Where You Tell Me How to Improve My House: Part 1 (Alternately Titled: Maybe I Don’t Want to Start My Stove With an Ice Pick Anymore)

Apr 26 2016

Listen. Here’s what you have to understand to make sense of this post and the posts that will have to follow it:

  1. Historically speaking, Greg and I are frugal people.
  2. The only thing that’s better than cheap is free, and the only thing better than free is free plus poorly made and/or ugly.
  3. I don’t know why this is true, but if you look at our choices in counter tops (orange laminate) and flooring (plastic or vinyl or thin, austere carpet) and cars (Pontiac, guys! — and this one was MY choice which I DESPERATELY WANTED and STILL LOVE, and I had to BROWBEAT Greg into accepting that WE WERE BUYING IT BECAUSE I NEED THE PONTIAC) and clothes (second hand, man), you will have to accept it. It’s not pretty; it’s just true.
  4. When Greg and I chose our first apartment (dark and ugly and CHEAP, HOORAY!) and then moved after 6 months to someplace pretty and airy and slightly-less-cheap, thereby berating ourselves for Wasting Money ($50 more/month) for No Better Reason than it made us feel Happy (the shame), my mom-in-law sighed a HUGE sigh of relief and told me she was SO GLAD we’d moved out of that Nightmare and encouraged me to Go Buy a New Couch to celebrate.
  5. I bought the couch.
  6. It was cheap and uncomfortable.
  7. We kept it for 10 years.
  8. Lately, though, while Greg has stayed True to His Cheap Core Self, a man of Conviction and Principle, I have started to think Radical and Scary Things like Maybe I Don’t Want to Start My Stove With an Ice Pick Anymore, and Perhaps We Should Repaint the Front Door Rather Than Using The Destroyed Surface as a Chalkboard, and Maybe the Stairs Which Are Carpeted and Stained With Ketchup and Nefarious, Permanent Kid Goo Could Be Recovered With Wood or Something Lovely and Wipeable.
  9. BIG IDEAS, in other words. I AM HAVING THEM. And I can’t seem to quit, no matter how much Greg looks like he wants to ralph every time I mention things like Stair Reflooring Bids and New Stoves and Enormous Gallons of Paint and even, possibly, maybe Patching Holes in Our Walls.

So you understand our paradigm here now, yes? And what we’re working with? And that There Are Things We Must Do with This House? And that Greg and I are At Odds? And that, no matter where I take this post, we are on the Same Team? By which I mean, You and I are on the same team, and Greg is on a Different Team — the Ruin Beth’s Dreams Team — and we are working in concert against him but that’s OK because, hello!, Big Ideas?

But we also understand that, given my background (reference orange laminate, please — and note that I picked it and paid real, live money for it, and it’s a rusty orange and not even a good orange), I can’t be left to my own devices, right? We all get that? And we know that I don’t have a) Taste or b) a Pinterest Board or c) Good Judgement or d) an Inclination to Acquire Any of Those Things, and given all that accumulative knowledge, we understand we Absolutely CANNOT, Under Any Circumstances, Leave Me to My Own Devices?

Yes? We’re clear? All on the same page?

OK, then. OK, good.

Get your Taste and Boards and Excellent Judgement ready, because we’re going to Do Things around my house. Which means we have to Make a Few Decisions. Which we cannot do with Greg because Greg’s Decision will be No, and, frankly, that’s not going to work for us.

And I hate to lead you on like this and not get to the good stuff, but it’s bedtime and Greg thinks I Should Help Put Kids to Bed. Which shows what a Party Pooper Greg is and why I had to come to you in the first place. But which also keeps me from writing All the Things I’m going to need us to consider moving forward.

So, in lieu of Telling You More Right Now, which I assure I would much rather do than bedtime, I will leave you with these two visual aids, which is where we shall start:


IMG_9448^That’s where the ice pick goes.^
In the holes ’til the oven turns on.

Jam that sucker in there ’til the oven lights up.
I don’t know what else to say about that.

That’s the tip of the ice berg.

The impetus for change.

The first domino.

Because with that going down, we have some Choices Ahead that will involve Design and Construction and Finding Greg a Giant Brown Paper Bag for Hyperventilating.

And I will leave you with a Confession: I know I jumped the gun here, but I HAVE ALREADY PURCHASED A REPLACEMENT OVEN, and IT’S REALLY, REALLY WEIRD, and IT DOESN’T FIT, and I ADORE IT TO THE MOON, and so WE ARE STUCK WITH IT not unlike Greg is stuck with the Pontiac, but I hereby swear not to make any further decisions without your input.

I feel like that’s fair.





P.S. If you know of some sort of cheap (read: free and possibly poorly made ;)) design software where we can do some layouts together, that would be good.

P.P.S. Also, if you want to set up our Pinterest Board for us, I’m not opposed. I’m pretty sure I can’t be trusted with that, but I’m equally sure out there is a Pinterest GENIUS who can hook us up.