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March 5, 2006

The Renovation

Tom McLaughlin

Humor by Tom McLaughlin

There are some thing's in life in which you plan to do the least little bit but ends up to be a major project. I thought I was in control but bit-by-bit this was taken from me and turned into a project worthy of the Pyramids in Egypt. The pharaohs had it easy compared to the battle between the interior decorator and me.

It started with the necessity fixing the electrical system in my parent's townhouse. I knew it had to be repaired or a towering inferno would erupt. This was confirmed by the three fried mice discovered in one of the baseboard units.

The tearing out of the baseboard heaters led to "while-we-are-doing that-we-may-as-well-do-this" school of psychology. This led to another, and, like the pyramids, grew to a full-scale renovation.

I tried to do it myself, hiring people as I went along, but somehow things got way out of hand.

I am color blind and that is a major problem. Matching a rug, to a counter top, to kitchen cabinets, to the ceiling, and then doing the same in different bathrooms, all of which need paint has been a. daunting experience.

I got the brilliant idea to hire an interior decorator. That's where I lost control on the ice, like the American skaters, so to speak. Where I wanted the whole place painted snow white and be done, I now have one bedroom misty blue and another a light butter yellow. The living room and dining room combo will be sand.

In the kitchen, the plywood planks painted white to replace the counter as I had envisioned has turned into some kind of stone (not granite) that has blue flecks to match one of the bedrooms. Why we need to match the color in the kitchen to the color in the upstairs bedroom is beyond me.

The ceiling is all one color but now the beams have to be sand while the rest is white. I asked who looks at the ceiling. Something about unification.

In the bathrooms, wallpaper needs to be replaced. She chose a pattern that has stripes and bears an uncanny resemblance to a shirt I bought at the "final-mark-down-before-Africa" sale at the outlets. She chose yellow for the yellow room bathroom with flying yellow birds (seagulls?) that you can barely see.

And for some reason we need borders. A border runs along the space where the wall meets the ceiling and is the first thing to peel off after the 13th shower of the day after the gang has returned from the beach.

Then, another surprise, the walls need two shades of blue and two shades of yellow with a border between them. I can see no sense in dividing a room into two with two separate paints especially when one wall is a closet, the other a sliding glass door, the other an entrance to the bathroom and the other vanity. But I am told it is necessary.

I put my foot down about the toilets. These are the wonderful old 70's kind, big, a lot of water for an ample flush and colorful. One, I am told, is a hideous blue but I can see no sense in replacing them, hence the blue bedroom to match the blue toilet which I can never understand why you need to match the bedroom to the color of the toilet.

Of course, the carpenter said we had to get rid of the blue toilet because it has a small leak, which has caused the floor to rot under it, which needs to be replaced. I always liked that potty because you could rock on it a little bit while reading the newspaper. I asked him to try and save it while I saw the interior decorator in the mirror as she stood behind me in a hand folded prayer stance pleading for him to say no.

I will let you know how things flush out.

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