Skip to main content

I had 4 men in my bathroom and I wasn't wearing a bra. That's how I do business.

While Big V was working, I hung out with 4 men in my bathroom. I tried to get them to clean the toilet and mop the floors but they wanted nothing to do with that. Instead, we were all gathered together to perform some sort of meeting of the minds.

A couple weeks ago, after sobbing hysterically that I was going to murder someone if I had to live one more blasted day with this bathroom inquiring about the remodeling process, I met with Dan from Stebnitz Builders for what was called a Feasibility Walkthrough. This was when Dan was forced to listen to me ramble on non-stop about what I wanted to do with the house. I want to take this wall down and put one up over here and add lights there and win the lottery and lose ten pounds and have French doors open into a home office.

Then Dan looked at me and said something along the lines of you need to fix that leak in the main bath before your whole house falls apart due to water damage. Since he's the professional, I figured he was right and I should hold off trying to diet away those ten pounds and focus on the bathroom. (Actually, I know he's right. That leak should have been fixed a long time ago.)

Over a box of Belgian Mini Chocolate Dipped Cream Puffs I explained to Big V our options. He agreed the bathroom needed to be done but worried we wouldn't have enough money to even consider a whole bath remodel. But Dan was aware of that, too, and noted that they would work with us. For instance, we could demo the room ourselves. And by "we" I mean definitely not me because I'm allergic to dust. And also I don't like the way grit and plaster bits feel on my fingers. (I have textile issues. Stop judging me.)

And, since Big V is a stellar tile setter he insisted he be allowed to do showcase his skills in his own bathroom which Stebnitz Builders is willing to allow. I've seen V's skill in the mansions he works on and if I can get just a quarter of what he does there I'll be in heaven.

Together we agreed to move forward. Besides, if it was something we can't afford we'll simply fix the leak and keep the rest of the crappy bathroom the way it is. No harm, no foul. Except for the shattered dreams inside my heart.

That brought us to this morning.

I was already planning on going in to work late because Cletus the Used to be Fetus had a physical/speech assessment at 9:00am, so when Stebnitz Builders called to set up an appointment with the subcontractors (in order to figure a quote) I scheduled 8:00am. Which would have worked out perfect if they hadn't arrived ten minutes early. Or if I had woken up a bit earlier and took a quicker shower and wasn't standing naked and dripping wet when the doorbell rang.

I yelled out to Dotter to go to the door and tell them I'd be right there then grabbed the first thing I could find (which happened to be one of V's huge t-shirts and the pants I wore the night before, wrinkly from being crumpled on the floor). I ran out to the door not even giving a thought to what my hair might look like. (I caught a glimpse of it later and, hoo boy! Bad decision on my part. Should have looked. Really. Should have.)

I think the guy's name was Mike, but it might have been Bob or Larry or Alfred - I honestly was just trying to look casual and not let on that I wasn't wearing any of the appropriate supporting undergarments a lady ought to be wearing. I grabbed the nearest sweatshirt and covered up.

To bring additional embarrassment to the situation I went to school with both the plumber and the heating guy. Hey, Jeff. Hey Ray. Haven't seen you guys in years. Don't mind the fact that I look like a drowned sewer rat.

As if my appearance wasn't humiliating enough, I eventually had to pull aside the shower curtain and expose my dirty, little secret: a twenty year old tub once painted green, now peeling; a tub surround that billows out away from the wall; and gross disgusting mold lining the tub. Yes, we shower here. Yes, the baby bathes here. Yes, it is disgusting and gross. Please help.

Embarrassed as I was I remembered the vital part of the bathroom remodel: the Laundry Chute. Big V requires a laundry chute.

But Big V might not get a laundry chute because the obvious place to put it in the bathroom would mean clothes are landing on the hot water heater. The one with the open flame. Which is not good because clothing could potentially start on fire and that's kind of a bad thing.

We could put a laundry chute in the hallway, but then the clothes would fall on the couch in the basement rec area. The Bean would be so humiliated if she was cozied up with her boyfriend and Mama drops her once a month grandma panties down the chute and onto boyfriend's head. Back to the drawing board.

The plumber, the electrician, the heating guy and Mike (or Bob or Larry or Alfred) measured, discussed, measured some more, brainstormed, offered suggestions, talked about building codes, while I stood there wondering how upset Big V would be if he didn't get his clothing tunnel. I suspect he would be pretty disappointed since that was the only thing he asked for.

Mike (or Bob or Larry or Alfred) assured me he'd figure out the chute. In about a week or two we should have before us plans for our dream bathroom... and a quote that I hope to God is lower than my children's college education.

