Monday, July 14, 2014

Home Improvement Hell

I wasn't seeking a home improvement project.  It sought me, the way these things do.  Not in a cosmetic, my-bedroom-needs-a-face lift-way.  Although it did.  But, when I'm in there I have my eyes closed, so what do I care if the walls and carpet are all white like a sanitarium?  I have bigger things to worry about.  That was until the dogs mistook the sanitarium for the latrine.  And pissed prodigious puddles all the way down to the subfloor.  That's exactly when this home improvement started.  And then I wanted it done, like yesterday.

I had a vision.

This is what I excel at.  The conceptual and creative side of things.  It's the logical, technical, focused, step-by-step, carrying out of that vision that I completely suck at.  Though I know these things about myself, I'm still excited at the beginning of the project. 

Step 1:  Destruction.  

Removing the carpet, pad, staples and baseboards.  Things are changing rapidly.  You can see it, you can feel it and most of all you can take out your aggressions about having to do an impromptu home improvement project because your dogs pissed you off.  I like deconstructing things.

Step 2:  Trash it.

The carpet and disintegrating pad have been dragged down the stairs and out the front door, spewing dust and dirt throughout the house along the way. Now, to get the carpet in the car to find an unsuspecting open dumpster to trash it in.  Crap.  Not only is the house filthy, now the car is.  And so am I.  I'm  white trash.  Except I'm more dingy gray pig-pen with surrounding dust cloud trash.  

Step 3:  Home Depot Stalking.

We're ready for tools, paint and more tools and more paint. I'm in Home Depot so often,  I think the paint guy thinks I have a thing for him.  I try to make intelligent, witty conversation to convince him otherwise, but since I'm starved to get out of the house and have an adult conversation, this might be backfiring. I hope he doesn't file a restraining order on me because this step is on repeat and shows no sign of stopping.

Step 3.5:  Distraction:

While going to the Lowe's way across town to look for a ceiling fan, because I'm absolutely nowhere near this more fun part of the project, I end up in World Market right next to the Lowe's that, as my friend Hillary noted, is almost to Kansas.  Don't judge: Sometimes you just need to get out.  As you may know, they don't sell ceiling fans in World Market.  But they do have chairs.  The perfect chair that is going to tie this whole entire room together.  It's a divine intervention of Design Star.  

Step 4:  That's it, I Want a Divorce.

I made it all the way to this point by myself, juggling the kids, their activities and the dogs and I'd like to put all of them in the dog house. Perturbed,  I haphazardly slap some paint on the wall amidst the chaos.  It's an unconventional color, but it's going to work.  I repeat this to the kids who come in and judge my 'creative genius'.  Then Friday night, my husband arrives home from work, looks at the wall and simply says, "That doesn't look like Australia."  (The colors of the room are based off a miniature globe and 'Australia' is the wall color.)  I give him the silent treatment the rest of the night for what I perceive to be his lack of support and secretly plan our divorce.  

Step 5:  Slave Labor.

If this project is ever going to get done, we need some free, but completely unwilling, labor.  The kids.  They can help paint the walls.  The whining will be worth it in the end.  You can't screw up paint right?  Wrong.  This step lasted less than 45 minutes.  Child slave labor is loud, sloppy, fights and requires blaring pop music for fuel.  And they need to take frequent breaks to snack.  (Yes, for only 45 minutes of "work" snacking was in their contract.) 

Step 5.5:  The Monsoon:

I got distracted (again) and went out to look for curtains and ended up in a torrential rainstorm of monsoon proportions white knuckling it across town in the minivan.  Of course, after all that, they didn't have the curtains I wanted in store.  So I came home and ordered them on-line.  

Step 6:  Reconciliation:

After a long day of work, I swiped my armpits with some of my son's manly smelling Axe deodorant (the only stick I could find), threw on a flowery dress I bought at a thrift store that clashed with the paint on my knee, and went out for a nice dinner with my husband.  Who had worked his ass off prepping the floor and cleaning up my messes.  I decided not to get divorced.  I think it might have been the wine.  Or the fact that he said he really does like the color even if it doesn't look like Australia.  Or the fact that we're so far from being done and I still need his help.  

Step 7:  Abbreviation:

All the super boring detail work that I'm super crappy at that takes forever.  Insert that here. 

Step 8:  Aren't We Done Yet?:

No. There's always more.  Always. Plus, projects are always double the anticipated length of duration.  At least.  If they are ever done at all.

Step 9:  Replication:

Our current project isn't even done yet and we already have the next one.  Waiting.  Looming.
And ultimately mocking us and our foolish do-it-yourself- selves.

Step 10:   Regret:

This can come in two major forms. Why did we start this $%&^%*! project in the first place?  Or why didn't we just hire a professional to do this ^&*%$! project in the first place?

I'm not sure which regret we'll have yet because we're still on step 7.  Which is the 7th level of Home Improvement Hell.  


Joy Page Manuel said...

Oh I feel your pain. The projects we have here are neverending (like most DIY projects!) and therefore, I don't see myself getting a divorce either! Not to sound sexist, but you do need your husband's help and commitment when you're doing home projects. A pair of extra hands always help, right? ;-))

Do you watch that show on the DIY network called 'Renovation Realities'? My husband loves that cos he gets to make fun of the DIYers who have no clue as to what they're doing or up against. I, on the other hand, HATE it! I feel so sorry for the couples doing the projects and more than that, I feel their frustration too much and know it all too well. I simply find it stressful! said...

That's why some of us hire contractors. Then, we can complain about the mess, the slow progress, the choices- oh, and the outrageous fees!


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