Remodelers just finished and left after three weeks of trundling about the house. This is hardly worthy of complaint, even within the limited realm of first world problems, but there is a point to be made.
Years ago, when I lived in Lafayette, Indiana, there was a remodeling company which aired commercials on TV. Their slogan was “When the workmen leave, your pride is restored.” They meant, of course, that they will have restored your house to a condition you could be proud of, but they were oblivious to the alternate interpretation: that after weeks of the indignity of surly louts lumbering in and out of your life at their whim, you could once again claim control of your life.
It’s true, you feel it. It affects not only the limited part of the day when they’re physically there, but how you eat, how you sleep, and everything else you do. It’s a stressor, no doubt.
Now imagine being a refugee.
Years ago, when I lived in California, which was after I, too, lived in Lafayette, IN, a friend of mine and her husband were having their house remodeled. My friend is the most level-headed, calm, completely adult person you’d ever want to meet. After several weeks into the process, she called me because she couldn’t reach her husband, and she was at wit’s end. The contractor wanted her to make a decision about light switch faceplates. I stared at the phone. Faceplates? Really? That’s what brought this competent woman to her knees? It was just the last straw in the whole remodeling thing. It wouldn’t have mattered if it were joists or faceplates; it was just the.last.straw. We never spoke of it again. 🙂
I have hot water that comes out of a faucet and a warm bed with sheets and blankets from the Goodwill Store. Sardines and refried beans in the cupboard, some eggs and bread in the fridge. Oh yeah I have a fridge. My best friends are two dogs and a couple cats. I can have a whiskey and even smoke pot if I want to on my front steps. I do and wear and go where I please. My house is a shambles. I am so damn lucky I wonder what I ever did to deserve such freedom.