We've lived in this house for more than 13 years. We are still walking/lying/wrestling/sweeping the original floors. Do you even know what 13 years of drippy sippy cups, tweenage nail polish, muddy soccer cleats, pizza picnics, diaper changes and stubborn dogs will do to carpets? Let me tell you, it's not pretty.
So, the time has come to toss these nasty floors and spring for new ones that will hopefully receive kinder treatment by older kids and no dogs. (Yes, it means what you think. That's for another post.)
The prospect of new flooring -- once you can breathe again after the sticker shock wears off -- is so appealing. What is not appealing, however, is the getting ready for the new floors. It means everything has to be picked up off the old floors.
If you are a minimalist, this is not a problem. However, if you've spent the past 13 years saving stuff and storing stuff and inadvertently seeing just how much one corner of the dining room can hold, the task of getting ready for the floor guys is enough to make you want to throw up on your nasty, 13-year-old carpets.
Mike has been driving this new floor train. Well, at least in his own special way. He called the company, picked out the flooring (I did get to peek and veto) and scheduled the installation. His process of getting the house ready of course starts with the garage. So right now, our garage is a home for refugee furniture -- not all of which is coming back inside.
For my part, I spent 6 hours this weekend cleaning my walk-in closet and bedroom. (Again, that's an experience for another post.) Mike assured me he had everything else under control. When I left for work this morning, he promised his primary task for the day was to get the first floor ready to go. However, when I walked in from work this afternoon, he greeted me with "Wait. Don't yell."
Apparently, he had several freelance projects to work on during the day and hadn't gotten as far as he'd hoped (read: he moved kitchen and dining chairs to the back porch). I didn't yell. I'm always happy for freelance work.
The yelling came later. Not from me. From Mike.
I figured out his M.O. He was waiting for his minions -- the kids and I -- to come home and finish homework to get the job really done. He stood in the middle of the family room, barking orders. Telling kids to take this upstairs and 10 seconds later hollering because they'd left the room.
I don't like this approach, but not everyone parents in the same way. Then he started barking at me. That's when I the daggers came shooting out of my eyeballs. If looks could kill, it's a good thing the life insurance is paid up.
"What?" he said.
"Nothing," I wisely replied.
"You want to say something, so say it."
"No. I'm fine."
"Well, I know you're thinking it in your head."
The man may not be a mind-reader, but he's smart enough to know when his wife is cursing in her brain and biting her tongue at the same time. If he was a mind reader, he might have read something like this...
Listen here, buddy. You had all day to do this stuff. "Don't worry about it," you said. "I've got it covered." What you meant was "I'm going to scream and boss and stand around while everyone else gets whipped into a frenzy and does all the real work."
It occurred to me when I tasted a hint of blood from my bitten tongue that it's not just wallpapering and marriage that don't go together. It's any kind of home improvement project. At least in this house.
And I would say out loud to him what I thought in my head. Except. As unpleasant and frustrating as his tactics were, they worked. In a very short period of time, the job was done. By the end of the week, the floors will be finished and I will have forgotten the unpleasantries of Mike's approach to home improvement preparedness.
Until the next project comes along.