|I'm with you, kid.|
There are many things that I just know:
-The vocal lineup of most classic rock bands since 1972.
-An innate awareness of when a ladybug sticker is being placed on an item of good furniture.
-How to fall asleep on any surface despite exterior influences.
And then there are things for which I fall woefully short:
-Being able to relax/move on with my life when things are out of order.
-And anything having to do with the putting-back-together of my house.
That last one has become painfully clear during this past month. I have been asked- nay, expected to answer questions [correctly] about the how/when/why of my home's implosion. Why was this house built on a cesspool? (Cheaper real estate.) Where's the shut off valve for the mitochondrial rotator cuff? (That isn't a thing.) Does this pipe run up to the third floor/were you insane for buying a short sale? (Yup.)
And I kept it together (kinda) for the first few weeks. But now we're in the home[ish] stretch. And there are choices to be made. Shower tile. Floor tile. Faucets- with correct backings. (Did you know that they let you buy incorrect backings? They totally do.) A sink. Laundry room tile. Lighting that works with the wall spacing. A mirror that's wide enough for the vanity- but not that wide. (That's too wide.) Paint paint paint paint paint.
I thought I'd be good at this. I am not. We fell in love with the first sink/vanity we found. (In LOVE, I tell you!) But then it went out of stock. So we ordered the bigger size. But it was waaaay too big. So we found one that was- nice. It would do. Then I chose some backsplash tile that was clearly the best tile ever: tan and cream and white glass bubbles on a neutral background. But (as P.J. can probably tell you), I have expensive taste. That shower would end up being more expensive than my wedding gown. (By about fifty bucks.) So I decided on a mosaic glass in Moroccan colors. Which was the wrong absorbency level for a shower. (Would be great in a kitchen, I was told. Sadly/happily, we are not gutting the kitchen just yet.) I picked a third tile in brown glass- which, again, was not the right level of water resistance. (Clearly, I was meant for designing kitchens.) I finally ended up at a tile warehouse one night, pointing at a floor display and asking if that one would work. (It wouldn't. But they could find something close.) And that what's being installed today. The "close" one that "would work." (It'll be lovely.)
Picking out tile that would work a) in a family room, b) over radiant heating, and c) wouldn't cost more than my college education was next. We chose wood-grain tiles made of recycled materials and porcelain that would look kind of unassuming yet warm. (I should write ad copy.) There was a pricing war between our contractors and the flooring guys- of which there were no survivors. (The flooring guys didn't seem too interested in my business, however, as they actually shut the lights off on me and almost locked me in. "Oh hey- we didn't see you in our store for the last forty-five minutes.) I'm pretty sure it was a front for something illegal. A front with really nice flooring options, but still. The color and width of my choice changed about five times- and not because I had any sort of crazy stake in it. I originally chose teak. But that one "wouldn't work." So oak was installed yesterday. (It'll be lovely.)
I had to choose how I wanted the tiles spaced. ("Like...that.Yes. That's how I'd like it. Leave them there. Now everyone go home.") "Is 3/16th of an inch okay between planks?" ("For sure. That's how I always do it, anyway.") "Which grout would work- this one or this one?" ("Whichever grout will make me the least aware that I'm looking at grout. Sure. That one. I simply love it.")
Then I got a call last night telling me that the grout I wanted wasn't going to work. Now, there are many things that "I want," but grout doesn't even crack the top twenty. So we went with the other one.
The paint colors I had chosen were no longer available. The floor isn't level enough for these types of planks. You shouldn't be wearing patterned pants with those hips.
It feels like every single tiny detail that I have to decide upon is inevitably the wrong one. Every hardware and decorating choice I've made in the past few weeks has inevitably been scrapped. Because here's the thing: I have no idea what I'm doing.
It's like I'm expected to solve an Encyclopedia Brown mystery without knowing how many Tigers were actually at the baseball game. I simply don't have all of the information.
But it'll be okay. Eventually everything will be done and everyone will be out of our house. The girls will regain another level of the home in which to fling their toys and I'll be able to flop onto pleasantly grouted tiles while waiting for the third load of laundry to cycle through. Lights will turn off and on, painted walls won't show a trace of uneven plaster, and there won't be even a whiff of sewer gas anywhere on the premises.
It'll be lovely.