Last fall, my husband and I dreamt-up what we wanted to do to our bathroom. And yes, by our bathroom I am implying that we have only one bathroom. We started to hang around Home Depot, one of our happy places, searching for great deals on great stuff. And we stocked up. We bought all new tile, a swanstone shower base, a new toilet, all new hardware, and we were ready. We decided we’d have a contractor friend of ours, who’d helped with a couple of projects on our last house, do the bathroom this past February. We coordinated schedules with him, made sure we had every single item needed to complete the bathroom, and patiently waited.
Come February, we learned that we owed taxes instead of getting anything back, as we’d expected. As we’d planned to use for the bathroom remodel. My dreams of a bathroom that was…ahem…not wallpapered in foil flowers, floored in linoleum, and with a tub surround that appeared to be falling into itself quickly crashed and burned. And it made me very sad. And the piles and piles of shiny and sparkly new bathroom materials sat in our garage. Mocking me every time I’ve pulled my car in since.
When my husband was in his late teens, he built high-end houses for a local developer. He knows how to do just about anything. So as the spring wore on, and the bathroom grew uglier by the day, we started to talk about doing it ourselves. In phases. Over the summer. There was finally light at the end of this tunnel.
With the Fourth of July falling in the middle of the week this year, we jumped at the chance to use some of our hard-earned PTO, to finally tackle the bathroom. I’ve said before that we really love house projects. We work incredibly well together, love to see our own progress, and feel pride when we’ve completed projects that improve our living space. I was so excited to get started. The first phase? Replacing the shower and the floor.
Several weeks ago it became clear that my mom and I needed to get to Phoenix as soon as possible. We have ailing relatives and it has become imperative that we get out there. My mom goes often but I haven’t been since fall of 2010. This ended up being the only weekend we could make it work. My dreams of six days of bathroom remodel with my husband quickly dissolved as I prepared to visit my grandma and my aunt.
And really…who doesn’t want to go to the desert in the middle of summer?
The past several days I’ve been feeling blue. As we’ve prepared for the bathroom project to start I’ve felt bad that I can’t be a part of it. That I can’t help. And…to be frank…the thought of visiting my relatives feels like a chore I’m not sure I’m up for. Obviously, as an adult I recognize the need to do so. But I just don’t wanna.
Today, as I finished my last day of work for the week, I struggled to find reasons why it would be fun. Or a good time. I came home tonight and we started to tear out the old tub, tile, and linoleum. I took the little girls and Sullivan for McDonald’s because there is no cooking when a) we’re in demo mode, and b) the heat index is 113 degrees in Minnesota. While we were out, wasting time so we were out of the way and were near working bathrooms, I got a frantic call from my husband…
Husband: Hi…what are you doing?
Me: We’re at PetSmart getting Sully’s face trimmed-up and using their bathroom.
Husband: Umm…we don’t have water right now…maybe not for quite awhile…and it’s best that you don’t ask.
Me: Ahh…okay? Should I keep the girls out for a while?
Husband: Yes…I…I have to go…love you…maybe stop at McDonald’s on the way home to use the bathroom?
That my friends, is when going to the desert in the middle of summer started to sound like a good idea.
We wasted a bit more time and finally made our way home. When we got here there were a) holes in the floor in the bathroom, b) buckets in the basement collecting water coming from the bathroom, and c) a closet full (A. CLOSET. FULL!!!) of wet dresses. Wait, more specifically, a closet full of MY wet dresses. Turns out, when the water disaster happened (I’m still not clear on what exactly that entailed), it all came down into the closet in which I keep all of my beautiful dresses. The ones that will fit me perfectly by mid-August. The ones I have been busting my a-s to lose weight to wear. Sigh. My husband told me, in a shrill voice that I’ve never heard come from him, that the dresses could surely be dry cleaned and he’d take care of it.
This my friends, is when going to the desert in the middle of summer started to sound like a REALLY good idea.
Truth is…I don’t care about the dresses needing to be dry cleaned…it’s probably a good idea to do that anyway. And the work of the bathroom doesn’t even scare me that much. But it’s so damn hot, and running to McDonald’s to use the bathroom (for me, a recovering Diet Coke addict, this is like sending a heroin addict to their former dealer’s house to borrow a cup of sugar) is such a pain in the a-s, and maybe it’s a-okay if this part of the project is done without me. Even if it means facing some hard realities about my relatives.
Tomorrow I’ll work beside my husband to get the project started. It will be hot, and messy, and we will have fun. But on Thursday morning I will kiss him goodbye, read a great book on the plane, and enjoy my time with my mom in the desert.
TODAY: What if it’s time to buck-up and go see people who need to see me? What if I let go of the fact that I won’t be a part of this project and leave it in the trustworthy hands of my husband? And what if I come home to a sparkly new bathroom??? YAY!