From Where I Sit – Happy Wife, Happy Life

I look from thermometer to window and back and again. In this winter without end, the day is overcast and the snow is heaped and piled and drifted. The glare of white on white hurts my eyes. The truth of how far away spring really is hurts my soul.

Even though I am knee-deep in planning a major event and should not even be considering taking on one more thing for at least another 10 weeks, I’ve got the itch. Ostensibly, when I pulled out the paint chips and design books, it was to help Hilary. She is looking to transform the nondescript beige walls in her new condo, and I’m never short of ideas.

The fact is, though, our house also is in need of a facelift. The paint is scuffed and beat-up. The baseboards are missing in at least two rooms. The walls I painted years ago in an attempt to breathe new life into them are now officially DOA and must be replaced. We also have some interior doors and trim that need to be sanded down and painted. Our 25-year-old kitchen cabinets need new doors?at the very least. Going with 42-inch uppers would bring us up-to-the-minute. The white laminate countertop has held up remarkably well, but needs to go.

Buying dream home lottery tickets hasn’t worked. I don’t see an addition to this house anytime soon. That’s why I’ve got graph paper, a tape measure, paint swatches, and design magazines within my peripheral vision but just out of reach. For now.

I’m not talking to Roy about this until I formulate a plan and (maybe) do a budget. I will get shot down without some sound thinking and rock solid facts to back me up.

I am secretly looking at the load-bearing wall between the kitchen and living room. That’s sure to elevate Roy’s blood pressure a few notches. I know the textured ceiling finish should be scraped back to the drywall to obliterate the scars of renovations past. I can hear the squawking now. This would all be so much easier with a spouse onside: a guy who knows at his core the truth of the statement ?Happy wife, happy life.?

Let me be clear: Roy has all the skills, and then some, to do whatever renovation we may undertake. What he lacks is the will and the desire. And that, my lovelies, is a bigger hurdle than lack of money.

I am a straight shooter. Manipulation and game playing are not in my repertoire. My job will be to make the case with an array of facts, an appeal to emotion and to his sense of fair play, and the promise of some sort of proposed payoff. Promising to bankroll part of it may help sell the idea.

So for the next few weeks you’ll find me looking at catalogues, Googling products, getting estimates, and sketching, measuring and dreaming. Please keep my secret so I can pull this off, from where I sit.

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