Friday, February 20, 2009
I think instant gratification is too easily maligned. Wanting good things to happen quickly isn't necessarily a bad thing. Just because I need all craft/home improvement/self-improvement projects to be completed within 24-78 hours of instigation doesn't mean I am a bad person. It also doesn't mean I'm not willing to work hard over long periods for some things (I have a freaking phd and if that doesn't involve a lot of drudgery for long periods of time, I don't know what does. I am also a professional weed killer and native plant restorer - another task that takes a long f*ing time so cut me a little slack here).
Anyway what I really want to talk briefly about here are Mitch and my half-baked plans to extend our deck and build a small (10 ft x 10 ft) playhouse / guest room in our back yard. While I am very excited about this idea, I can already tell you that although I am sure that the project will end well, it will involve an unlimited amount of pain, annoyance, frustration and no small degree of marital strife. If we could buy, build, and decorate the thing over a weekend while simultaneously taking our kids to the park, the zoo, and the beach and not missing a single nap - then you would have a project to my liking.
What will really happen is that we will agonize about it for months, finally get started and then it will take like a billion years to get done (3- 6 months). During which time lots of our family time will get eaten up, the backyard will be strewn with nails and other foreign objects thus taking it out of circulation for the girls, and Mitch and I will have conversations like this:
Christy: "Are you sure we can't just put the walls together with duct tape? It would go a lot faster than all these nails and wood screws and I'm sure it would hold up just fine."
Mitch: "No. It must be built to these construction standards that I put together from the web, advice from experts, and 50 books that I checked out from the library on constructing small play houses. Following my specifications it will take ten years to build but will withstand a 6.8 earthquake, a flood, a fire, and the second coming."
Later that same month:
Christy: "This goddamn thing still isn't done? I can not be personally responsible for both the girls for a single second more. I know you take care of them by yourself all day everyday but I am not cut out for this. Let's just light what we have on fire and forget about the playhouse all together."
Later that same year:
Mitch: "Are you sure I have to construct an L-shaped patio in the middle of our playhouse so that we don't have to dig up this patch of grass you planted five years ago? Can't we just pave over the grass? Making this modification is making the building a thousand times more complex..."
But when it is all said and done, I am sure whatever "we" (read Mitch) build will be really freaking awesome and will be much better for our guests than either sleeping on the floor in the girls room or cuddling up on the couch with Katafanga.