Monday, October 8, 2012

Men With Tools

Just lately, I can’t walk from one end of my house to the other without tripping over a strapping guy with a tool. Sadly, the situation is not as hot as it sounds.  We’re having some work done.  Well, a lot of work done. 

The whole thing started out, innocently enough, with a stripped diverter in the master bath.  Simple fix, right?   Not so fast.   Two different plumbers advised us the part we needed couldn’t be found anywhere in the free world – or at least not anywhere on the Internet – which meant we could either: A)  become a one shower household; or B) replace all the hardware in the master bath.  Our addiction to constant, simultaneous hot running water guided us to option B.  Because the original designer of the bathroom apparently never heard of an access panel, option B involved taking down a wall in the shower.  Once we got our heads around that, it sort of seemed stupid not to go ahead and update the tile, change out the jetted tub I never liked in the first place and then, you know, wouldn’t a seamless, glass shower enclosure look way better than the sliding glass doors?  The master bath promised to be a showplace, the contractor we discussed the project with assured us.   What a shame the other bathroom – the one guests actually see – wouldn’t get the same treatment.

So anyway, now that we’re remodeling two bathrooms, adding architectural detail to the ceiling in our entryway, putting in a little closet-slash-laundry area, and, oh yeah, fixing the diverter, the whole house is torn up and there are these dudes walking around the place from seven-thirty in the morning until three-thirty in the afternoon.    This has impacted my habits ever-so-slightly.

First off, I have to be showered and dressed by seven-thirty most mornings.  By “showered,” I mean brushed my teeth, and by “dressed,” I mean pulled a sweatshirt over my t-shirt and flannel Hello Kitty sleep pants (gift).  Yeah, technically, the seven-thirty part constitutes the only true change in my routine – eight-thirty being my normal BICHOK time … okay, nine-thirty … ten-thirty at the absolute outside.   I think you get the picture.   I handle the seven-thirty wake-up call with slightly more grace than, say, Dracula.

Next, I have to write in the kitchen, because my actual writing cave is: A) the bathroom; or B) a built-in desk located in our entryway.  Both of these areas are construction zones at the moment, so now I’m in the kitchen.  This puts me unpardonably close to the fridge.  That diet killbox just sits there, whispering to me, constantly.   Samaaaanthe?  Remember the cheesy potatoes from last night? They were so goood, and I’ve got them right heeerrreee!     I’m going to weigh five hundred pounds by the time this project ends.  I won’t even fit into either of our beautifully revamped bathrooms.

Finally, these workmen, sweet and respectful as they are, have completely thrown off my writing.  I know I’m supposed to be a professional writer, with serious discipline and dedication to my art, not a jumpy teenager guiltily penning fantasies about the cute guy from Chem Lab in her diary.  I should have a little focus, for God’s sake.  I owe my Entangled editor a manuscript by the beginning of next week. But I’m telling you, it’s distracting to have Everest Construction’s finest interrupt with questions about interior door widths, or drawer pulls, right when my heroine shoves my hero into a supply closet and wishes him the kind of Merry Christmas, that, if written correctly, ought to come with a parental warning label attached.  In the current version of the scene, I fear my heroine is a little too focused on the polished oak panel door and brushed d nickel hardware.  My Mommy Porn is starting to read like a Restoration Hardware catalog.

My editor is going to be disappointed, unless she too is remodeling, in which case, she may understand … perfectly.

Distractions ever threaten to hijack your work – or derail it completely?  How do you retrieve your focus?  Do tell.   

15 comments:

  1. I do remember those remodeling days and having to be up and dressed and hair actually brushed by 7:30 am. These days I'm lucky to be dressed by 10 am and I'm always praying that nobody drops by and rings my doorbell. : 0
    When you're writing those kinds of scenes take a walk down the hall and cast an admiring glance or two at the biceps of the workers, and then get right back to typing. It couldn't hurt. And it's all for the good of the book. : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right, right ... just researching. LOL!

      Delete
  2. What a funny blog!

    My work gets hijacked all the time - usually family related. Then I sneak out of town to my secret writing place and pound out thousands of words - that leave me with Tendonitis so that I can't write much for about 2 weeks afterwards. This where I'm at now :-(

    I'm retrieving my focus only because I have an agent with his hand out-stretched waiting for my next book. When they said writing would be painful, I never thought they meant it literally!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Kathy, I feel your pain! This summer I gave myself carpel tunnel syndrome pounding out a manuscript for a submission deadline. Time to check out the lovely selection of wrist braces at CVS. Hope the tendonitis calms down soon!

      Delete
  3. Snort. I haven't the foggiest how I retrieve my focus. I am too busy getting hot about brushed nickle fixtures and the idea of new flooring. This is why real mommy porn involves house boys who do the laundry and the dishes and pick up the dry cleaning. You know, a wife from the say 50's? If the ideal of a wife ever really existed. I am beginning to think that it is all just a myth intended to make women feel inadequate and at the same time battling feelings of covetousness for the ideal as perhaps an employee?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Back in my lawyer days, while pulling a late night at my desk, I called my husband to ask him to pick up the dry cleaning or run the dishwasher or something, and as a joke, I said, "I need a wife!" He said, "So do I ..."

      Delete
  4. Oh Lordy! You're a hoot, Samanthe! Enjoy watching those boys wander around in their tool belts...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it struck me several days ago that as painful as it is for me to drag my lazy butt out of bed early, it's probably even more painful for them to have to see me first thing in the a.m. I have a much better view than they do. I briefly considered putting on a clean sweatshirt ...

      Delete
  5. First off, your website is flipping awesome!! I love the new look. Seriously love. And the blog quote - *love!* So much so that I will forever think about toilets when I think about... never mind. You rock and I'm so happy to be an Entangled sister with you!! (You can quote me anytime!)

    Now on to your blog post - ROFL! (As usual.) I've now nicknamed my fridge the diet killbox. And without going into too much detail, I'll just say my hubby is extremely handy around the house so I get to uh, derail my writing with research. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the website love! Lucky woman, with a husband both handy and hands-y. All good between spouses!!

      Delete
  6. I feel similarly, except the distracting, strapping young lad doing all my kitchen rennovations is my husband! Thanks for a good chuckle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another lucky woman ... not only that hubby can do the kitchen reno, but that he will! Niiiiice.

      Delete
  7. ah..men with tools. Gotta love 'em. Drooling over your 'misery' and wishing for a cool fifty grand to redo my kitchen and baths. I'd even get dressed by seven thirty *grin*

    ReplyDelete
  8. We don't have it either, which makes the whole thing even more interesting! We're just hoping Visa doesn't realize they're getting paid by Mastercard, who, in turn, is getting paid by Visa ...

    ReplyDelete
  9. I never even tried to write during house renovations. Plus, I know you have the munchkin, so I can only imagine how you're trying to entertain him, too. Hey, maybe he can apprentice with the construction crew and you can sneak off to the local library with your laptop? No? Okay. I've heard you can pick up Panera wifi if you park close enough to the restaurant. When does Munchkin nap? Maybe put him in his carseat? Okay, enough of my trying to solve your problems. See how easily distracted i get?

    ReplyDelete