Monday, April 26, 2010

Release the Kraken! aka Remodeling with Bob and Michelle

Frightening, isn't it? This is what Bob and I both turn into when we have to discuss the remodel. It's not pretty. Try as I might, anytime we talk about the house it gets We always end up with something nice, but I feel like I have to fight....for....every.....little....decision. (Say the words slowly - make them sound painful - as if you are desperately clinging to a cliff, by your fingertips and you will start to get an idea of how I feel.)

To give you an example, 3 years ago we remodeled our kitchen. It's a kitchen, sitting area, desk, dining area all in one. I wouldn't call it a 'great room,' such as newer homes boast, but it dreams of being a 'great room' when it grows up. Anyway, I had in mind the color I wanted to paint this new room, Sherwin Williams Burlap (fabulous color). I purchased a test quart and painted a 2 foot square on the wall. Bob came home and said the color was awful. Over a couple of weeks I painted so many squares of test paint colors that local taggers were coming to admire my work. Although our checkered wall was artistic, I was frustrated! None of the colors seemed to please Bob and I still had my heart set on burlap. One day Bob walked over to our wall quilt, studied all the colors and said, "You know what? I really like this one here." He was pointing at very first choice. I wanted to dump all the other test quarts over his head. I said, as calmly as I could muster, "THAT is the very FIRST color I showed you!" "Oh - well, why didn't you just go with that to start with - instead of wasting money on all these other colors?" "Because you said you thought it was AWFUL!!!!" "Hm." he said and walked away. I proceeded to pull out another chunk of my hair.
The tricky part is that Bob tells me he doesn't care about the colors, carpet, tile, etc. Then when I show him what I have selected he will say something along the lines of, "That's what you chose?" Now I know you are thinking - don't ask his opinion if he says he doesn't care. But there are a few problems with that line of thinking: First, he shares his opinion whether I ask or not; Second, since it's his house, too, I want him to like it; and Third, I happen to be an obsessive people pleaser. It's a terribly annoying of the things I ALMOST learned in therapy is that not everyone will like me. It's a work in progress. Don't get me wrong - I am not a complete push over - I happen to be just as stubborn as he is - depending on the circumstance. Unfortunately, we haven't seemed to embrace the concept of compromise. I either cave, or no decision gets made, or I give up.....wait, is that the same as caving? It's only been 19 years - we're still learning how to get along.
I tend to pick small areas that I decide he will have absolutely no say in. For this project the area is light fixtures. I greedily relish every lighting choice. In my mind I think, "Hah! Look at this sparkly chandelier I chose. It will dangle over our bed FOREVER and there is nothing you can do about it!! Bwa-ha-ha!" Of course, he will most likely be oblivious to these triumphant moments - or I will endure snide little comments for 2 -3 years....but I don't care...I actually struck out on my own and made....A DECISION! (Isn't remarkable to think I run a business?)


Jill said...

This process sounds like torture to me. Your title and picture captured the emotion perfectly I think.

I'm surprised you continue to try to please him if he's such a tough sell. I'd have given up and done what I wanted by now.

michelle said...

I'm totally cracking up about the Kraken! I had forgotten about that.

I think you've expressed pretty well what this whole remodeling thing is like, and all I can say is: I don't envy you! That whole Burlap thing would have had me tearing my hear out, too.

I'm just glad you got your sparkly chandelier!

Jenny said...

You are cracking me up! I could totally picture Bob with the paint, did he have a devilish grin to go along with his hm?

ohiolanges said...

This is why Steve and I have promised to never build a house. I guess we should add remodel to the promise.

cRo said...

I too think this is why Tyler and I will never build a home together. We'd want to strangle each other from the beginning. As far as the Kraken goes...we need to go to the movie this week. I'm now in the mood to see Clash of the Titans!