Some weeks I’m never sure what I’m going to write about until the last minute. Sometimes I don’t feel like there’s much of a story at all, but then, I look around. Today (Tuesday), I began my inspiration by taking a couple of photos of the progress on the main hall bathroom, which is the last major indoor project of this renovation (after 9 years, that’s saying a LOT). The tiling of the walls has begun, having finished the “field” tiling on the floor last week, so we’re definitely making progress. I give Tim a lot of grief for how long this is taking, but (shhhhhhh. . . ) considering some of the stuff this poor guy is struggling with physiologically, I’m really OK with it.
Back to this afternoon, I somehow decided that the way our yard looks, just beyond the front porch, might also be a part of the story. So I took a shot of the chaos out there.
And then, I noticed it: a trail of discarded black rubber gloves. Everywhere. Around the front porch and the saw tables out front. (Yes, that’s plural – tableS. There’s the chop saw. The tile saw. The table saw. He has more, but those are the only 3, besides the roving Sawzall, which doesn’t require a table, that are presently in active daily use.) The bathroom itself. The hallway. The dining room, which happens to sit between the front door and the bathroom under renovation, so it qualifies as a key part of the “clutter zone.”
I know why there are discarded rubber gloves everywhere, but the visual of it struck me. He bought a huge box of them to protect his hands, wrists, and fingers, which are really sensitive due to ongoing battles with eczema and the long-term effects of topical steroid use (which is a whole other discussion, clearly, but which he quit using more than 2 years ago, though they’re still exacting a painful residual toll on his body). But, because he’s Tim, he has a near-pathological incapacity to clean up after himself unless one of the following conditions is true: A) it’s Saturday, and therefore, it’s time to clean the house; B) it’s a different day of the week, but some sort of entertaining will be going on. I never provide him with fewer than 3 days’ notice for such events, by the way; or C) he’s procrastinating doing some part of a project that’s stressing him out, i.e., last week’s post about yard work in lieu of tile work. Sometimes this will result in random cleaning projects: the garage, the attic, laundry, the yard; sometimes a neighbor’s project; anything but confronting whatever imaginary boogeyman is lurking.
It’s a tradeoff of project productivity here: if there’s an insane mess, in the house or in the front yard, it’s highly likely that we’re making excellent progress on the current renovation sub-project. And, like an adolescent whose mind is perpetually scattered in other directions, he peels off the gloves at the end of a particular session, drops them, and there they remain. Until A. or B. This week, probably not C. But you never know.
And that’s the way it is.