“What’s going on in there?” she screamed, visibly upset by what she has seen.
These were the lamentations of an angry woman. I was clearly in a compromising situation and had no valid explanation for it. The synapses in my brain were on overdrive as I tried to conjure some sort of reason for my transgressions; this however was not forthcoming. In reality I couldn’t see anything wrong with what I was doing. All men do it so why did I have to explain my actions. It was difficult for the female species to understand the machinations of the male mind.
“I thought you said you had some important business. Is this what it is?” she retorted in an animated way.
“I guess so” I replied trying desperately to remain calm.
“Why are you such a blatant liar? Can’t you for once be truthful” she continued adopting her battle stance.
“I don’t see the problem with what I’m doing. You should at least appreciate my efforts here. You always moan about being taken for granted yet you are quick to put me down.”
“But we’ve had discussions in the past about your obsessions. Can’t you at least give me some respect?” she replied.
It was no use. She was clearly ready for a massive argument over nothing. I mean what harm could I have possibly caused? And why did she have to refer to it as an obsession. I’m sure if I subjected her to some tests she would easily fit into the obsessive-compulsive type. Thankfully I am of a relaxed disposition and not known for emotional outbursts. What worried me was her insinuations and body language. I’ve always fancied a passionate woman although sometimes it could prove to be hard going. At times like this I wanted to be left to my devices; free of any moral or emotional obligations; full of zest and enthusiasm. In the future my preferred mode of communication would be telepathy and not the ranting and ravings of the verbally incontinent.
I viewed this as a creation. I was bringing forth a concept that will instil sanity in our chaotic household. I knew it looked a bit odd still dressed up in my work clothes wielding a mitre saw but desperate times called for desperate measures. It has to be said that a little insanity is necessary to stay sane. So I took stock of the work ahead and soldiered on.
My better half left my working space in a huff and I took a break to reflect on my day. At the DIY shop I was full of expectation as this was a project I dreamt of for days. As usual the place was a beehive of activity making it difficult to navigate through the aisles. I was however certain that I would get what I need for my project regardless of the fanfare. As you would guess I have an obsession with DIY which my wife found disturbing. It was pointless even considering tiling as we had a bad experience last year. I had no intention of saturating the house so I crossed off plumbing from my list. As a confessed pyromaniac the mere mention of electricity sent sparks flying all over the house - not pleasant at all. Was I an unfulfilled custodian of contemporary living? Will I ever find a project that suited my personality? My salvation came with the discovery of woodwork. This was my saving grace.
I needed veneered or treated wood but guess again it was not available. It amazed me how such a big outlet made no provision for specialist areas or was it all about making the fast buck. The shop assistant was as helpful as a pile of wood; full of possibilities but in need of direction. Ok I wanted something in mahogany, which you might say, is a bit dated but doesn’t the customer know best? I ignored her so called expert advice and hatched a plan. To achieve the desired finish I was going to get adhesive paper and paste on the wood – brilliant!
I made a fast exit from the deficient store and drove back home. For my project there were a thousand-and-one permutations but I obviously had to stick with one. Sometimes I cursed my perfect brain because it always left me with a plethora of possibilities. It was the simplest solutions that achieved the desired effect in woodwork – a fact I have come to terms with. In order to relax I switched on the radio and listened to my favourite station – Smooth FM. Luther Vandross belted out the ballads from his new album; the one he made before he departed. Before I knew it I was at my front door and rearing to go. The day had turned out good so far.
Back to my workspace and time to crack on. I was making an overhead cupboard for the bathroom so all I needed was six surfaces. I did not take into account that the back and the door needed to be slightly bigger than my previous measurements but that was no big deal. My daughter turned up to help, which was definitely a recipe for disaster. Her abundance of energy unsettled me so I was on my guard.
“Daddy what are you making”
“A bathroom cupboard dear” I replied.
“Does mummy know?” She continued.
“I guess so”. I said.
“How come you didn’t buy one? It would have been much easier you know” she replied, showing so much mental latitude.
“That’s because daddy doesn’t do easy dear”. I informed her.
She helped me carry the wood upstairs and remarked on how dirty it was in the garage (my work space). For a seven-year-old she came up with a lot of smart stuff, which made for interesting conversation. I was in an ecstatic mood and a few imperfect measurements weren’t enough to spoil my perfect day.
It was time to prepare the wood with the adhesive paper. We tried hard to make it stick without imperfections but that was like expecting pigs to fly. Eventually my daughter patience fizzled out and she stormed out of the room.
