He Said/She Said: Another Year of the Dreaded DIY Disease
I’m getting to that age. The one where you have trouble remembering special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries and if I’m honest, most major holidays. It’s easy to do when you have no social commitments to attend to, or what some people might refer to as a “social life”.
And since we have no social obligations, we often end up doing DIY projects about this time of year, because who doesn’t love shutting off the power and water for hours at a time during the winter holidays?
So I know it must be New Years because there is a coat of drywall dust on every horizontal surface in the house, as well as on the flat screen TV, which has been tuned to the Twilight Zone three day marathon for what seems like a week already. It kind of adds to the whole Twilight Zone ambience, though, with it’s cloudy black and white asthetic.
And tiny, fluffy little drifts of fiberglass insulation float in the air like fairies, illuminating weak streams of sunlight whenever the heat pump kicks on, which is often, because it’s, you know, January.
And the old man and I had like five or six little arguments, within the course of so many days. Okay, so we actually had a major screaming match this afternoon, but after eating nothing but sandwiches and coffee for a week and washing all our dishes in the bathroom sink, and what with all the itchy eyes and sneezing every time the heat goes on, a little screaming is in order, don’t you agree?
I don’t know why we insist on tormenting ourselves with this DIY madness, even as we get older and find it challenging some days just to get out of our chairs.
And I don’t know why we choose holiday weeks to get down and dirty with our tools and our grungiest clothes, when everyone else is dressing up and going out and cooking and hosting special dinners and partying and stuff.
It truly is a disease. This DIY stuff. But it also keeps us busy instead of sitting around pouting because we have no social life. And the house is looking great!
So DIY we do, and we do it pretty well after thirty nine years worth. Well enough so that when the dust settles, we are generally happy with the results.
But it can make for some tense moments and terse discussions sometimes.
It’s not always easy to keep your cool when, for example:
•Your spouse turns on the stainless steel contractor model shop-vac in the middle of the kitchen and it immediately spews out gray clouds of toxic dust that he doesn’t immediately notice despite the fact that you immediately start yelling to shut it off but he can’t immediately hear you because the thing is the size of a grain elevator and sounds like a eighteen wheeler revving up in your kitchen. Just maneuvering that thing around the construction zone is like trying to drive a DeLorean through the house. And then when he shuts it off and tells you that he took the filter out because it was dirty, well how can you not go just a tiny bit ape shit and start yelling: “Who does that? Who takes the filter out and then brings it in and turns it on? Who does that? I’ll tell you who does that–an idiot, that’s who!”
•Your wife proceeds to tell you how she watched a video on how to wire a dishwasher and now she thinks she is qualified to tell you how to wire a dishwasher properly, even though you have wired four or five, maybe even six, dishwashers in your time and she has wired exactly zero dishwashers. How can you not go just a tiny bit ape shit and start yelling: “Well, go ahead and wire it yourself then if your so damn smart.” And then sit there and hope that she indeed does try to wire that dishwasher but fails miserably so you can glare at her with that withering icy gaze that you wield like a weapon on just such occasions, but does she take the bait? NO! She simply mutters some lame thing about how you never listen to her ideas and then she sniffles ever so slightly to let you know just how hurt she is by your bad attitude. The worst part is, your going to properly wire that dishwasher and she is going to proceed to tell you someday when the kitchen is done and the dishwasher is humming along nicely, what a great handy man you are and how thankful she is for your hard work and completely disregard the fact that she questioned your ability to properly wire the damn dishwasher in the first place.
Trust me, this is all normal behavior for husband and wife DIY teams, at least the ones who don’t have camera crews and make-up and wardrobe teams on stand by as they “work”, which of course we don’t. Neither one of us is photogenic enough for all that.
But hey, this isn’t our first rodeo and no matter how we threaten that it will be our last, it probably isn’t either. By now we both know that all of this is just a part of the process.
So… someday when I’m sitting in my newly lightened, brightened, renewed and rather lovely kitchen, I’ll chuckle over all the fuss we made in the process and yes, I will take a moment to thank the old man for all his hard work and to heartily compliment him on his superb DIY skills, without actually mentioning the properly wired dishwasher of course.
©2019 by Ilona Elliott
Please feel free to share your own funny DIY stories with me in the comments section.
And Happy New Year!