Thursday, October 8, 2009

Renovating the Winter's Hut: A Saga in 16 week parts

Abandon every hope, ye who enter here

“My husband and I don’t renovate.” Stacy said in the changing room of the JCC after spin class.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because our marriage couldn’t take it.” She said matter of factly.
“After we gutted our house, I went into labour 3 weeks early. The doctor said it was because of the stress.” Tina added. “I was trying to breastfeed and talk to the painters at the same time.”
“Rob wants a dream kitchen. Better than a dream girl.
“Have you tried telling him that you will commit to reaching the national average of number of times having sex per week if he forgets the whole thing? asked Stacey.
“Have you told him that you won’t have sex if goes ahead?” giggled Tina.
“It’s that bad, eh?” I asked knowing the answer.
“It’s worse.” They said in unison.

“You see, “ said Monique-our fabulous French designer. “You see…you will put ze new wall here and the table it will go ici and on it you will put ze champagne so that you can be romantic at night.”
Rob just looked at me. I knew that he was ready to scream.
“OK, Monique. That sounds fantastique. We’ll be in touch.” I said showing her la porte.
“I can’t….” Rob started.
“I know, I know. We’ll fire her tomorrow.”
After Monique came Cowboy Nigel.
“Would you like to see some plans before you tell us you can do the work?” Rob asked.
“Don’t need no plans. Nigel been doing this shit for 30 years. Plans are for pussies, you get me. We’ll just move this wall here, put the table here, put up some cupboards here and move the fridge. Sis boom bah… designer kitchen!!
“How much do you think that will cost?” I asked.
“Hard to say, miss, hard to say. Can’t know until you start..old house like yours going to have surprises.”
“OK,” Rob sighed. “We’ll be in touch.”
After Nigel left, Rob sat down sadly.
“I’m 39 years old. I spend most of my day at a job dealing with assholes and sosnovitches. All I ask is to come home to a nice kitchen. I want enough prep space so that I can properly rub my meat and then I want a space designated for my meat to rest. And then I need somewhere to unpack my groceries and then I need a dishwasher that works for left handed people...”
I patted his shoulder. “If they can put a man on the moon, they can make you a kitchen.”
He looked up. “Maybe we should just move to...”
“Nuh Uh Uh. I’m not moving to Winnipeg. Not for anything, not even a big kitchen.”
“But we could have a kitchen the size of this entire main floor. I could bring home an entire pig and roast it in my restaurant-sized oven. I could smoke an entire brisket...a brisket Nat. We could eat it for weeks. And....” he paused for a minute. “I could learn how to bake. I could bake challah to go with the roast pig and we could eat it for Shabbat dinner....”
I have to admit that I did allow the thought to cross my mind, but once it had crossed, I dismissed it forever.
“Not happening.” I kissed his head and left for work. He sat at the two crates which served as our table with his head in his hands. Just as I closed the door, I heard him mutter,

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