|One of these tubs is not like the others.|
Not gonna lie, yesterday felt like retribution for me. I was finally able to show people at work what all this remodel stuff is about. And to get why that was so satisfying, you have to understand the typical doctor responses to house projects. Here's a sample from real life.
Dr. X: So where do you commute from?
Dr. Daily: Currently Wheaton, but we're moving to such-n-such town.
Dr. X: Oh, really? When do you move?
Dr. Daily: As soon as we're done with some remodeling projects.
Dr. X: Oh. [Looking on with pity.] That sounds tough.
Dr. Daily: Well, no one will tell you that remodels are easy. . .
Dr. X: Yes, see, I'm just so fortunate/blessed to have my house. It was worth every penny, there was no work to do!
Dr. Daily: That's great. My problem is that I looked and looked, but there wasn't a single house on the market that didn't have something I wanted to change, especially in the bathroom. My husband and I have a very particular style and taste so we bought a perfectly imperfect home at a reasonable price, knowing there'd be work to do upfront.
Dr. X: Oh, trust me, once you're willing to invest at a certain price point, there are baths you wouldn't think of tweaking!
Inevitably, my colleague attempts to educate me on what might have been mine. I imagine they figure if I hadn't gone to part-time employment, I could have afforded a fully wonderful home like theirs. To illustrate this, literally, they'll bring up their property through Zillow or Redfin on their smart phone.
Dr. X: See, look how beautiful that is.
I am then forced to admire my personal definition of designer hell. Envision a McMansion with a brick facade, chasms of poorly planned space surrounded by bland drywall, and 'modern' bathrooms with so much pink beige tile our friend Maria would just have a fit. I also can't help but notice the hefty price tag (always more than half-a-million US dollars), and the address (9 times out of 10 this behemoth is parked in the middle of Nowhere, Illinois).
I smile politely and say something like, "I'm so glad you're happy with that."
(Don't even get me started when they find out I bought a MCM ranch. . . The unwanted pity comes in droves!)
But yesterday, I had my own pictures to show on my phone. And no, I didn't expect other people to actually get my style, I just wanted to show them something different. I wanted them to see that, though challenging, this house tweaking is something we enjoy and that having a personal style is an important aspect of my life. Heck, the fact that there IS a life outside the hospital is the over-arching, more significant point here.
Oh, man, when they saw the tub, the crazy wavy tile and that what-the-heck-is-that firebox, I thought some of these guys might blow an aneurysm. The most common response was "whoa." Interestingly, the followup commentary was more an interrogation about how much this "must" have cost.
Dr. X: Looks expensive.
Dr. Daily: That firebox was the splurge we'd been saving up for since we got married (2003). Everything else we did extensive research on and got at the lowest possible price. There was some nail-biting when we'd order from what appeared to be a shady online countertop dealership, and we'd thank God (literally) when some of this stuff arrived because it was 'cushioned' with garbage you wouldn't even imagine.
Dr. X: What about that tile?
Dr. Daily: Not as costly as you'd think. We honestly didn't expect to get such nice tile, just wanted to look at it, but when we studied the prices it wasn't that much more than places like the Tile Shop, yet the quality is far superior.
And so on.
In the end, I think I got some respect. The pity party might be coming to an end, and the real fiesta is just getting started. . . in my tub.