It’s funny how a littlest thing can change your perspective. My dad recently gifted me a little redwood cabinet he made ‘round about the time I was born. When I was a kid, it hung in our kitchen. There were creamers in it. Two of them were shaped like cows.
I don’t know what happened to the creamers, but the little cabinet found its way to my house and on Sunday, I hung it in our bathroom. Which prompted me to sort through all my hairpins and corral them into little jars that fit nicely in the cabinet. Shawn and I stood back to admire the addition.
“You know,” he said, “we should really fix this sink.”
“I know.” I do know. The sink doesn’t hold water and isn’t attached to the counter in the strictest sense, so really, in its current state it hardly qualifies as a sink at all. “The shower door too.”
“Oh, I can fix the shower door now.”
Shawn pops the shower door off its ill-favored track and I, for something to do, peer under the sink at the lack of bolts that hold it in place.
There is this fix-it disease in my family. I’ve done my damnedest to avoid it, but it’s in all wrapped up in the genetic code and it does peek out every now and then. I don’t have it as bad as the former generations, I think. I, for example, have never thought “Gee, that’s the perfect house for us; let’s rip off the second story, rebuild it, and then dangle from the rafters to paint it ourselves.” I grew up in rooms without doors and stairwells without stairs because some scrap of wood was always sitting out for a sanding and refinishing. These days, if I walk past a construction site the smell of the sawdust always brings back a flood of childhood memories. And my husband comes from construction stock as well, so he’s no better off.
It’s that same obsessive I-must-pop-all-the-bubbles-on-this-bubble-wrap-ism only armed with sand paper and a hammer.
I tend to gear my manual fixations towards yarn and knitting needles. It keeps me out of trouble. Or keeps me in significantly less expensive and less inconvenient trouble. Plus, all the rooms in my house have doors. Big plus.
But every now and then I add something as seemingly innocuous as a little redwood cabinet to a wall, and before I know it, I’m on my back, half dangling out of the bathroom cupboards armed with a pair of pliers and a cordless drill. It can spin wildly out of control from there.
“If we’re talking about this bathroom, we should really fix that drywall problem over there–”
“That means paint so might as well talk about colors–”
“If we’re painting anyway we can finally do something about the Ugly-Ass Light Fixture–” (‘Ugly-Ass Light Fixture’, by the way, is a proper name in our house, like Rick or Steve.)
“Yep, and the fan.”
We reigned the impulses in. Slightly. For the weekend. We just cleaned the garage, fixed the shower, and rewired the surround system. Today I came home from work with an ACE Hardware bag and fixed it so the sink defies gravity and holds water at the same time. (I am woman; hear me roar.)
But while I was at the hardware store, I may have wandered down a few aisles to look at fans. (And paint.)
And does anyone else remember the theme song to The Money Pit, because it’s running through my head.