Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Secret of My Success

I am so lucky and not for the reasons that one might think. Yes, I am building a nice custom house, and yes, I can afford it, if I work a few years longer than I want to before retiring. I am fortunate that I am able to build within an hour or so of where my two children live, although some might think this is not a fortunate thing. I have been able to afford a choice piece of land, although this nest egg came about by having lived overseas for years in free housing that had intermittent electricity and water and no security (another life story) and lots of isolation—one must make sacrifices.

So, why do I think I am lucky? I am about 75% through the building of this house and my husband has not killed me. That’s why. I have not been the easiest person to live with while sharing the process of building a house. Lord knows I am not an easy person to live with, anyway. Put me under time stress and financial stress and I can become a freakish witch. I get short-tempered, demanding, and loud. (Don’t I sound like someone you want to live with?)

For example, at a recent visit to the electrical showroom, I said to my husband, “You pick out the fixture for the foyer because you really are into that and I will look for the lighting over the kitchen island.” We go our separate ways in this large showroom with heat from 1,000s of watts beating down on us and alarm rising in our hearts from visualizing so many choices. In ten minutes, hubby returns with a suggestion of a copper fixture. I roll my eyes. “Copper?” I ask incredulously and not necessarily lowering my voice. “What are you thinking? We don’t have any copper at all in the house anywhere. Get something that fits with the house! You know, European, Old World or traditional.” He wanders off in another direction with the patience of Job and probably having no idea what he is looking for.

He returns with another suggestion which I completely reject since it would look nice in a ranch bunk-house but not a house-house. Finally, the third selection he points out is close enough to fly and we go over it and then select a different finish. Any other guy would have headed off for the football game long before this time and said, “You pick it! I clearly can’t find anything that you like. Besides, I don’t know anything about this stuff!”

Now multiply this scenario by the 100s and you get the idea.

I am also very lucky because my husband does not have a lot of definite opinions on color, style or d├ęcor. He stops me from going down a path of no return, yet is patient bringing me back from burnout, and still remains so easygoing. I am SO particular about STUFF. And because I am particular I can work myself into a panic trying to make sure I got the exact color or item from 1,000s of choices. I have a reasonable sense of style, but am not a decorator.

Well, enough about hubby, and no, I do not let him read my blog. and, yes, I guess I will tell him how much I appreciate him when he gets home tonight before I go into another house tirade.


  1. Oh gosh, this is an ongoing battle here, and it was probably a good thing that our house was "semi-custom" so that I had less things to obsess over. My husband, however, is just as opinionated and has concrete ideas of his own that he'd like to go with - although without the time or motivation to actually go through with most of it. Just the opinion, which I am constantly reminded of....

  2. OMG, let him read this! I am going to show it to my hubby as soon as he wakes so he will see that he is not married to the only OCD wife in the world and then tell him how much I love him and how sweet he is not to have left! I am laughing so hard because reading this was like looking in a mirror. How he has remained calm inside my storms and has continued to go on without feeling run over by a bull dozer is my blessing! Last night he said, "You are never going to be happy with this house, are you?" after I went into a long description of how I want to redo the bedroom eventually so I don't want to spend a fortune right now on the window decoration.

    Fabulous post! Good luck with your project. Give him one thing to choose that you don't change at all......then tell me how it goes so I can be brave, too! LOL :))

  3. OK, he is up and read it. He laughed all the way through it and then said "You 2 are woven from the exact same cloth! Does she live in the Seattle area? If so, you can go shopping together and leave us at home!"

    I am still laughing!

  4. Drink more wine...

  5. I think I will have to drink it with Sky and her husband!


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