Buying a house is a lot like getting married.
First you fall in love and you would do anything to get your hands on the property. Lie, steal, bribe, compliment, date, anything. Then you make an offer and it’s a yes. And the big day arrives, you move in. Everything is perfect and happy and new. An adventure. You might even end up making love in every room, unless you have teenagers in the house. They freak out completely when they find their parents naked on the floor in front of their bed. They will also insist on counselling thereafter. I know this now…
After a while you start to notice flaws. Little things that was completely ignored in the beginning because everything else was just so frigging perfect. A fairy tale. Until these things starts to bug you and you have no choice but to fix them because you’re the captain now. It’s your house, your responsibility, your pain. You finally get tired of the whining and get off your arse and start repairing the little annoyances, one crack at a time. Change a bulb, fix a tap, cover a leak, drill a hole. And the more time you spend fixing things, the more things needs fixing. Getting of that sofa meant you’ve unleashed a torrent of things that needs your attention.
Until you reach that inevitable tipping point of fed-up-ness and both realise it’s easier to chuck out the old and remodel the kitchen.
Maybe buying a house is nothing like marriage…But renovating a kitchen is definitely a very good indication of the strength of that bond.
Just like parenting kids, it teaches you several skills like humility and patience. And how not to lose your shit and throat-punch a contractor for causing another delay in the project. It also teaches you how to make choices because renovation is basically a collective noun for choices, choices, choices and lots and lots of bills.
Choices on taps, tiles, mosaic tiles, floor tiles, ovens, micro-wave ovens, appliances, light fittings, lights, plugs, wall-colour, cupboard design, drawers, drawer design, kitchen lay-out, curtains, blinds, extractor fans and did I mention tiles? All the important stuff men spend hours pondering about every day.
Husbands end up managing a million contractors who walk in and out of the house like they own the damn place, leaving a mess, only to transform a kitchen which in hindsight didn’t look too bad, into the pictured awesomeness captured in the mind of wives.
And throughout this process of transformation everyone needs to employ some level of control in order to prevent an act of homicide/suicide whereby a person throws themselves in front of a bus or falls onto a bread knife or have their head smashed in with a cupboard door, still attached.
Here is some free advise: If you ever consider renovating a kitchen whilst living in the house…Don’t! Take it from me, it takes three times longer than you planned, it costs at least twice as much, which means you’ll only ever do it once.
But we’re nearly there. And it’s going to be beautiful or I’m going to ask for my money back. The latest prognosis is two weeks. So that means the worst is behind us and that is something I tell myself every day, whilst my mind is screaming:
“WHEN WILL THIS AGONY END!”
(Maybe it’s like marriage after all…)