Why I’m the worst at home renovations

I’m feeling stuck.

About what, you ask? (…After a moment where you wonder if I’m just going to go ahead and start rambling anyhow, so the polite thing to do is to offer a token “ask?”)

Well, I’ll tell you. We’re getting a new kitchen floor.


(I know.)

But here’s the thing; after almost eight years in this house and dealing with exploding sewers and marauding rats and folks attempting to deal drugs out of the garage (not me, but I hear the money’s good) and wiring so faulty it offered to set itself on fire…we’re choosing to do something lovely and because we just pretty much really want to.

And it’s crippling.

Since the day we moved in, we’d look at the back of the house and say, “That sure would be a great place for a door!” I mean, we didn’t need a door; walking back through the house, down a flight of stairs, out the side entrance, up the shared alley and through the back gate (after unlocking it in multiple places) got us outside just fine. The kids couldn’t let themselves in and out from our backyard without a grownup to get the high locks- and make sure they didn’t run directly into traffic- but the fact that we had a backyard in the city proper was worth celebrating in and of itself. Sure, it wasn’t akin to anything resembling comfort or enjoyment, but let’s be real about what the world needs right now, amiright? So the door project waited.

And the kitchen floor (which longtime readers might remember from that time I grouted and repaired in my seven-months pregnant beached whale form) has always been a source of cracked/mismatched/horrid frustration. However, the baby needed a nursery with windows that opened and closed and didn’t have bullet holes. (BASICS.) And then we kept having babies with similar window needs. So the floor project waited.

We haven’t come into any cash recently, nor have our finances afforded us the top shelf bourbon I sip nightly (doesn’t stop me, but they haven’t). That said, I recently informed P.J. that I was going to die someday.

And that he was going to as well.

(No, folks. Sorry. I am taken.)

I convinced him that, since we’re both relative homebodies, since we both actually work at home, and since one of our greatest pleasures in life is to walk across a non-chipped floor and open a door that makes sense, we should do that. Like, now.

And while I’m not usually quite so successful at spending our money, something in one of the statements must’ve hit home and re-inspired his own thought bubbles. (Nothing like telling someone they’re gonna die to encourage renovations!)

So we ordered a door. It’s a big door. It’s in transit somewhere as we speak. It’s definitely going to be here. And once they rip a hole in the brick wall (!!) and build our new little deck, they’ll need to start the kitchen tile work. Which is where I come in.

Which is where I’m failing.

P.J.- who deserves a g-d raise or something- brought home samples of tile after tile after tile. There was one I liked. One. The only problem? I don’t know if it’s right. Our kitchen is long and the tile is small and the color is similar to our cabinets but also not similar and somehow picks up accent colors from the whole room and adjoining rooms and, I swear to God, shimmers a bit. And while it’s not glitter tile, it’s also not entirely unlike glitter tile. I loved it so hard immediately I got a headache.

But then I started thinking:

Maybe kitchen tile shouldn’t shimmer?

If everyone else has high contrast in their kitchens, maybe I’m super bad at this?

What if people walk into this kitchen and don’t even think wow, there’s a door but instead stop to wonder how they became friends with someone so tacky?

Why are my friends jerks?

Is this kind of circular thinking why I actually have no friends?

Dean Koontz quote

I have referenced this Dean Koontz quote before. It’s never not relevant.

Stuff like that. I started walking from room to room, clutching a shimmer tile to my chest and behaving a tad too similarly to the Twin Peaks Log Lady. (“Would you like to ask my tile a question…?”) And I don’t know what my damn problem is. I kid you not, I spent less time wondering if P.J. was the guy I’d marry. But back then, I didn’t doubt myself nearly as much as I do now. (Also, the answer was ridiculously easy. Yes! This is the man you’ll morbidly pressure into buying sliding glass!)

I think I doubt myself more and more with each passing year. At least about things that are, quite literally, not the end of the world.

I think all of the illnesses and deaths and sadness and anxiety of recent years has made me want nice things to be really, really nice and given me a really, really big fear of being the one to mess up the Nice Thing.

I think maybe this has very little to do with kitchen tile, after all.

And I know that my Dad would’ve done anything to be here for this project, since he was the very first one to lift a hammer in this formerly crumbling abode, and I would do anything to ask his advice. He’d be so proud that we were actually here, not scraping asbestos ceilings or filling in rat tunnels, but actually doing the one project we said we’d do “someday.”

And it’s someday. And I wish to God he could sit on that stupid little deck with me and tell me that I’d done a good job. (And sure, saying that the tile was cool would be fairly terrific, too.)

But I also know that he’d be the first to tell me that I have to be the one to mess it up. Not in so many words, maybe, but the sentiment would be there: Buck up. Choose a tile. No, just choose one. Get it done.

I will. Not only because I have to, but because I pretty much still really want to. Even if I keep getting in my own way.

The answer will probably come to me with a little more bourbon.

(I’m done asking the tile what it thinks.)



Speak Your Mind