Today I woke up to a completely disheveled house. We’re getting our walls painted and as such, we’ve spent the last few days consolidating our massive smatterings of shit into gigantic central pyres in each room so our painters (the fine folks over at Jacob’s Ladder [email@example.com]) can get to the walls. We’re painting things mostly grey, which we’ve been warned may get depressing once the grey of the Chicago winter sets in, but we’ve thought long and hard about it and decided that it’s a nice update from the baby shit beige that’s currently going on, seasonal affective disorder notwithstanding. The upshot of this is that my house looks like it recently hosted a tiny little tsunami and some of our lesser known roommates have come out to play.
We never see bugs or anything like that in this house, but today we saw a wacky crawler in the tub and when I walked out of the bedroom, a goddamn mouse was running across the floor. It’s a fucking circus in this piece, to put it mildly. Add to this that I’ve currently got two dogs packed into crates barking like crazy due to the presence of painters and a daughter sitting amongst the piles of shit angrily watching TV without a DVR option like some kind of peasant girl, and you can see why I’m feeling like I live in a goddamn funny farm.
My wife has this deep seeded desire to do projects. She’s also got a deep seeded desire to second guess her choices (something I try not to think of when I ponder our marriage). The end result is that whenever we do anything, every single possible choice is pored over until the last possible second, the trigger is pulled and then buyers remorse and resentment immediately sets in (usually directed towards me, mostly because I’m a classically indifferent male, prone to snap judgments and underthinking everything and completely blind to the differences between, let’s say Stonington Grey and Harbor Grey). I don’t know if this is how the rest of the heterosexual world operates, but it’s the program we run over here at Casa Kelly.
Once, moments after we signed a lease for the first place we ever rented together, my wife jumped out of a moving car and ran up and down a random street looking for For Rent signs, so quickly did the buyers remorse set in. It’s remarkable.
Now, to be sure, I’m worse in every conceivable way. I see every project as little more than a series of inconveniences, and every bit of attention to detail is just another obstacle between me and the ultimate end of said project, at which point I can get back to sitting around, doing nothing and loudly complaining about how nothing ever changes. There’s gotta be some kind of happy medium. I think there maybe are people out there who are constantly crafty, couples who are just always lovingly discussing options for new kitchen tables and debating the merits of one color beige over another…people who are constantly stenciling and gardening and building cabinetry and rearranging rooms and shit like that. I have heard rumors that those people exist. But I have seen no actual evidence. If they do exist, by the way, they’re lame and I hate them. Both of them and their dumb stationary and Christmas cards and matching dog sweaters. Bleh.
I think, if I’m being honest with myself, that my wife, when she ponders the buyers remorse that must have immediately followed our nuptials, thinks she wants a dude like that. She wants someone crafty, creative and very much into interior design, furniture, aesthetics and so forth. However, I think that person may move too fast for her cautious side. If she came home and I was just ripping out the cabinets because I got a wild hair up my ass and wanted to try some new thing, she’d be pissed. Of course, to her that notion probably sounds exciting because I’d never in a zillion years initiate a change like that, but I don’t know that crafty initiative is really all it’s cracked up to be. Or maybe I just tell myself that because I look at someone like, say, Chuck Ragan, who can build a guitar and play a beautiful love song he wrote for you on it, while you eat some smoked mango salsa that he lovingly prepared, while you recline in an easy chair also built by him, and then he can just take you in his huge arms and make love to you like a bear loves a beehive, and I guess that I don’t feel like I’ve got much to offer besides some smugness, a misquoted line from a classic novel that I pretend I’ve read at parties, and the occasional dickjoke here and there.
Well, it’s a many splendored thing, this wheel of life, ain’t it? Anyway. My house is a shithole and so is my mind. The exterminator is coming on Saturday.