My hairdresser had been on maternity leave, so of course I had to know about the baby, and she wanted updates on our new house. Fret not, dear reader, it will only be a “new” house for another five or so years and you won’t have to read about it forever (snort). Anyway, I was telling her about all the improvements my husband’s been making since we moved in: changed out all the faucets, lights, kitchen sink, added a garbage disposal and fixed an electrical outlet.
I haven’t understood why he didn’t just want our handyman to come out and do it, since he didn’t really know how to do all those things. However, as I rattled off the list, I said to her, “He’s retired without a shop, what else has he got to do?” She said, “How awesome is it that!”
Suddenly, the heavens opened, the angels started singing as reality dawned on me. How lucky I am to have a husband who enjoys Googling and figuring out how to do things. Seriously, without his only hobby — cars, all he has is TV. Once the shop construction gets underway, he’ll be too distracted for house projects and when it’s finished I’ll never see him again.
Right now in his phase of life, living in a new home, the possibilities are endless for the things I can have him fix. So when I wanted to put curtains up in the living room and get rid of the blinds, he was on board. The front room window is super tall and the morning sun is too bright and hot, but most importantly the blinds weren’t dark enough or tall enough for optimal TV viewing. Not only was he into figuring out how to hang a curtain rod almost to the top of the windows, but he wanted to help me pick out curtains.
The ghost of home décor arguments past flashed before my eyes, but I think our marriage has improved, because it seems we’re seeing more eye to eye on home decorating choices. The number of times we had to go to Home Depot and agree on lighting options would have been a strain on any marriage and that was just the lights. You can imagine what it could’ve been like with curtains.
Fortunately, his biggest wish was that they blocked the light for most of the morning. We were fortunate that Covington Fred Meyer was having a closeout sale on curtains, as saving money made him more agreeable. We not only needed six panels to cover the expanse, but because they are so tall, I had to add something to the tops so they’d go to the floor, so we bought a couple complimentary colored curtains to fill in.
I basically created new curtains for our living room. My husband patiently listened when I told him if we got patterned curtains for the main panels, we couldn’t use the same for the added piece because I could never match the patterns to look natural. We made our choice, put it all back, choose a different set, went to the another FM looking for more, had to get that store to honor Covington’s price, got them all home and changed our minds, ended up at Walmart where we got a whole different idea, got those home, took them back, returned to FM where we chose the curtains we had decided on in the first place and accidentally found a really nice complementary color. That took three days.
Whew. I sewed late into the night to get them finished. My husband hung them on the newly installed rods. It looks lovely and it’s not even curtains on our marriage.
Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in a neighborhood near you. You can read more of her writing on her website livingwithgleigh.com, or follow her on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh. Her column is always available at maplevalleyreporter.com under the Life section.