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Freakin’ finally!

October 5, 2008

The closet project is done.  Or so I am anointing it.

In our house, the room you enter from the garage has been… well, schizophrenic, for lack of a better term.  It started out as the “living room”, where we spent most of our time- watching TV and eating, basically- then it was dubbed a “family room”, once we got the wild hair to move the furniture to the actual living room, but we would still watch TV back there on occasion.  Then it basically became the “dog room”, as this is where the dogs sleep.  Then a couple years ago we bought a couch to go in there so the boys could watch their Thomas videos, daily Spongebob marathons, and Playhouse Disney so our ears wouldn’t bleed quite as badly.  Through all of this, it was also unofficially a catch-all room, as a lot of junk just kind of got (and still gets) chucked into that room, “until we get a moment to put it away”.

Yeah, right.

Anyhooze, in this room there is was a bookcase built into one wall.  Big {mostly} oak sucker.  As noted a few posts ago, I went to California in mid-September for a few days for GK’s Celebration of Life, and while I was out there I get this message from Dawn on the ol’ iPhone with a picture attached.  It was a picture of a gaping hole in the wall where this bookcase used to be.  Dawn had a margarita or eleven one night and grabbed my hammer and apparently went insane.  She had long been wanting to turn said bookcase into a closet, but the last I knew, it was “on the list” and we were likely going to hire out to “get it done right”.  Seems the plans changed.  Apparently, that’s what I get for going to California without the family.  My wife alone with time on her hands is a dangerous thing.  Especially when tequila gets involved.  (Relax, honey, it’s only for effect.)

So anyway, I look at this picture and literally said “aawwwww shit!”, and then proceeded to fall inside a few Fat Tire bottles for the duration of my trip.  I get home, and the place is… well, untidy.  Wood scraps piled at the edge of the driveway, shelves leaned against several walls both inside and out, and more splinters and drywall dust than I ever want to see in my house again.

I’m not real sure what happened right after she finished ripping the bookcase out.  Her dad, who builds and fixes stuff both as a living and for something to do, said Dawn called him saying she needed help.  Dawn said he came by one day and just sort of took over the project.  Past history (not to mention knowing on which side my bread is buttered) gives me strong hints on whom to believe.  But it was actually good that he did take over (or whatever…), since inside this gaping hole was duct work.  So he and Dawn’s mom, who is also far more capable than I could ever dream of being, installed a little angle wall around it so it would be covered.  Then it basically turned to me to finish a project about which I had no knowledge, not to mention any ability to actually do it.

A few days later, Dawn runs to Lowe’s and picks up wood for shelves (which had to be cut into an “L” to fit around the little dish display cabinet thing that’s built into the other side of this wall in the kitchen dining area), shelf brackets, doors, paint, and all sorts of things.  Over the next couple days, she gets everything primed and painted (I don’t paint), I finish putting in the trim, including that around the inside of the door- as though anyone is going to actually see it- and it’s all basically cutting and hanging shelves and putting up doors and other stuff I’ve never done before.

SIDE NOTE:  As with cooking, I’m a novice at best when it comes to home improvement.  Also as with cooking, I can do the simple things, and I have surprised myself in the past with slightly more challenging things, but for the most part, I suck.  Dawn’s dad, on the other hand, expects me to take the baton and finish the project to his standards and on his timeline.  Well, that ain’t happening.  I have a few other things going on, and even as an unemployed bum stay-home dad, I don’t have nearly the time to devote to this project that he feels I do, or at least should, especially with a three-year-old running about and “helping”.  One day he came by to check on my progress, and got pissed and stormed off and left because I hadn’t made any.  I don’t want it to sound like I’m not grateful and appreciative of all he does and has done for us in the past, because I am.  It’s just that he needs to realize that he’s been doing this sort of thing for pretty much his entire adult life, whereas I just don’t do this kind of thing.  It’s not that I don’t want to learn, but one project every several months is not going to turn me into a master carpenter/plumber/electrician/whatever the case, and frankly, I really don’t aspire to become one.  Any time something breaks or otherwise needs attention, Dawn calls her dad immediately anyway, so there’s really not much point in it right now.  So most of the time I either get relegated to getting sodas and grabbing wrenches for him (basically, the “bitch” role), or else I get talked to like I’m an idiot for not doing something “right” or not knowing how to do it “right”.  And yes, I am an idiot, but it has nothing to do with my lack of construction skills.  Or so I am anointing it.

Well, I’ll spare you all much of the entire play-by-play, as it would likely have you reading this until your next dental exam, except to fast forward to this past Friday when I was attempting to hang the doors.  I get the tracks put in, and really can start to see an end to this God-forsaken project, when lo and behold, the friggin’ doors are too big.  By close to an inch.  So Dawn calls her dad back and tells him the sitch.  He comes over yesterday (Saturday) and planes off around an inch from the bottom of the doors, and then puts plugs in the bottom so the pivot can hold the weight of the door without collapsing.  I was VERY appreciative he did it because I pretty much knew what had to be done, I just had no idea how to do it.  Nor did I trust my {lack of} ability in doing it.  And I told him that.  And he laughed.  And I was strangely okay with that.

Anyway, this morning, I got the doors hung.  They’re not perfect but they’re pretty darned close, especially for my having done it.  I’m sure many points will be deducted for that, but then, considering how badly the rest of it looks like it was done by a blind drunk with one arm, the doors are probably going to be considered the crown jewel of the project.  Therefore, I am officially calling the closet project done.

Any visitors that criticize, ridicule, or otherwise make fun of this closet will get thrown out on their asses.  This is the one time I expect feigned enthusiasm and false praise.  Dawn’s the only one that gets to criticize, ridicule, and otherwise make fun.  That gets back to that whole buttered-bread thing.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. SpringfieldZebra permalink
    October 6, 2008 8:22 am

    Hilarious!

  2. Kristen permalink
    October 7, 2008 7:42 am

    You and Dawn sound like Harry and me! A word to the wise….don’t even THINK about trying to hang wallpaper. That is one step away from divorce court. And don’t worry, after 20 + years of this home improvement stuff, you start to get the hang of it….sort of….if you are patient….and to too terribly picky about certain things, like straight lines or no paint drips or smooth, even surfaces. But I digress. My suggestion, call a professional. In the long run, it is well worth it.

  3. Johann permalink
    October 7, 2008 9:02 am

    Heavens no, Kristen- wallpaper is EEEE-VILLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!! And I think straight lines and precision and all that is overrated. 😉

    I agree- that’s why there ARE professionals.

  4. December 10, 2008 10:47 am

    I found you on plurk,your stuff is great.thank you.I am a stay at home mom just like you!*ha ha ha* and this is awesome.Just wanted to let you know,I feel ya, thank you

  5. Johann permalink
    December 10, 2008 11:16 am

    Thank you Michele, glad to have you aboard! 🙂

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