Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Demolition Man

At last the demo is done. I know what you’re thinking. What took so long? Well, usually there’s a toddler running amuck in our house—which, combined with that pesky day job of mine, conspired to drag out the process into next year. But the other reason is a little more, well...my fault.

That's right, I'll admit it. And like most things that don't involve technology, the following falls squarely into the my wife was right column. For months she nagged begged me to contact a contractor. The idea was for the bathroom remodel to coincide with her yearly summer trip up north. And as I write this it sounds like a really really good idea. 

I did contact a contractor. About two weeks before she set to leave. And let me tell you, business is good. Everyone was booked. Who knew? Not me, I’m not the best at delicate complexities such as scheduling, planning, listening and so forth, but I more than make up for it by whining, groveling, and my remarkable gift for procrastination. 

None of which helped in this particular case...

Anyway, contractor or not, I stuck to the whole time frame of tearing the bathroom down to the studs. Bad move. Had I known then what I know now I would have done things differently. 

Apparently in the fifties they built houses to last. I feel like this bathroom could have also been used as a bomb shelter. If you have an old tile bathroom embrace it. Or pay. Or move. My tub was stamped KOHLER 12-3-53. Try getting sixty years out of something built today. Not going to happen.

Good Times...
But there was a sledgehammer ready and my dad and I were foaming at the mouth with the thought of bashing some stuff. Then my wife and stepmother came home and found my dad patching me up with electrical tape.

My stepmom--battle-tested and hardened after 30 years of being married to my father--turned to my wife and deadpanned, "You know how to get blood out of a shirt, right?"

It was probably then that my wife became not as on board with the "me" part of this project.

A few weeks later I have a dumpster full of plaster, concrete, tile, and drywall. And some awfully mean steel mesh stuff that they used to hold it all together. I also have a newfound respect for contractors.

Last Sunday I finally got the place cleared out. I drank a beer and called my wife.

“It’s done.”

“The floor too?”

My shoulders sagged. She has this uncanny ability to “bring out the best in me.”

“No, I thought the guy said leave the floor.”

“Oh, yeah he did.”

After the call I opened the door. Under the haze of plaster sat the floor, or what was the floor but was now just a carpet of rubble and rock. I cursed. I set my celebratory beer down and hunted down my work gloves.

An hour later I was staring at the beams.

So my house is empty and my pink bathtub is gone. And I survived without any serious injury, just a couple of scratches on my arms. Plaster in my nostrils. My hair feels like steel wool. But there is hope. We did find a contractor to put our bathroom back together. He comes on the third. Of August. Meanwhile I take showers between the bushes in the backyard. Life is grand.


  1. LOL ...please tell me you have a 2nd bathroom and the bush showers are a joke! lol

    1. Well, we have a very generous neighbor who is also out of town. But there have been one or two bush showers. Really

  2. I keep telling your wife that the entertainment value exceeds the aggravation toll but I'm not sure if she believes me yet. Love, your battle-hardened stepmom.

    1. Giver her time, Di, she'll come along!