Sunday, January 25, 2009

Our House

Progress is finally being made on our house. After three years, it's about time. I told Tom last night that in our next house, I R-E-F-U-S-E (refuse!) to unpack a single box until the house is painted. I don't care what our excuses are, there is no reason why, in three years, we haven't gotten around to painting our master bedroom. It is still in the same hideous shape it was in since the day we moved in. Horrible dark green accent wall. Nasty, lopsided, lace floral curtains on the windows. Our pictures are hung wherever there happened to be a nail. Stained, bulging carpets. H-I-D-E-O-U-S.

I am tired of being embarrassed of my house-in-progress, of not wanting anyone to come over, of watching home improvement shows on TV where people can pull a house together in a matter of months, weeks, or days. I am also sick of having home improvement conversations with Tom.

Take yesterday for instance. We were in Lowe's. I wanted to go and price out the things we needed to buy to put the house on the market. (We are in serious need of space for the boys to have a playroom.) Last weekend we bought a new light fixture, toilet paper holder, and towel ring for the powder room. Now that Tom has finished painting it, today his project is to put all that up. I decided that we also needed a decorative curtain for the window. So we take our paint chips to the curtain section and are matching them to the available selection. Two matched perfectly. One was $10, a red tapesty-type fabric with small beige diamonds in the weave. It was hemmed at the bottom and hung limply. Not too exciting. Kind of non-descript and cheap looking. The other one was $13. An upholstery type fabric with squares of red and beige, with a scalloped hem finished in red cord. A little more up town.

Enter Tom. "Don't those checks make it look country?" "Are you sure that'll work with our decor?" "I hate curtains with that cord stuff around the bottom. Wouldn't you rather get the other one?" And so it went. I got the checked curtains anyway, but seriously, what happened to men deferring to their wives' design esthetic? I miss those days...

The house we live in now is the third house we've lived in since we got married 7 years ago. We'll have to go through this together at least once more and I dread it. I am so sick of the negotiations, the works-in-progress, the fact that I never seem to be able to pull a house together to suit my taste because by the time we actually start working on it, we're getting ready to move and are decorating it for someone else.

Even now, we're putting off grouting the kitchen and breakfast nook until we're ready to put the house on the market because we don't want it to get stained by the boys. And we're waiting to re-carpet the house until the very end as well. In Ohio, the weekend we finished the house was the weekend we put it on the market. I never got to enjoy the fruits of our labor there, and I'm not going to get toenjoy a finished house here. I'm well and truly sick of it.

It makes me, an otherwise mellow and even-tempered woman, pissy and hostile. I can't write in this environment. I end up watching the boys all weekend so Tom can work, which leaves me no time to recharge my batteries. And it squelches my creative spark, saps my energy, and isolates me from others. And forget quality time with Tom. He works 12 hour days Monday through Friday, and then 12 hour weekends at home. This sucks.

I can only hope that the fourth time's the charm...


  1. oh yes, my dear, i feel your pain. we've been needing to tackle this painting for quite some time and now that we've started, i really want it DONE! good luck with all your projects! maybe by the time you swing through jax for your cruise, i'll be done!

  2. Anonymous5:36 PM

    I also feel your pain. We've been in this house for almost five years now, and our spare bedroom is the same shade of pink (yuck) that it was when we moved in. We need new carpeting, vinyl siding outside, and several of the rooms we painted when we moved in need done again.

    It never ends. Good luck with your projects!

  3. Oh yeah, I'm feelin' it. Although things are about to change, big time, when we move (next week!). I am so excited about having a house with no awful colors or decor--we can live with it just as it is, if we want. Fingers crossed that your next home will offer the same luxury!


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