Home Improvement

Editor’s note: I’m right now dealing with a bunch of poo on the non-work, non-house, non-man front, but I can’t/won’t really talk about it and it’s now in the hands of competent professionals and I’m sure it will all get sorted out. Like a pre-or-post trip cleaning frenzy, I’m focusing my post on something completely unrelated.

Choice. Choice will be the end of us.

When the Male Person and I first started cohabitating — 3.3 years after we started dating (there is a certain mathematical harmony in a lot of our relationship dates) — Everyone Was Wondering: what would be the first sign of conflict? The toothpaste tube? My habit of putting things away willy-nilly vs. his habit of specifically ordered piles? We had long since successfully negotiated the proper positioning of the toilet paper roll, but would it be household chores or division of labor to start the angst?

No angst. Not a bit. We see each other a bit more, and he eats better and I don’t have to take the waste bins out.  The expected shortcomings of cohabitation — bulimic cat aside — aren’t.

That said, in light of our economic and real estate forecasts for the areas — do please believe me when I say there are hours of research and many convoluted spreadsheet calculations supporting these — we are staying in my 1800 square foot,  1970’s rambler. Instead of putting a huge amount of money towards a down payment on a larger and somewhat fancier house, we’ll be putting a slightly smaller amount on this house making it that much more comfortable. And therein lies the choice.

Specifically, choices like: Fully tiled shower or get a one-piece shower pan? Do we tile 2″ or 4″ or 6″ up around the vanity? How much is okay to spend on a dual-flush toilet in the aforementioned 1970’s rambler? How much black speckling is okay in what should be a mostly red glass shade for the mini pendant lamps over the bar? Is this particular semi-flush-mount ceiling lamp Harry Potter enough for the boy? How silent should a bathroom fan be? Cherry floors or dark walnut or ubiquitous beechy/piney wood floors? Boulders or cottage stone for the terraced area out front?

As you can see, these are *really nice* problems to have. They aren’t really PROBLEMS. But they do cause endless evaluation, decision, question, re-evaluation, and re-deciding as we go through the cost-benefit analysis against a five or ten-year plan.

Micorosoft did not have us in mind when they created Excel.

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