How do you satisfy a woman? Two words: home renovation.
We’ve all heard the expression, ‘The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’. Fortunately for me this isn’t always the case. If it were I’d likely be sitting alone Friday nights talking to my cats.
How do you win a woman’s heart? Well they say, ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’. And of course, wining and dining never hurt, especially early on in a relationship. But what about after years of marriage, when dining out means a trip to McDonald’s with the kids, and wining means, well, whining? How do you continue to satisfy a woman you’ve been with for years?
My husband found out recently, purely by accident. One day, out of the blue, he said, “I’m wondering if it’s time we replaced the living room carpet with hardwood?”
The next day when he returned from work, samples of hardwood were lined up across the floor.
“What’s this?” he asked.
“You said we should replace the carpet,” I answered, handing him three cost estimates.
“And what’s this,” he asked, pointing to the stairs.
“Rug samples,” I replied innocently. “We can’t have new flooring and leave that old carpet on the stairs. And just so you know,” I added, “there’s samples of ceramic in the bathroom. You can’t do the stairs and landing without doing the bathroom floor.”
New floors led to new baseboards and when the old baseboards came off, wall paint came with them. That led to new wall colors, new towels, shower curtain and bedspreads. While ripping out carpets and moving furniture, (which included moving the piano four times), my husband’s already bad back got worse. One chiropractor and a physiotherapist later, he spent a lot of time stretched out on a heating pad on the floor of our family room. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t reach the TV remote. Suddenly I had CONTROL, which meant one thing, HGTV – Home and Garden Television.
At first he protested. He wasn’t into my favorites like House Hunters or Property Virgins. He’d ask me to switch to basketball or Ultimate Fighting during commercials. But one night The Handyman Superstar Challenge came on and he perked up a little. The show began with people competing in a variety of handyman challenges, displaying their knowledge and skill. Judges rated their finished project and each week one competitor was sent home. The last person standing is crowned The Handyman Superstar.
Suddenly my husband grew silent and occasionally when I’d start to talk he’d say, “Be quiet, I want to hear this.” Once he even asked me to turn up the volume. After watching a few episodes he knew when it would be coming on. I’d be in the other room and he’d yell, “The Handyman Challenge is on,” and I’d run to watch it with him.
Suddenly he was engrossed by the ease with which they built a fence, deck or patio furniture. He learned which tools to use for certain projects. He developed a thirst to try new things, to experiment, to build, to create. He purchased power tools and started wearing a tool belt.
It’s been a few weeks now and along with the new baseboards, floors and paint, my husband’s insulated our crawlspace, and laid a new laundry room floor. But even better, he’s talking about major home renovations. He says things like, “When we do the kitchen we should knock out this wall. We should remove the window and put in a patio door, build an island in the kitchen…”
It’s music to my ears.
I remember years ago, when love meant my husband hitchhiking a hundred miles to see me each weekend, staying in bed till noon eating leftover pizza and sipping cheap wine. Now, many years later, love’s cuddling on the couch, watching HGTV.