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Over the past few weeks J and I have been renovating our new condo, and I’ll be the first to admit it has been a bit of a challenge. I’ve heard that couples that can make it through a renovation project together, can make it through anything. What about renovation and infertility? My strategy has mostly been to divide and conquer, I let J work on the physical parts of the reno, installing new fixtures, moving heavy items, cutting flooring, ect, whereas I prefer to go shopping for new items we need for the reno job. I visited three different Home Depots yesterday, and made double stops at two of them. I bought light fixtures, and door knobs; towel racks, and closet handles. You never realise all the pedantic little bits and bobs you’ll need for a reno job until you start doing it. And then you make umpteen trips to the hardware store because each time you move on to a next project you realise you’re missing some screw, or imperative tool.
Things are finally starting to come along, we’re getting much closer to being able to move in. The doors are hung, they have knobs, all of the flooring is in, trim is painted, it’s coming along. There are few more light fixtures to hang, a closet door or two, but the heavy work is over (besides the clean-up, but that I can handle). J and I both get frustrated easily, and don’t communicate very well when we are trying to replace/install/build something, so it has been a challenge to say the least. So now that we are nearing the end, and haven’t killed each other yet, here is my list of projects not to take on with your other half (unless you’re itching for a fight);
- Re-hanging doors; you hold the door, they try to install the screws (or vice versa) someone’s always yelling “Higher! Lower! No, not there, there!”
Installing any sort of light fixture. Firstly, this requires some electrical knowledge, which neither of us have. Secondly, the person holding the light up gets sore arms, and dust in their face, while the person trying to install the light gets mad because the person below can’t “just hold it still for 5 seconds!”.
Assembly of anything. Ikea shelves, a cardboard box. Doesn’t matter, inevitably, one person is going to get annoyed with the other.
Holding a flashlight. Though this may seem like a simple task, do not be fooled. Inevitably, you will hold it too high, too low, or at just the wrong angle that eventually the person who needs the light will take it from you and hold in their mouth while simultaneously trying to thread some tube through some tiny hole.
5. Last, but certainly not least, do not fall into the trap of reading instructions out, while the other person tries to complete a task. No matter how straight forward this may seem, regardless of the fact that you will read the instructions verbatim, they will be snatched out of your hands with a “Lemme see that”, and you will be relieved of your duties. On second thought, maybe that’s a good way to get out of something…