Monday, December 17, 2007

The Awful Truth

Last week I had hardwood flooring put down in my living room, my master bedroom and the little hallways in between. It feels like months since I first wandered into home depot and started trying to poking around at my choices of hardwood, pre-finished hardwood, laminate, tile, and don’t get me started on colors. By the time last Thursday got here, I almost leaped out of my skin when that big black diesel truck rolled into my driveway.

Three guys pulled up and started unloading large table-saw looking things, extension cords, air compressors, nail guns, staple guns, and other stuff I didn’t recognize. They came in, looked at the furniture I moved, and the furniture yet to be moved, they took humidity measurements. I had to run up to the office and right before I dashed off, I asked, “so how long do you think this will take?” The answer came back from Jerry, the veteran of the group and I really wanted to believe he was kidding.. “I’m going to say two days.”

“Two days! Two freakin’ days?!#@!!, I didn’t plan for two days working at home! And by the way, why the hell didn’t someone tell me that? I scheduled this like three weeks ago, and NO ONE Said anything about two days! What the hell am I going to do with my dogs crammed upstairs for two whole days, never mind the fact that I can’t even get to my sink, or my stove.. TWO DAYS!!! AAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!”

Okay, so that’s not what I said. What I said, was “okay, I’ll be right back” and off I went to pick up a replacement laptop since oh-so-conveniently sometime during the night I murdered mine, and no, I don’t know how it happened Mr. IT-Help-Desk Person, No I did not drop it, run it over, dunk it in water, or anyway mutilate or mistreat it. I swear. It committed suicide. It hated me. This is something I can live with.

Home again, I worked on my front porch while the banging, clanging, air compressoring, skill-sawing, and my very favorite part, the arguing went on. Delightful. At the end of the day I was stunned at how much I got done under those conditions. I can’t say I’ve ever worked on a porch swing before. I ran out at the end of the day because, well frankly, they were driving me crazy. I couldn’t take their bickering anymore. (Dear Mom and Dad, I’m sorry about all that, I love you.)

I got back and mercifully, they were gone. I almost cried. See, I figured, they’d finish one room, and I could at least put one room back together, you know, find my sink/stove again. But No. This was not to be.
They did ¾ of the bedroom and a little more than that of the living room. This will never make sense to me – and I was very unhappy. I spent that night somewhat miserably chasing the puppy around and pulling pieces of wood, carpet tacking strip, carpet and carpet padding out of his mouth. I had to go out and buy a toothbrush, since my bathroom was 100% blocked by my lovely, comfortable and fully dismantled bed.
I slept for all of 4 hours on my couch.
I was up and had been working (!) for 3 hours when they arrived for Day 2 at 730am. I bolted for the local coffee shop at the start of the first argument. Those first 3 hours were productive. Even over the coffee grinder, espresso maker and the coffee shop girls cheerful welcome to each and every patron. My job being what is, I was doing a lot of hurry up and wait. Hopeful that the large man working on my floor was right when he said they’d be done by noon, I ran home to check.

Only if a dozen men showed up would they be done in an hour and half.

This was becoming a serious lesson in patience and in taming my ADD qualities.
I had no idea I was this bad.
I was a woman on the edge, there were sweaty men and their crap all over my house, and more importantly my crap was all over my house, but in the wrong places.
It was making me nuts. Like Jack Nicholson in The Shining nuts.

My good dogs were shoved in rooms or cages locked away upstairs on a sunny 70-degree December day and I had quite simply HAD IT.
(1pm. Not done) I let the dogs out. I didn’t ask I just did it. We all went outside, we played ball, we had a little lunch..We played ball some more.
(2pm. Not Done) I checked on my work project. I waited some more. I got out the leaf blower I chased leaves. I chased dogs. I even succeeded in not losing my shit all over the large man when I came in from the backyard to discover his grimy paws in my freezer helping himself to ice cubes. I am a generous person, ask and you shall receive, but helping yourself? Not so much.
(3pm. 1 room done – hooray!!). I locked the dogs outside and put my living room back together, I cleaned up after them, I swept, I vacuumed, hung pictures. I moved furniture. Marginally further away from the ledge, I curled up on my couch and got some more work done.
4:30. Equipment starts going out of the house. I think I swept them out of the house with the staples and carpet tacking strips and cardboard boxes. I almost tap-danced. I made my bed. I put my stuff back where it freaking belongs.
Then I took a shower. Then, I looked at my floors, and damn. They. Look. Good.

If someone had told me it would be like this, I would never have gone through with it.
Or, I would have moved out.

You know how every neighborhood has a crazy cat lady?
I think I’m her. Substitute german shepherds for cats and Voila. I'm her.

I'm pretty sure this isn't what my parents invisioned.

Oh, and PS. Kim - I did get that stupid project out - at 5:12 pm.


handy said...

I'm proud of ya, gurl.... You did good!

kenju said...

I would love to put hardwoods in my den and kitchen, but after reading this, I'm not so sure I could handle it.....LOL

Her Roo-ness said...

um. i was totally going to call and see how this week went. i didn't even know about the floors. good to know that while i'm totally willing to harbor a fugitive jenny and 2 puppies...i didn't have to this week.
i can't deal with this shit either kid-o (which probably doesn't surprise you).
matter o fact...lemme do something for you.

tiff said...

This si what you get for not having ever had children, you know. You have this nice life all peace and quiet all the time.....and then WHAM! Someone comes along turns that shit upside down.

2 days....or 18 years.....? ;)

Either way, I'm glad you made it through in one piece. Now, pictures please.

Tracy Kaply said...

You'd need more than two to be the crazy dog lady. Statutory minimum is three.

rennratt said...

Oh, man.

You should have called me.

The 'extra' time, cash, etc is for removing the original flooring, tack strip, pad, etc. Also for moving furniture, appliances etc.

I would have helped you with removal.

At the very least, I coulda brought my THREE dogs to add to the mix.

Scottsdale Girl said...

I cannot WAIT to have wood floors...CAN NOT WAIT.

Yay for you!

Anonymous said...

We got floors put in once. Only they also had to stain and finish them. Do you know how. bad. that. smells??? I insisted we move to a motel for two days. It was worse than moving, because we barely had enough room in the non-new-floor rooms to put the furniture from the new-floor-rooms. I will. never. do. that. again.

But the floors are nice. I like that.


Anonymous said...

We had laminates put in.

They ran out of flooring about 3/4s through and didn't getmore for several days.


Still, it looks nice now.

JustRun said...

That sounds like something that would happen to me, the freaking out and all. Hardwood floors are so pretty, though. :)

db grin said...

Hire a reputable contractor next time is all I can say. Glad it got done and turned out!

Having a party anytime soon? I promise not to spill on it. Much.