Tuesday, January 29th, 2008
I don’t have much to show off. As usual, our work on the house comes in infinitesimal bursts, spaced out by weeks of utter inactivity. The latest burst included a weekend of painting the bathroom door and window frames, priming the ceiling, and hanging the medicine cabinet.
It felt so good to do something – to wear my paint-splattered clothes again, to work out my weakened squatting- and climbing-ladders muscles, to finally test out that easy clean paintbrush everyone was talking about several months ago (I loved it, by the way – anything that makes cleaning up easier is great by me).
Every time we make a little progress like this, the bathroom starts looking more like a real room, where normal people do normal things, and less like an empty hull/construction site/flophouse for homeless drug addicts. It’s getting very close now to its final appearance – minus the swarms of clutter that will inevitably invade it – but look at the flickr photoset on this renovation and see just how tiny a distance we’ve come since this time last year.
Unlike the wise folks at Fixer Upper, who started their bathroom renovation about the same time as we began in earnest, we did not wait to start using the bathroom until after it was completed. The moment the plumbing started working, I started using it.
That took away my motivation to finish all the little details, and since Darwin’s only motivation to work on the bathroom at all was not having to listen to me alternately whine and scream about it, things just stopped getting done.
This is an old, old tale, one I’ve told a dozen times. We did this same thing with our kitchen renovation, which I’m ashamed to admit is still in the same incomplete state as it was in 2005. Just look at the kitchen category on this blog, and you’ll see how long it’s been since we’ve done anything except occasionally clear the mail off the kitchen table. I bought hexagon tiles for the countertops way back in August 2005, and they’re still in their boxes in the front bedroom/junk depository.
Every now and then I’ll be sitting in the kitchen and I’ll notice how hideous the old laminate countertops with paint on them are, and blame Darwin for not calling his friend at work who does tile and was supposed to help us. Then he’ll remind me I never ordered the plain black edge pieces or figured out what to do with the backsplash, and I’ll say I don’t want to spend a bunch more money just to have the tiles sitting around in the front bedroom for another two and a half years.
It’s a lose-lose situation, like most of our arguments.
I would like to make some proclamations about how we’re going to do better in the future, how we’re going to finish the bathroom AND the kitchen before the end of 2008, as God as my witness I will never go hungry again.
But the truth is, I’ve come to accept that we are total bums at home renovation. We are slow. We are unmotivated. Worst of all, we just don’t care.
So my only proclamations are these: I hope we finish the bathroom. I hope we tile the countertops. I hope we get rid of some of the clutter before I throw it all in a pile in the backyard and have a giant bonfire.
Wish us luck.