufactured, Harbor Freight has it in at least three sizes.  Need some lubricant?  Choose from 20 brands and 50 types.  HF started out as strictly a mail order catalog, but in the last 5-10 years they have been opening retail stores in Gearhead neighborhoods.  Walking thru HF is pure entertainment and inspiration.  The shelves, racks, and floor displays stimulate project ideas as abundantly as Toyota has generated consumer lawsuits.  I have never walked thru this store without finding at least one “future useful” item.

So it was unsurprising that as I was packing son’s stuff, I could picture his thought process when walking down the isles of HF.  Each item represented a “had to have”, a project in waiting, or a project surely to appear in the near future.  The cabinet was filled with clamps, wireties, abrasives, mechanics and chemical gloves, gear pullers, parts trays, etc.  I could imagine my own thought process as I spotted these items on the shelf and knew instantly that son shared the same genes.

What about Merle Norman?  Living with a former Merle Norman store owner and member of the opposite gender, I have some vague sense of a similar thought process of a person browsing the stock in a MN.  Spot the special shade of lipstick?  Surely will have an outfit it will match in the future.  Only have 3 sizes of make up application brushes?  Six would be better.  New skin lubricant?  I may not need it now, but after a summer in the sun, who knows.  Yep, MN is a candy store for Fashionheads!

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