compromise sucks

We started out with a lumber expedition to Hamilton Building Supply, right near the train station. Joe and I were arguing, literally, even as we walked through the door.

The place was amazing—not just a lumberyard but a whole showroom. While they were pricing out doors and wood, I wandered into the kitchen showroom and fell in love for a little while. Not with a kitchen—they were gorgeous, but when you don’t even have a bathroom or floors and you’re already as decision-weary as me, it’s fairly easy to reign yourself in to admiring from afar—but with an entryway.

It looked like a miniature mudroom, with drawers below a built-in bench seat, a row of coathooks, and more shelves up top. Here, I thought, was something elegant we could actually do in our entryway. It would make the space seem bigger and add extra seating without sacrificing storage. We’d already ripped out the closet—the whole reason we came here was to buy lumber to frame it out with normal sized doors, not to-the-ceiling ones—so this would be even easier.

Of course, Joe didn’t see it that way. He shot the idea down immediately, saying they had just bought the lumber for the closets. The sky, as if sensing the tension, darkened noticeably as we argued in the parking lot. By the time we got in the truck to load the wood inside, I was in tears again. I really don’t cry this much, but I had already been planning parties around this entryway—who wouldn’t get emotional?

We both cooled off on the ride to the house, so we were able to discuss it more calmly. Unfortunately, I was still on the losing end, but for a good reason: We’d have to move a wall, and it was one we’d already paid our contractor to spackle. Reluctantly, I gave up on my latest fantasy. Our next house better have a fan-fucking-tastic mudroom though.

This was far from the end of a crappy day. Our contractor called and said he was on his way over. He’d had his plumber drop by that morning, and he wanted to give us the news. This was not a good sign. It’s the home renovation version of “we need to talk.” Roy was there for more than an hour, but it all boiled down to this: Our bathroom is too small and our pipes are too old, thus we’d need to pay a few thousand more than the original quote to jackhammer the old pipes out of the concrete foundation and replace them (another worst case scenario), plus look into a smaller but somehow more expensive tub.

Joe, usually the first to set off fiscal alarm bells, was surprisingly unperturbed by this news, but I was miserably depressed and it was only lunchtime. I worked out my aggression for the rest of the afternoon by working on the lawn, bundling sticks and tree branches for the trash, raking up old leaves and pine cones (I discovered a new flower bed running the length of the back yard under all the yard debris) and mowing and fertilizing. The only ray of sunshine in my day was when they delivered our washer and dryer. In my angst, I had completely forgotten about it so it was a great surprise, and they look terrific.

They’re worth a 54-inch tub, right? Right?

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