That leaves me wondering if it's even worth getting my hopes up. We're a simple couple trying to raise kids and make the best of what we have. We're at the bottom of middle class or the upper part of lower class depending on if you're a glass is half full or half empty kind of person. We have no idea what finish countertops we want or type of hardware for the tub, we just want something that looks nice. Something that makes us feel proud - like, Look. We worked hard for this. And it's awesome. Something that makes us feel good every single time we walk in and not something that reminds us of the terrible financial mistake we made at the expense of our family.

I worry it will be too expensive and we won't be able to afford it.

I worry we won't ever be able to do better than what we have.

I worry we will be able to afford it, but then I get carried away and it becomes something we can't afford.

I worry I won't be able to choose the right vanity. Or mirrors. Or exhaust fan.

I worry I'll forget something obvious and find out I have no room to store towels or toothpaste or tampons or toilet paper.

I worry the walls will open and we'll find a sinister problem hidden in the walls that we won't be able to fix and our house will be condemned.

I worry because I've never done this before and I don't know if I'm doing it right.


Johi said…
Remodeling can be overwhelming. I know. I married a remodeler and we have redone every room in our home. Do you want to talk stress? Let's talk about our kitchen remodel. Good times. Good thing I didn't have a 6 month old baby at the time... oh wait. I did.
Can I offer some advice? Good.
1) Buy a box of wine
2) Get your hands on some design magazines and rip out the pages of anything that you like. Don't over think it. If you like it, tear it out. When you get a large pile, look back through them and you will find some consistent theme in them- hence "what you like" or "your style".
Good luck!
Becca said…
Oh, I can feel your stress! I know they can fix it to be nice, and clean, and safe without it costing a whole college education. Especially if you guys do the demo and tile. It'll be great!
Mimi said…
Oh working with contractors... Argh! Good luck! I have a list of "projects" our house needs but those pesky kids would rather eat and be clothed! Maybe one day...

Came here from Mommy's Time Out. Good luck with the remodeling! (I accidentally wrote "remolding" the first time... maybe appropriate, may not be....)

Popular posts from this blog

The House that God Built

in·stan·ta·ne·ous /ˌinstənˈtānēəs/ adjective 1. occurring or done in an instant or instantly.
synonyms: immediate, instant, on-the-spot

The thing is, she died so sudden.
I didn't have the chance to plead with God, to make all the irrational promises. If he would just let her be okay.... I would start taking better care of my health. I would be nicer to the neighbor that drove me crazy. I would always let someone else go in front of me at Walmart no matter how long the line was. I wouldn't complain. Ever. I would volunteer at the Homeless Shelter. I would clean up after pigs. I would clip the toenails of the elderly. I would do anything and everything He would ask me to do....
There is a box on her death certificate that captures the amount of time between the initial injury and the time of death. It reads "seconds." I wish it read "instantaneous" because she deserves a clever word like that.
Fast forward five years.... definitely taking MUCH longer than "…

Seeing Avery All Grown Up

One day I'll tell you about the freezing cold we left and the heavy bags we lugged, full of supplies and medicines. I'll tell you about arriving in Port au Prince and walking across a cracked concrete parking lot to board an old school bus with a flat tire. How the heat was suffocating after months of below zero Wisconsin winter weather, how the people crowded and walked too close to moving traffic as we searched for a tire shop that was barely more than a couple men sitting on overturned 5-gallon buckets on the side of the road next to a pile of old tires, everything covered in dirt.

I'll tell you about waiting on the bus while they removed the tire and I'll recall the loud explosion that rocked the bus and scared the life out of me and how I was relieved to learn it was just the tire blowing after being filled too far. (They didn't have any gauges.) And then I'll tell you about the fear I felt when I realized we didn't have a tire and we were stuck on th…

So, WILL an M&M melt in your nose?

This weekend was one of the busiest social dates of the summer. The options seemed endless: a lobster boil, a fireman's dance, and a little something called Moos & Blues which you just have to experience to believe. (Small town farmers hosting one of the biggest events of the season: pig roast, live music and an unbelievable fireworks display that ranks up there with the best of 'em.) However, I was home with Dotter (9) and Cletus (1.5) and two extra kids (aged 3 and 1).

Big V, being the stellar support system that he is, bailed on me to attend an obligatory graduation party.

So it was me (clearly outnumbered) who stayed with the children for the day.

And it was a very long day.

Eight hours later I had managed to put two of the kids to bed and the other was quietly watching a movie. (Dotter had locked herself in my bedroom hours earlier to get away from everyone. Meaning me. Because I kept asking her to help bring me a diaper. Help fill up that sippy cup. Help take that…