“This is no fun dad. Call me when you’ve finished.
Hurray! Peace at last. Time to go into overdrive. Life would have been easier if I had the right screws but thanks to brute force – I had that in abundance. The cupboard was taking shape. The metamorphosis from plain wood to cupboard was indeed awesome. I ran my fingers across the surfaces and could feel it purr as I stroked it. No, it was wrong to use the word “it” because it was definitely a she. She had taken form and continued to blossom, which made me proud of myself. She was going to hang proud in the bathroom filling it with her radiance. I knew that in spite of my efforts, I was fighting a lost cause, as there was steep opposition. My wife will be vehemently opposed to her no matter what I said.
The day ended without incident although I must say it was a bit of a surprise. No fighting; no swearing or bickering; and best of all I was still at home. This was marvellous. I went to bed and slept peacefully dreaming of the standing ovation I’ll get. “You are truly a genius love, definitely in the wrong profession” and “our bathroom will be the envy of the estate” constantly crept up in my mind. I felt like waking up and screaming at the top of my voice “watch this space people. Your DIY guru has arrived”.
I got back from work the next day and rushed up to the bathroom to admire my creation. My faithful apprentice was already in the bathroom cleaning her face and regarding the wardrobe with renewed interest.
“Dad don’t you think that it will be better in this space above the sink? I guess it will look more appealing”
“I think it looks perfect were it is love. Don’t you see that it’s in the perfect space?”
“Certain people feel that it does not do the bathroom any favours staying there” she replied
“And who are these people that feel she does not belong in that space?” I retorted.
“These are people who live here. People you know very well” she replied.
Damn! Inside her cryptic message I could detect the storm that was brewing. There was no point shooting the messenger but every word she uttered only served to impale me. I was in a quandary; an unthinkable dilemma, sinking rapidly into a bottomless well. What was I to do now? My predicament was made worse by the giggling coming from the other room. That was her sister being as mischievous as ever. Without being told I could tell there was a conspiracy hatching in the house. There has been a round table discussion on the atrocity in the bathroom. I felt vilified by this and started to feel the rage build up. I was verbally incontinent.
“Tell these people that there is no way it’s coming down. The wardrobe stays there and that’s final!”
“They’re people you know very well daddy and they will not be happy if they hear that” she said in a conniving manner.
“Tell them I’m the boss of the house. They’ll have to understand that. Bla bla bla bla.”
I couldn’t wait for my aggressor to come back from work. This will be the mother of all showdowns. How dare she criticize my masterpiece that took me so long to complete. She must be crazy or worst premenstrual. She definitely needs psychotherapy, which I will administer with pleasure. I can’t wait.
“Hello mum. How was work? I’ve told daddy what you felt about that wardrobe. I never told him that you called it an eye scaw.
“Eyesore love. I called it an eyesore”. My aggressor said in an even more aggressive voice.
“Don’t I get a kiss love or are we going to be at each other’s throats? You know I’ve not been feeling well,” she continued.
“Eyesore!! Can’t you even appreciate a genuine work of art or is this a woman thing?” I screamed out.
“We are in the modern age and not stuck in the seventy’s. Don’t you pay attention when watching those DIY programmes?” she said sounding very cocky.
I was at bursting point so I had to escape from the house. As I stopped smoking a few years ago I needed an outlet for my impending madness. What better way than to burn rubber. I was going to burn some serious rubber.
In the car I had the music blazing and was hugging the fast lane. It was amazing how a car could actually lift you mood without any chemical intervention. My patient’s will have to make do with fast cars and not the happy drugs that are prescribed so freely. Ok there might be a few broken limbs but at least they won’t accuse doctors of turning them into zombies. That will be my next project.
Mood lifted I returned to my home ready to engage her in rational conversation. When I’m finished with her she will understand why that beauty in the bathroom should stay, even if this involves bribery and corruption. Glass of red wine in hand, I started the precarious task of controlled persuasion. She was consuming her trademark brandy and coke so things were looking up for me. I continued to ply her with her poison until she submitted to my suggestions. A pendulum might have been cheaper but I don’t claim to be an expert - best to stick to what you know.
Victorious I went up to bed full of contentment. I dreamed of the fine details of my masterpiece and left out the oddities. She will always be referred to as “the eyesore” but hopefully behind my back. The day she comes down will be a sad one but in life one had to move on. The road to contemporary living is a rough one but a worthy one in the end.
© Chibuzo Orjiekwe 2007
Published on writebuzz®:
> A day in my life