“Do It Yourself” Shit Storms
“At times the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may, in fact, be the first steps of a journey.”
― Lemony Snicket
I have a guilty pleasure. Well, I have many, but this is one I feel okay mentioning in public.
I love HG (Home and Garden) TV. There I said it.
Watching these shows borders on an obsession. What I love is the fact that they depict complete remodels in under and hour. You know, the ones with the unrealistic timelines and the implausible budgets to match.
“Hi, Um, I’m Tiffany and I’m a barista and my boyfriend Todd sells seashells by the seashore. We have a budget of 1.3 million…”
This makes my contractor husband’s head spin around like the Exorcist. Most likely because it continues to feed my instant gratification fixation, and now I too have come to believe that you can get a complete kitchen gut and renovation in under four weeks. And a gorgeous home in a good part of town for no money.
“That’s bullshit!” he yells indignantly at the TV to the good looking brother team who are right out of central casting. “Not if you want it done right!”
Calm down, big guy. It’s TV.
Regardless, I get lost in the marathons they string together on Sundays. I DVR them and sit like a drooling fool for hours.
The other night I watched seven. In a row. Without peeing. I’m not proud of it. I may need help.
Hey, here’s an observation: there’s definitely a good cop and a bad cop in every relationship.
Most often the men in these remodeling scenarios are pretty accommodating and easy going unless the budget blows up. Then their voices raise an octave, their eyes bulge and their heads explode. Still, even then they’re pretty quiet about it, suffering silently, with some stiff upper lip flop sweat, looking into the camera for a little viewer pity—or spare couch cushion change.
The women, I’m afraid to say, and I’m generalizing here, are bitches.
Barbazillas. Plain and simple. Bad cops on steroids. Changing things and then yelling about the timeline, popping in unannounced and then second guessing the process.
They hate how the marble looks.
“Why is the white paint so white?” they wonder loudly, hands on hips.
“Who the hell picked out THAT floor tile?” they huff.
“I said FRENCH DOORS!” they scream.
They are belligerent, pouty, whiny and just plain awful.
Then, as a frontal assault on my sense of truth and decency, they cry big, sloppy, Tammy Faye, fake television tears of joy at the reveal.
But I must say – It’s some God-damn GREAT TV.
One kitchen I watched being demo’d last night was indicative of what’s been happening to most of us lately.
I even wrote a post about how to handle it…yesterday.
So it’s kind of out of order, but that’s the way life works sometimes, I hope you’ll forgive me.
WARNING: Put the sandwich down. Don’t eat anything while you read this.
Okay, so, as the contractor, with his perfect, white teeth, helped the homeowners demo the shit out of dated, drab green, 1970’s kitchen, (they are always enlisted, supposedly to keep the costs down, but again, it’s good TV to watch an accountant swing a forty pound sledgehammer while his wife looks on, a teeny bit turned on), the upper cabinets collapsed and the ceiling caved in.
What ensued next was a shit storm – literally.
Feces rained down from inside the ceiling, obscuring their vision, getting in their hair and covering their clothes. Apparently sometime in the not too distant past, the house had a cockroach AND mouse infestation. Even the macho contractor screamed like a little girl. The wife ran into a wall trying to escape the shit as it rained down on all three of them. I think she may have broken a nail…like I said GREAT TV.
But honest to God, there it was, right in front of me, three people’s reaction to a shit storm, on TV, and I have to say – it looked pretty familiar, and it made me laugh my ass off.
The screaming and the running and the general disgust. They acted surprised even though mice had been alluded to in the inspection.
We all do the same thing.
We get plenty of warning that the ceiling of our lives is about to collapse and that the feces of poor decisions, bad relationships, and lousy judgment, may rain down; then we run around screaming, crying and acting surprised when it does – WTF?
Hey, I’ve done it.
Was I surprised that I got fired last year? Hell to the no!
I could smell it coming. I was just shocked he had the balls to do it on Christmas Eve. (Best thing that ever happened to me BTW, BECAUSE…another observation of mine is this: there is always a silver lining inside a shit storm.)
Was I surprised my store was flooded? Well, yes, yes I was. But only because the method was so…so biblical.
Listen, deep down I knew the end was near one way or another—so not really. I had called it in. I had prayed for it. Yet when it happened, I screamed and ran into walls; the shame of it getting into my hair and covering my clothes.
We’ve got to cut that shit out, that wide-eyed-acting-surprised-shit. It’s starting to feel as staged and fakity-fake as it looks on TV.
Let’s get real here. There is always warning prior to a shitstorm – always. It’s an argument or an email, a bad job review – a stain on the ceiling or an inspection report.
If we pay attention and read all the signs they’ll be no shock and awe. We’ll know what’s coming. We’ll have choices. We can go clean up the attic before the demo, put a tarp down, or wear a hat and step aside.
All that collapsed ceiling, screaming and running into walls – that’s all for TV.
This is real life.
Sending Big Love,