It's not about the house.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Don't Know When I'll Be Back Again

With the cabinets all put together and lined up on towels in my bedroom, I took the train to Logan and said goodbye to all of that.

Really.

I had a plane ticket to go visit my Bestest Friend in the Whole Entire World and I was hardly going to cancel my trip over a little thing like a kitchen that looked like it had thrown up on itself. Now, you may think this was selfish of me. You may think me short-sighted. You may even think (heaven forfend!) that I was Stupid. But what would you think if I told you this was the second time I'd made this same decision?

When we were in the process of buying the house – in between signing the P&S and having the inspection, a span which cannot legally exceed ten calendar days – I jetted off to see said Bestest Friend for seven. And look how well that turned out for everyone!

In my defense, I have to point out that it wasn’t the exact same thing this time. Not really. First of all, she was living in Arizona then: in Tucson. And second: that time Johnny had come with me. By now, Bestest Friend had moved to Northern California, and I was leaving Himself home.

See? Not the same stupid thing at all.

Johnny kissed me good bye at the door (he doesn’t drive, remember, so he doesn’t ever see me off) and assured me that the kitchen would be finished by the time I got back home. Something in me wanted so badly to believe him that I let myself pretend.

After I landed and collected luggage, arrived at Best Friend’s house and went with her to walk the dog, I called home to let him know I was alive.

“How was your flight, love?” says he. “Grand, grand. So anyway, guess what? George came over looking for something to do, so we pulled all the tiles off the floor!”

What!? We never talked about pulling tiles off the floor!

These tiles – well, truth be told, I did not love them. They were not ceramic tile, or porcelain; they were linoleum or, for all I know, asbestos. Probably two inches square, in yellow and red and black and a kind of mottled grey. Great hunks of them had fallen out in random spots around the room, especially in front of the sink where the floor rotted away, and what was left had a perpetually dirty look no matter how often I scrubbed. Which wasn’t all that often, to be honest.

The only reason I ever even considered keeping them was that certain people – people whose opinions I respect – would come into the AssVac and admire them, saying things that seemed to take for granted we would never pull them out. When these people would leave, I’d examine that floor again and try to imagine a world in which it was not the most atrocious thing I’d ever seen.

Really, I always knew down in my heart that they would go – we’d just never so much as discussed the possibility of doing it right then. And we certainly had not discussed what might go down in their stead. Not that we had the cash to do it, anyway. But you can’t just live for two years with whatever the floor looks like underneath them, can you?

Apparently, you can.

Now, I could hardly be mad at George for doing all that work for us out of the goodness of his heart, but I had every right to kill my—

Well, okay, wait. Since I'm being honest, here, I knew it wasn’t really fair to get mad at Johnny, either. Considering the fact that I was three thousand miles away and not planning anything more strenuous for my week than a visit to the Jelly Belly outlet store, I knew I ought to be grateful and supportive of whatever work he chose to get done in my absence. So I didn’t yell at him. I did, however, extract a promise that he would not do anything else while I was gone that had not been previously discussed.

With me, I should have said. Discussed with me.

2 comments:

iloveupstate.com said...

saw your Grey Gardens post, we should get matcing sweater/headcovers:

http://iloveupstate.blogspot.com/2007/09/chester-fields-party-of-3-grey-gardens.html

in case that gets cut off:

http://iloveupstate.blogspot.com/2007/09/

chester-fields-party-of-3-grey-gardens.html

theotherbear said...

Well, the floor certainly sounds hideous enough to remove, have you any pictures so we can see if your friends were right?