Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Home unimproved

When the husband and I decided to get married, we did the unthinkable and bought a house before we were married (the horror). My grandmother had decided to head west and move in with my aunt in St. Louis and offered to sell us her house for cheap. We were stoked, our first house.

The downside of this awesome arraignment was that the house, a 30 yr old three level split, hadn't been updated since the Carter administration. We had chocolate brown shag carpeting, wood grain laminated cabinets with goldenrod door pulls, peeling wallpaper in every damn room, cracked window seals, dark wood paneling and random hooks hanging from the ceiling which obviously once were used to display macrame owls. Nice. Conventional theory would tell most people to run, not walk, away from a house like this. Not me! I didn't see a single problem that money and a handy husband couldn't fix.

So off to the Home Depot we went. The husband humored me in the beginning. He'd walk the aisles with me, as I daydreamed, stand quietly with his hands in his pockets. Chuckle as I threw stuff in the cart for projects that I'd conjure up on the spot. Help me scrutinize the correct wall color and whether or not the satin nickel finish on the faucet would match the finish on the towel rod. Spending untold amounts on projects that had no business being attempted by amateurs such as ourselves. But after a year of doing this every weekend, our garage looked more like a rented storage unit and our house was partway through a construction project that had been put on indefinite hold.

When Tyler came along, things got worse, the husband started working longer hours to bring home more bacon. And no matter how the house looked, working 80-90hrs a week was not a conducive work schedule to finding motivation on the weekends for home improvement. It became a bone of contention between us. I'd make lists, post them on the fridge. I'd nag, complain, and then nag some more. We'd bicker, fight, vent our frustrations, but in the end, nothing got "improved".

The problem was, I had deluded myself into believing the husband was a master craftsman. A bob villa minus the plaid shirt! When in reality, the husband could change a light fixture, keep the lawn immaculate, and do the occasional emergency plumbing repair but past that, we was all thumbs. And I had learned this the hard way.

For now, we've come to a mutual agreement. I will throw out my unrealistic expectations of his "handiness". The husband will make attempts to fix small things as needed with the help of his little apprentice Tyler. And we'll save to pay someone else to fix what I still want done. Because, we realized that all thing considered, spending time with his little buddy watching Handy Manny, is more important than being a handy man.


Danica June 17, 2009 at 12:24 PM  

LOL nothing like trying to fix up a house. My brother is handy and still 5 years later, is working on it. Oh the joy!

tbonegrl June 17, 2009 at 5:05 PM  

At least you guys could come to that honest realization together. I still quickly roll my eyes when I point out something I like and my husband immediately says "I can build that for you!"

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