I don't think most people realize how completely frantic life is the last week of a home renovation. It's like all of a sudden the construction team wakes up and realizes that they only have a day's worth of work to do.
Now, just like basketball, where the last three minutes of a game take an hour, the last day of construction takes a week. This is because the construction guys finally notice things--like the fact that the toilet for my daughter's bathroom came without a toilet seat. So they tell me I need to go buy one, and in the mean time, they'll go out in my backyard and smoke a few cigarettes.
Then they decide that I need to approve the color of the stain for the kitchen floor. I go and watch them smear various choices on the floor and look very grave while a team of four guys and a floor expert await my final degree, talking softly in Russian, and wishing they could go have a cigarette.
So between that and questions about where I want the towel bars and toilet paper holder installed, I spent a lot of time wading through rubble and dealing with really picky little last-minute shit.
And here's a hint for the design-challenged: I strongly suggest that you place the toilet paper holder near the toilet.
Then there was the cleaning up. I'm a seasoned campaigner, and I know that I could spend the next week dusting and vacuuming and still end up with plaster dust all over the place, so I called in the pros.
So there was a day when the Polish construction workers were reattaching ceiling fans and chandeliers and putting the toilet paper holder next to the toilet, while the six Mexican cleaning guys were washing windows and vacuuming every inch of the house--including the walls, I think.
So last Thursday we moved back into our house to admire our new, conveniently-located toilet paper holders, and put shit back where it belongs.
And that will take the rest of my life, because That Stud Muffin I Married and I decided that a lot of our shit is just that--shit. We don't want to put it back. We don't want it in our house. So instead of just cramming things back into various drawers and cabinets and closets, we're culling and pruning and deleting. We're keeping only the pick of the litter, the best of the bunch, the cream of the crop, the tip of the top.
In other words, our house will be empty.
What now? Well, it's 8:50 in the morning and I'm not dressed. I'm not on my way to the gym. I'm sitting in bed, wearing my pajamas.
During the hell that we call renovations, I would wake up in Chicago at about 6:00. I'd get up, get the kids up, get breakfast into everyone, get dressed, pack the lunches and backpacks and then at 7:30 we'd head down the elevator to the garage and the drive to Newtopia.
So in some ways, life is going to be a lot simpler. So simple that I could start a magazine. Simple Living Like Poppy. The cover photograph could be a new toilet, complete with lid, and next to it? A lovely new toilet paper holder.
Of course, Christmas is coming.Which complicates things somewhat. I'll have to deal with that. Like putting up the Christmas tree--I'll have to do that soon. Assuming, that is, that we still have a Christmas tree, and didn't chuck it out because we decided that it wasn't good enough for our new, cream of the crop, conveniently-located, recently-renovated house.