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Just One More Thing To Do This Week: Look Around The Room

on October 12, 2017 - 7:44am
By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos
 
I think I have an addiction. I have tried avoiding the temptations, weaning myself, and even going cold turkey, but nothing seems to help.
 
Eventually I am once again, back on the couch, falling victim to another HGTV home renovation show. I love these shows, and I love home renovation. I have lived with ongoing remodeling project chaos for years at a time. As long as there is the slightest bit of improvement, I can wait it out. As soon as one effort is complete, I am jonesing for another, usually bigger, project.
 
My husband, not so much. He wants to be done and done. I want to be done, so we can do another. Really, what I need to make my life just a little easier is an enabler. On the HGTV show Fixer-Upper, Joanna has her husband Chip.
 
Joanna will wave her slim hand, vaguely pointing around the room and say to Chip, “I need this room gutted, those walls removed, the floor leveled, and the HVAC system relocated.”
 
Chip smiles and replies sweetly, “Sure, baby, give me an hour and we will get that done for you.”
 
I will say to my husband, “Look, if we just scootch this wall back a few feet, do you see how much larger it will make this space?”
 
My husband, clearly frustrated before I have even started demolishing the wall, replies, “There is no scootching this wall, there are electrical lines, it is load-bearing, and it is an 18 inch adobe wall. Adobe does not scootch.”
 
And so of course, HE gets HIS way, and the wall does not get scootched. It is really exasperating trying to work with someone who sees the barriers to success instead of all the wonderful possibilities.
 
I admit some of the HGTV home improvement shows set unrealistic expectations because housing costs vary greatly from region to region. And of course, the work on TV is always completed in eight weeks. In this part of the country you would be lucky to find someone to just estimate and bid a project in eight weeks. The work itself would take months and months.
 
I also enjoy making fun of comments made by the people who are shopping for houses. I know it is catty and petty, but I do it anyway, they are on TV for entertainment, right?
 
Some of my favorite comments include:
  • “I was really hoping for an ocean view, but I do love that wine rack in the kitchen.”
  • “I love the floor plan. The size and the neighborhood is perfect, I can see raising my kids here, but I just can’t imagine living in a house with a red front door.”
  • “I home school our five children and my husband designs custom egg-cartons. Our budget for our new home is $1.5 million.”
Custom egg cartons? Is that even a thing? How could it possibly pay that well? I am guessing there is additional income from an unnamed source.
 
I think, to my husband’s chagrin, that my house, much like me, will continue to be a work in progress. I can always envision something just beyond the horizon that intrigues and excites me. My home is a reflection of me, and I can’t seem to tell the difference between home improvement and self-improvement. I want the same for both me and my home. To feel safe, comfortable and well-organized.

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