January 8

Zero

I feel . . . I don’t know what I feel.

There is not one single direction I can point, or one diagnosis I can make, or a simple sensation upon which I could put my proverbial finger.

Agitated.

Indecisive.

Frantic.

Listless.

Trapped.

Doomed.

Alright.  That last one is indulgently overdramatic.

The last two are quite obvious, actually.

Trapped — we had a significant snowfall yesterday through this morning.  And you know how I wallow in my home.  Rain or shine, it takes an awfully tempting carrot danging just out of grasp to get me to clear the end of the driveway.  Many weeks I give much dreadful contemplation whether or not I can get out of going to my ONE weekly commitment.  And I actually LIKE that one commitment.  If there is an option to stay at home in my pajama pants and fuzzy socks, I TAKE IT.  So it is quite atypical how threatened I feel when the option to venture out into the world is ever-so-briefly taken away from me.    (Minion was born in a small snow.  We watched the snow-covered cars in the parking lot come and go.  The day we brought him home, Knobby went straight out and bought nearly two buggies’ worth of groceries while Mom stayed to get the nursery stuff sorted (because we were not expecting his early arrival)and said even with the 4WD he wouldn’t be going back out for anything we might have forgotten.  I remember putting Minion in the bassinet beside the bed and looking out at the grey sky and white everything else . . . thinking “I don’t know what I’m doing with this baby . . . and now we’re stranded!”.)

Doomed — Simple.  It isn’t enough that I have been fighting various stupid cold symptoms and have been nauseously turned off from food (including coffee, straight tea, or even water) since one or two weeks before Christmas.  The urge to subsist on saltless pretzel sticks (my v.old friendly standby) has eased (I attribute that to holiday stress) . . . but I’ve got that feeling I’m coming down with a cold.  And you know that’s a dark dark rabbit hole to peer into . . . even were it not the SECOND merry-go-round of these blasted sinus pressures, clogged ears, itchy eyes, sore throat, runny nose — and all the other qualifications of a Nyquil commercial.  Twice in one month’s time is not just wearing me down . . . it’s making me mad.  “How dare you!  I have already PAID THIS FARE, SIR.”

The rest of the list (and the 17 other attributes I didn’t note) . . . a bit of the above two, I’m sure.  Plus this house renovation business.

In a very obvious way — this should be exciting!  I mean, God struck down our bathroom wall (oh. my. word.  In writing this looks — I have jumped the shark.  But I do actually think like this.  I do.) to pave the way to make me happy!

I mean, how tired have you been of me saying “oh I wish the floorplan was more MODERN”, by which I really sound “MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHWDERN”.  “MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHWDERN and eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeFIIIIIIIIIIIHshent.”  BELIEVE ME, I AM SO SICK OF HEARING MYSELF SAY THOSE BLASTED WORDS.

How tired have you been of watching me make hand motions to describe JUST how little the square foot of kitchen countertop workspace there is.

How tired have you been of me complaining about wastes of space in the stair hall, and how I bloody LONG to not carry those stupid laundry baskets up and down the stairs, bumping my stupid head on the stupid slanted wall WITH WHOSE PRESENCE I HAVE ONLY BEEN ACQUAINTED FOR THIRTY-SIX YEARS AT THIS POINT.  No surprises in the slanted ceilings, Pixy, GET IT TOGETHER.

How tired have you been of me saying I hate the endless stretch of faux hardwood flooring?  (Sure, I’m a snob, but this complaint — more than anything — is b/c I want the warm cozy cushion of carpet under my bare feet instead of DustBunny Tumbleweed Alley.)

We can go on and on, but the point . . . by now, it should be made.

So for this yellow brick road to open up in front of me . . . VOILA, PIXY! . . . and the path paved with these things which I consider fun with which to occupy my mind ANYWAY . . .

To basically set me down at the starting line, tell me “Pick what you want” (within reason, naturally), and then fire the starter’s pistol or wave the green flag or whatever they do to start a race . . .

It’s like turning Minion loose in the McDonald’s PlayLand.


So.  I don’t know if it is the cooped up why bother getting out from under the cozy heated blanket aura, or the various sinus clouds and irritations, or all of it together (Knobby is sick as well).

Whatever it is, today is a gloomy day.  We had a pseudo conversation while he desperately tried to pay some nerd documentary on television his full and undivided attention . . . you know how one of those goes.  I can’t stand to have conversation exist in conjunction with a blaring television or a song playing on the radio.  I hate the whole vying for the attention, the inability to focus and concentrate on whichever part is more important to you.  Knobby has a tendency to plow up some verbose lecture in the car just as a song I like is on, or hey, even a song that I don’t like, I have to turn down, b/c . . . WHY ARE WE TRYING TO MAKE SO MUCH NOISE?  One thing at a time!

Which, obviously, I should follow that advice and stick to the narrative at hand.

