Tuesday, August 9, 2011

So Harmonious Already, Like Oxen Sharing A Yoke

Well, that didn't take long. Matt and I have already enjoyed our first home improvement argument. Or it wasn't a full-blown argument as neither of us would show steel over something like this. It was more that we sketched out the contours of a possible argument that we could have and then I left the field, perhaps saying something like, "Well obviously you have no need of my opinion," like one says, and then Matt called foul on me for saying that and criticized the approach I was taking to the argument. It was like a meta-argument except that the idea of a meta-argument makes me so exhausted I would never admit to beginning or engaging in one.

Aren't you so glad I'm blogging every day?

The scene was set by a long trip we made to the home improvement store tonight. Matt was going and for some reason I wanted us all to go. I am still giddy with the notion of paint cards and floor finishing and things that are fun, you know? So the idea of going seemed exciting. It wasn't as exciting after I remembered I don't really like those places and then I wound up holding Hank in my arms due to an invisible, minor, and possibly illusory scratch he suffered on his arm. Before that, I did manage to have a long conversation with the flooring associate about carpet for the basement stairs. I found out that installing carpet on stairs costs $13 per stair, and that all carpet is scandalously ugly. It just is. I have carpet all over my second floor, and I've never really felt one way or the other about it. But I realized I've never bought carpet, and it isn't fun to pick out. Especially on those disembodied sample sheets. Seriously, there were some Berber samples she showed me that made me feel like I would never be joyful again. That wasn't Matt's fault.

The whole point of the trip was so that Matt could do some reconnaissance on what would be involved in going further than the basement guys are going, and sheetrocking a couple more rooms himself after they finish what they're doing. When he told me this plan, he prefaced it by saying, "Free your mind." Which is our throat-clearing utterance that we use when we want to propose something that may be met with resistance. I promised that my mind was free, and then when it turned out that his plan was something to do with building materials, I was like, "Fine, if you want to do that, go for it." And on the way to the store, I was supportive. I let him know this by saying, "I'm supportive of your plan."

But once we got home, the kids were in bed, and we were standing down in the basement, I just felt that he was being a scoosh unrealistic about how much can be accomplished before next Monday, which is when he wants all his guys to move down there and work. He says Monday is "not negotiable." Keeping in mind that Larry and Darryl the basement guys will not be gone until Wednesday. And we then need to clean and prep the floor, stain and seal it, and paint the walls. I can't see a major construction project happening if Monday is the goal. That was my position, and to strengthen it I cited Matt's well-documented and not-always-warranted optimism about how much can be done in a limited amount of time. I could give you chapter and verse, but it will all be in the biography I will write about him so I will spare you here. His optimism and self-belief are among his most appealing traits, they are. Anyway.

So I was like, "It will take us all four days to do this floor and paint. There is no time for anything else." And he was all, "Yes there is. I will do it." And then I realized that there was no need for me to draw that line in the sand. What was I arguing for? If the man wants to hang some sheetrock, why not? He wasn't asking me to stand there and hold his nail apron.

Then I gestured to a wire rack hanging on the wall, where I used to store gift wrap. I told him that I looked forward to having a little gift wrap station down there again, maybe with a little table under it. He said, "Hmm, maybe in the far future, but there won't be anything in these rooms that isn't office-related." And then I was like, you're kind of being a butt, and killing my joy. And he said he didn't want to kill my joy.

But it was too late. The joy was dead. Then I stood up and brushed off the seat of my shorts and came up here to tell you about it. He followed me to admonish me for beginning to argue about the basement. That's also what we call being a butt.

Possibly I was also being a butt, due to some submerged and obscure issues of my own. I don't know.

So that is what's going on in basement today.

I'm glad we had this talk. I'm sure in a little while we'll be lapping out of the same dish again.

I love you guys and I know you would never tell me I can't have a gift wrap station in your new home office.



AlGalMom said...

I think it is part of the male condition to have an overly optimistic idea of what can be accomplished in a given amount of time. My husband regularly brings home three or more days of work on a weekend while promising to mow the lawn, get through all of the "honey do's" and finish one or two side projects of his own. On Saturday. Sunday is reserved for church and a nap.
Delighted by the blogging every day in August! Keep it up!

