You know how it is; if you live in the same house for a long while, things change slowly. But then, over time, with a new faucet here and the occasional appliance there, a little remodel this and a bit of repaint that, one night you dream you're a sad David Byrne and wake up sobbing, "This is not my beautiful house!"
Well, yeah, that happened to me, too, just last week.
I sat bolt-upright, realizing that over the years, drawer-by-drawer, closet-by-closet, my wife has taken over the entire house. "My" space today is a tiny cupboard in her ironing room that I get to share with the dogs.
Recently my wife decided it was time for her to "throw some paint around" and confiscated the last remaining gender-neutral room in the house, turning it into alternately, her studio, her workroom, her office, and one more place for me to stay out of.
Curious, I opened the door to my newly demised space the other day, only to find her in a huddle with half a dozen contractors. She halted the discussion with an open hand as they turned and silently stared.
"Were we disturbing you?" she finally asked.
A few weeks later, her studio/workroom and my new out-of-bounds-area were nearing the finish in a dead heat with our savings account.
"It's almost done," she announced, "if you'll just pick up the last few odds and ends tomorrow."
"What are odds and ends?"
"American Furniture and Ikea. Here's a list of the things in will-call. I plugged the addresses in your GPS, I love you and they open at 10 o'clock, goodnight."
Sure enough, American Furniture greeted me with a big forklift of boxes that they cheerfully loaded into the back of my Jeep. I watched as the tires settled a half-inch into the pavement before it was off to Ikea where another pallet of boxes was squeezed into the remaining room. I added 10 pounds of air in each tire, pondering the chances of making it over Berthoud without overheating.
"I need some elephants," I said back home, "to help drag in these boxes. What's in them anyway?"
"Just some furniture."
"What kind of furniture is 8 feet by 2 feet by 8 inches tall and weighs maybe half a ton?"
"The kind that needs a screwdriver while I go make dinner, I love you and I'll see you at 7 o'clock, goodbye."
Some think DIY is an acronym for Do It Yourself. At my house it describes that moment when I am comfortably reclined with a good book and someone decides I would be a better person if I were flapping my arms. Pronounced, DIY sounds exactly like DIE, which is not an unexpected outcome of assembling furniture. Suffice to say that loud cursing will not convince tiny parts to jump back out of heater vents.
Excuse us now, the dogs and I have to take a couple of seconds to walk the perimeter of our cupboard to make sure no one is eyeing it for future expansion.