HGTV spells trouble - Los Angeles Post-ExaminerLos Angeles Post-Examiner

HGTV spells trouble

One word my husband sometimes uses when describing me — and he says it with affection — is “impulsive.” I think it is a somewhat unfair label to be stuck with, although in the past I have: 1) taken a job at a local market when I was just there to buy strawberries, 2) purchased a get-rich-quick real estate DVD set before I had even gotten out of bed in the morning, and 3) ended up owning a real living horse after antique shopping in New Hampshire for the day. Actually, upon reflection, I have a real problem, and should put down this laptop and get into some type of therapy, ASAP.

A nice bathroom to inspire the do-it-yourselfer. (Photo via Wiki Commons)

A nice bathroom to inspire the do-it-yourselfer.
(Photo via Wiki Commons)

But … I won’t. What I will do, however, is share some somewhat impulsive actions that have to do with our upstairs bathroom.

We moved into our current home about four years ago and it was in fine shape. Older, but with good bones (the house and I have that in common) and an interior paint job that was about three years old.

Now, that paint job is seven years old, and I am getting itchy. This place needs some updating. Plus, I like watching HGTV on Saturday mornings, while I go about my business of both resting and lounging. Put those two together — itchiness and HGTV — and you are going to have some issues that only a Home Depot credit card and three different screwdrivers that you cannot locate are going to fix.

Photo via Wiki Commons

Photo via Wiki Commons

One Saturday morning I was watching HGTV and talking to my mom long-distance on my cell phone. I got out of bed and wandered into the upstairs hallway bathroom as we chatted, with the HGTV Property Brothers as my background noise; they were updating a bathroom for a very nervous couple who apparently had not slept in days and had ten toddlers and eight dogs, all crammed into a back bedroom where they were living during renovations.

As Mom and I talked, I surveyed the bathroom. Hmm, I thought to myself: this orange 1970’s cartoon wallpaper of funny people waiting in line to bathe is cute, but old. I pulled one corner tentatively, and it peeled right off. “I am taking all the wallpaper off these walls,” I reported to my mother, grunting, while she enthusiastically endorsed my actions – my dad came home from a business trip once to find a gaping hole in our kitchen where a wall used to be.

Now sweating and energized, and still dressed in my pajamas, I said, “Mom, I’m going to put you on speaker — I’m going to take the glass enclosure off the tub now.” I was stopped, however, because I would apparently need a screwdriver, the criss-cross one that looks like an “X.”

“Does Mom need a Phillips or a Frearson? (Photo via Wiki Commons)

“Does Mom need a Phillips or a Frearson?
(Photo via Wiki Commons)

“Okay, Mom, we are going into the basement,” I said, grabbing my phone and trundling downstairs, where I was glad my mom couldn’t smell the cat litter, and over to our workbench, which is actually an old dresser loaded with Christmas decorations.

This was where it got dicey — we tend to leave tools everywhere. You might find the needed screwdriver tucked in a bookshelf, in the junk drawer, or hidden behind a framed picture. Who knows? All I know is that it was not in the coffee can of tools, where it should be.

I was not deterred – I went and woke up my middle son Matt, who, at 24, had gotten in at an indeterminate time the night before and was dreaming his head off. “Matt, wake up, we are pulling the shower enclosure out,” to which he groaned, “No…what?” and put another pillow over his head.

Matt finally joined me and as a bonus he remembered seeing the “X” screwdriver that we needed, so we were in business. Matt and I took out the glass shower enclosure, and were turning our attention to the fluorescent lighting strip over the medicine cabinet when his buddy Derek called, and suddenly I was a man down. Also, “House Hunters” was next on HGTV, one of my favorite shows, so I got back in bed with a cup of coffee and my plans for a new bathroom.

Now this is the screwdriver for all the do-it-yourselfers: the Makita Auto-Feed. It will be harder to lose. (Photo via Wiki Commons)

Now this is the screwdriver for all the do-it-yourselfers: the Makita Auto-Feed. It will be harder to lose.
(Photo via Wiki Commons)

My husband came home from the gym, issuing faint groaning sounds of anguish and dismay as he stumbled on the glass enclosure propped in pieces in the hallway, right next to a pile of cute cartoon people wallpaper. “Don’t worry, Matt and I are going to re-do the bathroom,” I yelled from the bed, where I was now online looking at bathroom lighting and also espresso machines.

And … the project stalled out. The bathroom has kind of a Bates Motel feel, so my fourteen year old is crowding into our bathroom every morning to brush his teeth. “It’s freaky in there,” is his only comment about the hall bathroom.

I wish I hadn’t impulsively pulled down the cute cartoon wallpaper from the ‘70’s, and I wish I hadn’t pulled out the glass tub and shower enclosure – which, interestingly, was the only thing keeping shower water in the tub. But, I did. So, I can either find all the tools I need and put together a plan, or I can maybe enter the HGTV Dream House contest, and win a new house. Actually, I think I’ll concentrate on that, for now!


About the author

Deirdre Reilly

Deirdre Reilly has written one humor book, and authored a syndicated family life column for Gatehouse Media for 13 years. She has won a Massachusetts Press Award for humor, her op-eds have been published in the Boston Herald and The Hartford Courant, and she has had short fiction published in literary journals. Deirdre was raised in Columbia, Md., and now lives outside Boston, Ma. She enjoys outdoor pursuits, and is obsessed with the care and happiness of a retired carriage horse named Nello that she bought for a few hundred dollars on a menopausal whim. Contact the author.

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