Tuesday, October 13, 2009

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

The Arrival of Le Bruce

The phone rang. Tina advised that during a renovation, you should only pick up the phone every third time your spouse call. This was only the second time, so I let it go to voice mail. A peaceful hour went by and I happily read about the medieval monestaries. Then the phone rang again.

“Hey...what’s up?”
“Are you busy tomorrow morning?” Rob asked with some excitement in his voice.
“I’m not moving to Winnipeg.”
“No no no...I know. Neither am I. You know what the problem with moving to Winnipeg is?”
I could name about 400,000 problems in the space of a minute.
“Even though you live in a mansion, when you go outside, you are still in Winnipeg.”
“And you will die of cancer.Everyone who lives in Winnipeg dies of cancer. Winnipeg has the highest incidence of cancer anywhere in the world. That’s because you get no Vitamin D and the air is sprayed every summer with toxic chemicals to keep the hordes of mosquitos which plague their 2 week summer.”
Rob sighed. “OK, listen. Tomorrow a guy named Bruce Danner...”
“Didn’t he play the Incredible Hulk?”
“Not Bruce Banner...Bruce Danner. He’s coming over tomorrow to talk to us about his process.”
“Bruce Danner was a working man...He used to load that Econoline van. A sparkle was in his eye. But his life was in his hands.” I started to sing.
“Nat...for godsake, give it a rest.” But I was too far gone to stop. I grabbed my hockey stick and belted:
“OK. Are you done yet.”
“Yup, I’m good. Ok, so we are going to talk about process. What process?”
“The process for making us a new kitchen.”
“Process...that sounds kind of serious. Is this going to be a big job?”
“Nat, don’t you want a new kitchen. Don’t you want a beautiful space to cook in. Don’t you think that if you have a clean, big kitchen with lots of cabinets and a big fridge and a stove that even you can understand how to use, don’t you think you would cook more...maybe even better. We could get you a little recipe holder where you could follow directions...”
“Not happening. This I promise you.”
“I bet when you see it, you’ll change your mind.”
“Not happening. Emes.” I said. “You can’t argue when I say Emes.”
“Ok. But can you at least try and participate. Can you try and proffer an opinion.”
“For you, I will do this.” I promised.

Bruce Danner arrived exactly on time. He wore pressed blue jeans, a blue button down with no white undershirt underneath. His socks were blue and he had on brown penny loafers.
Bruce Danner was either gay or a Jew from Montreal-it was hard to know which since they are often confused, but I required him to turn to the side and check his profile to know which.
“Wow, Those are beautiful!” He said turning his head to look at the stained glass on our bathroom window.”
Montreal Jew.

“Should we get started?” He asked. We sat down in our dining room.
“Hey, look at this. This lesbian I went to Sarah Lawrence College with is now marrying a guy. A Jewish guy. And a doctor. Wow. She totally scored.” I am going through the Wedding Announcements in the New York Times. Le Bruce is not amused.

“Natalie,” he says. “Aren’t you interested in what your kitchen is going to look like. Doesn’t this mean something to you?”
“No. Why should it?”
“Because you cook. And once I create a nice kitchen for you, you will have a nice place to cook.”
“I don’t cook.”
“What do you mean you don’t cook.”
“I don’t cook. I hate it actually. Rob does most of the cooking.“
Le Bruce looked confused. “Rob, I thought you were a lawyer.”
“Yes, he’s a lawyer that cooks. The two are not mutually exclusive.”
“ Enough. Nat, remember last night. Remember what you promised.”
“Ohhhhh Kayyyy,” I whined.
Bruce opened up his man-purse and took out an Excel spreadsheet.
“You know how everyone complains about renovations..how they take too long and go over budget, yada yada.”
“We know.” We responded in unison.
“Well, let me introduce you to SmartBuild

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