Wednesday, March 5, 2008
why home improvements will drive me to insanity
Ok, it's time to be honest. I should really reconsider doing my own home improvements.
Not because I do something sitcom worthy like knock a wall out by accident. It's because I'm my own, very personal, very picky, very precise and very grumpy critic.
We bought this Raleigh house with its horrible white carpet under the rock-solid stipulation that it had to go. Everything else about the house we loved - carpet however is not something Sarah and I can stand any longer after living in the 110 year old home in Winston with wall-to-wall ancient hardwoods.
So I'm working with Capital Hardwood Flooring in Raleigh, who so far have been really great - they're picking up the wood I ordered online from Washington state and are going to deliver it and install for a great price. Roger's a great guy.
But I've decided I want the studio (formerly known as "bonus room") to be rid of the equal-to-carpet-godawful popcorn ceiling gone. Good news: I got a great new tool ($15) for removing the popcorn - a pole scraper with a bag attachment that saves a lot of the mess. Bad news - I'm a total freak about getting the ceiling perfectly clean and smooth.
I have a mantra I tell myself in home improvements: "prefection is abstration." But about 20 years on, I still don't really live it. I obsess completely and wholeheartedly about getting these kinds of projects done perfectly - typically leading to me undoing and redoing projects until I am completely satisfied that they are "perfect." This also leads to about four times the amount of work most normal people would put into it, and definitely twice the consternation and consideration, and triple the worrying about it. I find myself wanting to sneak up in the middle of the night to take another review of my work before I'm done. It's a sickness. Sarah just sighs and tries to comfort and dissuade my closet OCD alter-ego, but typical for me I don't listen. I'm driven to make it perfect to my own eye.
Funny thing is, no one ever notices that I took the extra step to do it right.
But then, that really doesn't matter to me anyways I guess. No one else sees that the far corner, if you stand directly under it and look just right with the lights shining on it - there's still a lil bit of unsmooth spackle...