A Different Kind of Blog

Tonight, I want to take a break from the usual subject of life with children.

Instead, I want to detour a little and discuss life as a married person who also happens to have children.

Today has been a stark reminder to me of how vastly different men and women really are. We are like night and day, east and west, Coke and Pepsi.

The main reason I observed and remembered these differences so acutely is because today was project day around the house. A little DIY party, if you will.

You see, in general, most wives around the world enjoy having our homes look warm, inviting, and well decorated. We thrive in an atmosphere of color coordinating curtains and throw pillows, decorative pottery, and creative uses of interesting accessories. To sum up, we like beauty.

This is for the most part the single most painful consequence of the fall in the minds of your average husband. In general, husbands would be quite content to live in a home with white or tan walls, a couple leather lazy boys, and a humongous t.v. That's really about all they'd need in their main living space. Not to stereotype too much here, boys, because I know some of you personally who are better at interior decorating than your wives. I commend you (and I may need you to come over for your opinion on some things around here).

A few small examples of how our differences have caused conflict around here include:

our 10x12 thick shag rug in the family room.

I cannot show you a picture of it because it is currently being marvelously cleaned by our friend Matt Burger, who owns a great company called Southern Tile and Restoration. You can find his business here:

Anyway, the rugs in this home have tended to cause a tiny bit of conflict. I think they are imperative in rooms with hardwood floors. Without them, the room looks cold, unfriendly, and quite uncomfortable if you ever have to sit on the floor.

To my husband, rugs are a complete oxymoron bought only by morons. You have beautiful wood floors (which he worked very hard to put in, I might add) and you're going to pay more money to now cover up 3/4 of it?! What the heck?!

You see our problem.

The next area of conflict in most homes today is in regard to the walls.

Men adore walls. Sometimes men seem to enjoy just standing and gazing at the simple purity of an unadorned wall.

I don't know what it is about a plain wall. I just really don't. Is it the craftsmanship of the sheetrock guys they admire so much? Is it the amazingly smooth job the mudding guys did to hide the seams (which is very difficult if you've never tried it)? I have not figured this one out.

It's a wall! It needs some interest brought to it! We put children in the corner to face a plain wall as PUNISHMENT. Why would we want to live in a place where all the walls are perfect for punishing children?

So today was D-Day. I got Michael to work on a few little things I'd been working and planning for a couple of weeks.

We started simple.

I had him take down the existing towel rod in the girls' bathroom and replace it with this:

Why on earth did I not think of this years ago? A kid level row of hooks. I have pretty much had it with having to put away bath towels for my children who are quite capable if only they could reach. We've had one of those over the door things for ages, which work fine if I'm willing to do all the work because the girls can neither retrieve nor put away their own towels.

Short people really get on my nerves sometimes. Not all short people, mind you. Most of them I totally love and wish I could be as petite as they are. It would be so fun to be dainty. The ones who get on my nerves are the short people who use their shortness as an excuse to get out of household chores. My children are masters at this tactic.

Next, I moved him onto the intermediate project.

He was up for the task.

The thing about our home is there is virtually NO closet space. This works out absolutely fine to my youngest, who would gladly throw out every article of clothing she owns, but for the rest of us? This is somewhat of a problem. I was happy to find this piece to serve a twofold purpose: dressing up a naked wall and providing us with a little extra room for bath towels and such.

These is an example of his handiwork a few years back. He made the shelves for me and even agreed to hang them on his beloved blank wall over the whirlpool tub.

Not bad, eh?

Michael finished up all my projects upstairs and I heard him head downstairs. I smiled happily. He was in the zone. Ready for the next project. This was fantastic.

You can imagine my surprise when I discovered him here:

Huh. Apparently he needed a break. I am a teeny bit suspicious that he needed another wall-loving man to vent to, but whatever. This is our neighbor, Kent, who is very dedicated to washing his cars, even when it's cold. On this day he provided my husband with the perfect excuse to leave the house. Thanks, Kent.

I allowed Michael to get in a few minutes of male bonding before I directed him back toward the house.

It was time for the grand finale, and I gave him his biggest challenge yet:

The collage of family photos on the wall behind the couch. We're talking 13 frames of varying sizes, some with no way to hang them whatsoever, and some with two hooks on the back which he'd have to line up carefully. And then, to top off the challenge, I asked him to make sure each frame was evenly spaced and looked uniform while at the same time looking interesting.

It was a sad, sad hour and a half or so for my sweet husband. I think he died a little inside.

I was willing to live with that.

Look! It looks fantastic! (and will look even better when my nice, CLEAN rug comes home next week!)

Thanks to the man who made it all possible. The one whom I love. The one who is legally bound to me for better or for worse. He would definitely qualify this DIY weekend as the "for worse".


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