Elizabeth said...

How quickly the dear man has forgotten your clothing of Righteousness.

Tsk. Tsk.

Amy said...

Jason is the SAME way--"optimism and self-belief"--yes! Lord, can I relate to what you are saying. We have had discussions such as what you guys are having so many times.

I'm so glad you're blogging everyday! And if you move to Sydney, I'll give you a whole ROOM for gift wrapping.

Jenny said...

I love this. I like how there seemed to be an even amount of joy-killing and the options are left open that both of you might in fact be butts. I think this is a sign of a healthy relationship!

Linda said...

I have never commented before but i have been stalking/lurking for years now. You are a great writer and i love that you are blogging everyday. Your descriptions of everyday life are spot on. You have a gift!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, beautifultastic. That entire project is tax-deductible; I would totally be on the phone hiring someone(s) to paint, then floor, alongside yr groom & his quarry project.

I am not a fan of carpet at all, but no way can it be bought at a home-improvement store. You need to go to a carpet store & look at the stuff they keep in the locked-up case, by the Grey Goose and the Claritin that works, the spray paint, etc. xx

Beth said...

One of the most delightful things about your blog, Beck, is that you are hilarious and your COMMENTORS are nearly as hilarious. I love reading through the convo. It returns to me any stolen or murdered joy.

I tend to be the one in my life who overestimates what can be done in a given amount of time. When I take the youngest to preschool, and I have 4 hours to myself, I think, "FOUR HOURS! I can re-tile the bathroom AND bake a wedding cake!" And I am always shocked at how little gets done. Usually, I have errands to run, and then I think, "well, I'll just get some lunch and hang out in the mall food court. And I'll have so much TIME, I'll need things to do." So I bring 6 crochet projects, 3 books, my computer to write 9 blog posts, and then I'm eating my Subway and I'm thinking, "I only have 6 minutes before I have to get the child from preschool!" It is not unusual for me to bring an entire bag of activities and not open it one time.

And I do the same thing every time. But WHAT IF I end up having 7 hours to kill, you know? I would be so bummed if I left that unfinished friendship bracelet behind.

Beth said...

Oh, and I can't tell you how delighted I am that you are blogging every day.

Ginny Marie said...

Holy cats, you absolutely need a gift wrapping station in the new office space! Where else are you going to wrap gifts??

AM said...

I also love the daily blogging, especially reading about someone else's home improvement project. Has the husband ever hung sheet rock, taped it, mudded it, sanded it, mudded it again, and then sanded it again? It's about a 7 day process depending on how humid it is. It's absolutely something that should be outsourced! Good luck with this.

Becky said...

I am still laughing at the locked case containing the good carpet, the Grey Goose, the pseudoephedrine, and the cans of spray paint. That locked case is a party.

And yes, Elizabeth, I can't believe that during this whole exchange he could not see my cloak of righteousness!

I suspect y'all may be right that there was some buttheadedness on both sides.

And Matt read this post and felt that I got the time line wrong. He says the discussion of the gift station came early in the proceedings, and that this mischaracterizes the whole event. I asked him what possible difference it could make. Then I reminded him of Mark Twain's words about not getting in fights with people who buy ink by the barrel. Or people who have committed to blogging every day. Humph!

Thanks for the kind words, guys!

Aimee said...

You may share the gift wrapping station I am going to put in my room. It will be pretty. Someday. Because it's MY room to decorate, with no arguments!

Wait. Scratch that. Jason and I had a "disagreement" about painting the closet just two days ago. He doesn't see the purpose. Hello? PRETTY! Pretty IS a purpose. Right?

Thank Beckness you are blogging daily. It makes me happy.

Becky said...

Of course PRETTY IS ITS OWN REASON for doing anything! Now, not sure if this is your idea, but I could totally see turning one of those shallow closets into a sweet gift wrapping station. Hmm...

Amy said...

You are so right. Beautiful carpet is like sexy golf shoes - neither one exists.

HUH-larious, re the Grey Goose & the drugs and thank you Elle C. Cos it took me like two years to figure out why my OTC allergy med stopped working, I am that naive. xoxo