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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sweating out Election Day

Anyone who knows my husband and I will probably think this post is about how the two of us held our breath on election day, praying that the good and wholesome Democrats swept the evil, arrogant Republicans. And while that is true (and the democrats did sweep the republicans), this post is about so much more than that.

It is about the fact that my dear, sweat husband had election day off. And I did not. It is true. The man of my dreams has the job of my dreams. He gets every holiday known to man off. And sadly, I get only Yom Kippur off, which is really irrelevant to me because I am Catholic. But alas, this post is not really about the fact that he has a much better job than I do. This post is about my husband's day off. So let me get to it.

A year ago, we bought a beautiful, quaint, historic home in a beautiful, quaint, historic town. It was beautiful, quaint and wonderfully historic. Life was good. For about 24 hours that is. Then we got to work because what was once beautiful, quaint and historic when it belonged to Trudy Trude, was now old, poorly maintained and a death trap upon transfer and sale to us.

We worked every weekend, weeknights after work, any free moment.

(in case you were confused, the pictures go chronological from top to bottom/start to finish)

Then we got married, he carried me over the threshold and life was beautiful and quaint again for a while. But after the wedding haze, we realized you will never be done working on a 100+ year old house. So slowly but surely we are getting back into it. We focus on tasks to be completed like, repaint the master bathroom, change the cabinet hardware, redo the second floor office...Oh, and cleaning out the stuff under our porch that we can't see and I didn't even know was there but somehow it has become the sole focus of my husband's very being for reasons I do not know...

That's right. With everything that we have to do, my husband has become obsessed over cleaning out underneath the porch. (Not so obsessed that he doesn't futz around all weekend raking leaves that are still falling, or making the "world's best coffee" or testing our smoke detectors 4 times...FOUR TIMES PEOPLE!) But nonetheless, he is a man obsessed. And so at 11 pm on Monday night he tells me that he is going to use his precious day off to clean out under the porch, where no one can see, and which no one but him cares about. And I love this man, so I say "ok". But secretly, while at work, I am a little aggravated because I know there is so much else to do.

True to his word, he cleans out under the porch. He spends the entire day laboring under a disgusting spider filled and apparently junk and rock filled porch. He pulls no less than 100lbs of stone, cement and mortar out from under there. He cleans up all the papers, old cans, rusted gutter parts and soda bottles. He sweats and crouches and toils for over 6 hours, and when he is done, he is happy. And in an amazing coincidence, I am walking up to the house just as he finishes the job. He is smiling. He is proudly standing on the porch waiting for me to praise him. Which I do. I praise him, but all the while I am thinking "who cares about underneath the porch".

And he knows that I don't care. He senses it. Knows he could have been doing a million other things that would have made a bigger difference to the house. But he was a man possessed. So I played along. I say "WOW babe, great. Thanks" etc.

And then he looks a little hurt and tell me that our neighbors were asking why he was doing that...what was the point? Telling him that they hadn't cleaned under the porch in 30 years, maybe never done it at all. "You shouldn't waste your time" they said. Clearly it had upset him.

It is at that moment when I want to march over to the neighbors and rip them in half for bursting his bubble, for not letting him bask in the glow of something that although ridiculous, makes him happy. GOD DAMMIT! And as I start to turn to go over there, the hurt look passes and he smiles again and says "want to see all the stuff that I found under there?" So he shows me a huge pile of crap that is now conspicuously out in the open as opposed to hidden beneath the porch. But I am not mad, because this pile of crap makes my goofy husband proud for some reason, so I just praise him some more and think how lucky I am to have married this weirdo.

Talk to me in two weeks when the pile of crap is still there...I will surely be singing a different tune.


Blogger Carolyn said...

I was thinking the same thing about the pile of crap. You'll have to keep us posted on how long it stays out in the open!

While our house is not 100 years old, just a spry 37 years old, I can totally relate to the weekends redoing the office, upgrading the fixtures. It seems that we always have some project or other to do. But it's kind of fun to look back on how much it has changed. We've lived here 5 years, and you wouldn't believe the changes.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Newlywife said...

I think you are absolutely right! It is alot of hard work, but when you're done, it really makes it feel like it's your home. It makes you feel like you really did something.

That being said, you are a better woman than I, the fact that you can do all that stuff and still have energy left to be a mom is amazing...makes me feel totally inferior that I take a nap after painting!

11:03 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

I don't think I'm a better woman than you ... you'll find when you become a mom, that while it's hard, it just becomes a part of your life, and you'll wonder what you ever did with your free time before! And while I live in a total state of exhaustion all the time, it's totally worth it when I see the beautiful faces of my kids.

4:35 PM  
Blogger undercover celebrity said...

I love this story -- all except for the fact that you're a stringent democrat... and here I thought we were the same person :)

Oh well, I suppose I can over look it, just like hte Jersey thing :)

I love this story -- I think that men know that they have to pitch in, but don't like being told what to do, so they pitch in on their own terms. And, you're totally right, it is endearing. I don't always understand it, but you love them just the same.

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