A couple weeks ago, after
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.