Which was . . . suddenly this moroseness about how many realistic years of work he has ahead of him before retirement, how much higher he can rationally expect his salary to go before it hits the plateau, about how we’d be paying for this reno work for this many months and this many years and was it really worth it to be tied down to a house, and blahblahblah.

And me, I’m here on this couch where I had simply expected to sit under my blanket and quietly play HayDay on my iPad while he pointedly absorbed all these interviews with early nerd founders of personal computing etc.  Thinking . . . but . . . where I live IS important to me.  And being unhappy with the lack of configurations or amenities that would make running this house a MUCH EASIER EXPERIENCE . . . that IS an important issue for me.

But it also caused me to start considering how I could trim things . . . could I make do without this addition?  Could I be happy with the addition of the stair dormer by itself?  Could I be happy NOT moving the footprint of the kitchen, and maybe cross my fingers and hope that new cabinets with new spacesaving features could be enough?  Even though Knobby has been loudest of us two, about how he wants a separate powder room from a full bathroom for guests . . . could I be happy if we didn’t move that, either, left it the way it was and re-do only the finishes?

Because . . . this project, this budget HAS grown out of hand.  I question who I think I am, that I think I am entitled to these niceties . . . nay, not even that . . . but that plenty of people live in squatty little houses that aren’t attractive or functionally maximized, and all that junk isn’t a NECESSITY.  Because we went from wall repair, to one bathroom reno, to both bathrooms being renovated, to two bathrooms and a kitchen, and oh hey, let’s add a fancy powder room, a foyer, a MasterSuite while we’re at it.  And then!  When someone gives us an estimate for a reasonable building material price (flooring, cabinet, countertops, backsplashes, hell, even DRAWER PULLS . . . doesn’t matter which one) . . .  I inevitably choose/want/need an item or fixture that makes that “reasonable” estimate allowance price look like the Derek Zoolander School for Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Want to Do Other Stuff Good Too.

zoolander

“What is this . . . a Center for ANTS?!?”

. . . Small, people.  I’m saying that the price tag of whatever I choose makes the reasonable allowance look tee-tiny MINISCULE.

One of the contractors came in, asked what my plans were for the flooring, I told him I’d picked this tile, he shook his head and said hardwood would be much cheaper, pointed us to a lumber yard.

You know where this is going.  Oh sure, the BASIC choice was cheaper . . . but . . . do you think I liked the basic choice?  Ha.  No, even with the kindest sassiest grandmother of a saleslady who kept trying to fit my preferences into the most cost-effective solution . . . nope . . . I came out of there with a stinking hardwood choice that for me WAS basic . . . but within 10% of the price of the installed tile figure.

And we haven’t made it to my own heavenly playground . . . THE GRANITE YARD.

And each step is this big convo loop about how “ok, woman, this (whatever) is something we are going to be seeing for the next twenty years. You better get what you LOVE.” . . . instead of a nice rational locker room pep talk about how surfaces really aren’t that important to most of the people who end up in our house . . . etc.

(I mean, in case you’re wondering . . . I want marble, beautiful Carrara marble, in my laundry room.  No, I don’t want it in the kitchen, b/c I am afraid of stains . . . but in the laundry room?  I will only end up folding clothes on it, so bring on those beautiful milky chilly slabs.  But oh, look, I love how beautiful this basketweave marble mosaic is, too.  I want it on the powder room floor.  And wait, look at this CHEVRON marble mosaic . . . I want that as the backsplash covering the entire expanse between countertops and upper cabinets.  I can’t decide.  I WANT THEM ALL, NOM NOM NOM.)

 

And that is how you balloon so far out of budget, and so far out of original scope, that you contemplate — you actually contemplate — on a sickly gray 18 degree day, that perhaps it would not be IRrational to tell the architect . . . that architect who is about to finalize these plans upon which many.  MANY.  billable hours have been already invested . . . to just scrap all that and thanks for the memories.

You actually contemplate . . . how long it would take some people to put your bathroom wall back together and let you shower in the space there against the poorly insulated exterior wall, up there on the second floor where you’ve been used to showering without worrying so much about attempting to duck and hide when the UPS driver makes his daily delivery past your window (and it is ALWAYS at whatever hour you decide to shower.  Always.).  You say to yourself . . . hey, not having to worry about that UPS driver . . . that’s luxury enough, right?  And . . . do you think the workmen would let me stay here, in my house, underneath this heated blanket, while they restored my measly bathroom?

Powder rooms are overrated.

Clean clothes are overrated.

Meals other than frozen pizzas and cans of soup heated in the microwave are overrated.

This Sudafed, this Nyquil, this Valium, this coffee maker, this heated blanket, this iPad, this bag of Rold Gold pretzel sticks . . .

. . . this is All. I.  Need.

 

 

“I never let on . . . that I was on a sinking ship.

. . . I never let on that I was down.”

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Posted on Sunday, January 8th, 2017 at 2:27 am. MimiHouse, Renovation.