Home Improvement Gender Based Conflicts

2013 continues to be my least favorite year of the decade. I know we’re only 21 days in, give it a chance.

Bullshit. When I want an Oompa Loompa I want it now. Basically the problem this year so far has been my inability to find/make/allocate/manage time. I thought with a couple kids out of the house I’d be free as bird to pursue more esoteric pursuits, engage my passion for paint-by-numbers pictures and wordsearch puzzles.  Sadly this has not been the case.

OK enough whining.

Had some an update from the gender wars this week. I found myself sitting on the sofa in the living room with my bride. Just the two of us, last time we sat and talked like that was probably in 2000. That was the year we took our first and what would be our last, at least to date, vacation together, just the two of us. Scary times, nothing to do but answer questions, and not just the good kind of questions, defined by me as ones with one word responses, these were questions that required engaging conversation which have me running away,  and fast. Actually the Ghost of Montezuma intervened on day two of the that week at Club Med and Mrs S was unavailable for the last 4 days of the trip. It sucked for her, but made a quiet week for me. Too bad we were in Mexico and not somewhere good like Apple Valley or Balsam Lake.

We were sitting there quietly doing whatever it is we do when we’re quiet, most certainly involves a cell phone or a computer in my case, and Mrs S started to list off a few projects she has in mind for the house. This is always interesting. Personally I’ve never initiated a home project in my life. I don’t look at a house that way, something I want to, or can make better. I tend to look at it from the “how do I get comfy here” perspective. I bet a lot of husbands do the same thing. Why fix something that ain’t busted. She was talking about new windows, I get that one, an island for the kitchen… Ironic in my opinion, when the spouse who never sets foot in the kitchen makes proposals for how to improve it. And finally a very general “And I want to do something over there’’ which she said as she was making a hand gesture in the direction of our staircase. “Over where?” “Over there, the staircase, the banister needs replacing, I’d like to put some wood on the landing, get rid of these railings things over here”.

“Over where?” I asked, but changing the inflection from Over to Where thereby asking a question as opposed to challenging her directly. I got the “you simpleton” look. The banister is apparently “dated”, and looks like it came out of the 80’s. House was built in 1985, the home shows would call that woodwork either “original” or “period”. I think we should leave it alone. And I told her so. Wrong answer. We need to modernize and get the banister current.

This is a great example of a first world problem, and I told her so. Apparently since I live in a first world country, and have a first world family I am qualified to have this as one of my problems. And she told me so. Directly. Sometimes words hurt when they aren’t meant to. This was not one of those cases. Her words were meant to hurt, just a little.

The railing however.. we have one of the those seemingly useless little railings, comes out from the wall about 6 feet and helps the lame and moronic understand where the entry hall starts and the living room ends. It is a little retarded. But.. it has a use, especially in the winter. When I come in after walking home from the bus stop it gives me a handy place to drape my coat, and that decorative round knobby thing on the end of the railing, well its a very handy tie rack. Actually it holds a weeks worth of ties, which makes it easy for Mrs S to find then so she can take them upstairs to my closet when she is taking rest of the laundry up. And I told her that.

Some arguments sound better in my mind then they do when I say them.

I lost this battle for practical over design in our bathroom years ago. Again, project required. New shower installed, new shower door. Instead of the 1970’s slider doors, we put a real door with hinges and everything. Problem is, well there’s two. First problem she had frosted glass installed instead of clear. I thing clear glass makes showers more open and sexy. She thinks the same thing and that’s why it’s frosted. And explains the deadbolt on the bathroom door.

The other thing is the door opens against the wall where at one time the towel rack was. We can’t have a towel rack there now.. would break the door. Oddly enough I am the ONLY person in the house who thinks a towel rack near the shower is a handy thing to have. The rest of my roommates are perfectly comfortable picking up a towel off the floor to dry off with. This is OK in the winter if you put the towels directly over the heat register, cheap way to have a heated towel, but by and large this whole arrangement is annoying. I don’t want to be annoyed having to leave my coat and tie on the floor in the living room. Would make it hard for Mrs S to find my ties to go hang them upstairs. I could put them on the new banister. I wonder if they have a model with a tie rack?

BTW, new slider door installed on the porch last year. Contractor got the left opening door instead of the right opening door. He was told not to worry about it, it’d be fine. Well, 1) the light switches are on the wrong side of the door now, I’m the only one who even a little bit bothered about that, 2) the dog continues to run head on into the wrong side of the door. This is actually pretty amusing so I’m going to call that a wash. But it does illustrate the futility of my influence in the house. It’s like there’s a Family Steering Committee and I’m not on it.

On the other hand do I want to be on it? Probably not.

So, more home improvements on a house that I think is prefect, except for the bathroom. If it weren’t for my bride I’m sure I’d never know how many things needed to get done around the house.

5 Comments

Filed under Life

5 responses to “Home Improvement Gender Based Conflicts

  1. So…, I have cardboard tacked over an opening in the dining room wall where we removed a brick chimney, was it three years ago, no, maybe five. Don’t hardly notice it anymore, unless guests are arriving. The kitchen sink is brown and the faucet leaks and cupboards and countertops are circa 70s.

    Maybe you want to share this with the Family Steering Committee.

  2. Just accept it with honor. We will win this one every time.

  3. Roly

    “Break” a finger or two, then milk it for all you’re worth. :) Maybe she’ll forget about it.

Lemmie know what you think..

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