Unsettling Information

Unsettling Information

The Husband came back from a weekend away with a new plan. Basically, he wants to remove the hat of our house, add a bedroom, master bath, walk-in closet, new insulation and new roofing. And move the staircase. And add more windows to let in the light. Gables for the second bedroom. And make Matilda’s current room a dining room. And open our living room to the kitchen, which will in turn have a prep island and more windows and a mud room.

All this made me hyperventilate. Well, figuratively.

This will all cost one billion dollars. We’ll use his bonuses, he says. And whatever money I make. He keeps hoping my book will get banned, as he thinks that’s some gateway to fortune (and that there’s that much prurience in my book – he’s obviously not read Ellen Hopkins.)

“It’ll take about three years,” he said. “I’m serious about this. I’ve totally scrapped my plans for the dune buggy and everything.”

As if removing the top of the house and rummaging around with its innards for a span of three years isn’t any more fantastical or ill-conceived than owning a fucking dune buggy.

What you do when your spouse – especially your ADHD-having spouse – comes up with ideas like this is not reject them. But don’t really accept them, either. You nod, you smile, you tell other people about his ideas – he likes that. But you don’t look at the numbers and you don’t plan accordingly. You just chug forward in a sort of supportive stance (which I failed at incidentally, at first, tilting toward rejection on first listen) and tell yourself to be patient, that he is good at multiple crisis vectors and financing and somehow all the things that need to be done will get done and you’ll worry about them when it’s time to worry. Preemptive worry doesn’t actually save you from stress…

Then I noticed that in all the pencil-smudged graph paper plans, my office remained untouched.

That is how I know he loves me.

I’d love a rebuilt house with all those features. I would love an insulated bedroom that doesn’t require me to sleep under four down quilts, a floor that doesn’t feel like an ice rink in deep winter. I would love to get up to pee in the middle of the night and not go downstairs. I would love a closet that’s not a crawlspace, a kitchen that’s not a galley, a mudroom to hide our foul-weather gear. I would love a dining room, a place to have people over for a damn dinner not on my patio for once.

But today I’m in my office, with the door closed. We’ll see how this goes.

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