Friday, December 16, 2011

Deck the ... Prince

Bombe Chest
Never marry a man whose job it is to fix things. You'll always be last on the list and even then uncertain that the work will ever be completed. Thank God The Prince is not a plastic surgeon. He'd yank up one of my jowls and wander off, announcing he's busy and telling me to just turn the other damn cheek.

We generally maintain more or less traditional roles in this house, me doing the cooking and cleaning and him doing the hammering and cursing. This is because I'm a writer and he's a contractor -- not the type that swoops over in the Jag and gestures eloquently at the pitiful condition of your home and then leaving you to the guys he picks up in the Home Depot parking lot. He is the sort that forever sports a bloody bald spot, sweats through his cell phone, and cleans the daily grit from under his nails with my tweezers.

I cannot blame him for not wanting to work on the house when he's been demolishing and rebuilding houses all day, but dammit! As mentioned in my previous rant, as soon as I have the house marginally tidied he finds something in urgent need of fixing.  And instead of finishing a project -- reinstalling the kitchen ceiling molding that I have been whining about for a year and a half, for instance -- he starts another.

Last week I was bedecking the window boxes and he decided to fix the outside of the front door, a project that has actually deteriorated as the days passed. For some reason the normally welcoming lantern is now hanging mournfully from its wires, drooping over a handsome pot of holly.

More Birds
Yesterday, anticipating the holidays and company and such, I tackled the front hallway -- polishing the bookcase and dusting the pictures, bathing the gargoyle, then swiffering, then vacuuming, and finally scrubbing the floors on my hands and knees. How clean it all was!

Then I set about rearranging the hall table, a bombe chest of some age topped by an even older mahogany mirror.  I'm happy with the silver bowl of greens, the clippings of pine and fir added to straight limbed bamboo that is the perpetual adornment, and the addition of glittery birds perched among the branches.

This was all easy to do -- and virtually free -- and the result is dramatic and borderline tacky and so forth, which is how I like things.


Then I decked myself out and went off to a cocktail party, leaving a note about being home for dinner and the oven is set to go on automatically so Do Not Panic if you hear the whoosh of it starting and yank the plug from the wall as you are prone to doing since you do not know how to turn it off.

And I got home, as promised at 7:30 or near enough, and not at all ploughed since the hosts were abstemious with the tequila in the margaritas and there my boy was, on a ladder, framed in the glass door panel, making Do Not Open the door quickly signals and my mind plummeted.

With good reason.

"Wow," he said as he let me in, indicating the door frame which was no longer trimmed out. "You could stick your fingers right through the wall!"   This said as if the hole had not been there for the 29-years we've lived in this house -- if not the near hundred years since it was built.

He was waving about a can of this foam that billows like an episode of I Love Lucy to insulate your crevasses with vile yellow humps.  Theoretically, once pumped into your holes and gaps, it is be covered (or recovered) with molding. Sadly -- remember that kitchen molding? -- in this house it tends to sit for years wherever it is pumped, flibbering at one (me) like an egregious attack of piles.

This morning I stepped into the hall, and crunched bits of puffed plastic into rugs and floor as I groped in the dark toward the kitchen and my coffee. Feh.

And there is no way in hell that the molding will be reinstalled before the holidays because he is leaving the day after tomorrow for Austin, where he is retrieving baby and her dog and various accoutrements and U-Hauling her and them home.

She says I should get a hammer, smack it all back together, and let him complain.

This I am sorely tempted to do.  


  1. Bathed the gargoyle. Love it.

  2. OMG. When he gets the door trim back up please send him over to put in thresholds, finish kitchen ceiling, restore back door, reconstruct eight window shutters, complete upstairs shower, hang closet door... Yeah I'm married to a contractor too. With immense sympathy-- & best hope for a Happy New Year!! L.


Follow Me!

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for odds and end (and bits and pieces) that don't add up to a post -- yet.