T: Amazing Husband ST: Three-year-old Wonder Prof. G: Advisor I Prof. C: Advisor II Julie: Stylish Sister Rob: Awesome Brother Belle: Our Cat Bill: Grumbling BIL Rita: Uncomplicated SIL SMU: Smallish Midwestern University Doctoral University: where I got my Ph.D.
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Quote of the Day
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Yesterday we confirmed that the end of this month will be busy with visits from family. On October 20 my MIL is coming to town to visit Pond House for the first time, and the following weekend my parents and my brother Rob are coming.
When MIL said she was coming, T and I both felt a little panicked. My MIL is a sweet woman and I enjoy her immensely, but both T and I are worried about her reaction to this house. She's a very, very particular woman, even more so since FIL died in 2000: her house is neat, sterile, organized, and new. She has top-of-the-line everything (kitchen appliances I would kill for, including the most amazing microwave I've ever used). She does not do any work on her house herself: she hires out the painting, the decorating, and sometimes the cleaning. When she built her house (a large condo) a few years after FIL died, she became obsessive about it, so much so that T couldn't stand to talk to her about it. For example, she sent her the bathtub in the guest bathroom back FOUR TIMES because she "thought she could see a little scratch in it." Four times? She still complains about her kitchen ceramic tile because there's a slight (read: completely unnoticeable) discoloration on one tile IN THE CLOSET.
You can imagine why we're a bit nervous about her first visit to Pond House. You're on this journey with me, and you know that Pond House is a big work-in-progess. Nothing is perfect or even close to it. Nothing is the way we want it, although we know it will be someday. When we showed MIL pictures of Pond House before we bought it, she not-so-subtly discouraged us from taking on such a big project. Not even the beauty of our yard could distract her from the ugliness that is our brown tub. She has no imagination when it comes to houses like ours; it is impossible for her to see the diamond in the rough. (She is very excited, on the other hand, for Bill and Rita's new house. They are indeed moving after all, and have decided that they are going to build a five-bedroom McMansion in the suburbs. Bill's justification for this is that he has "such expensive tastes" and "couldn't live with anything less than granite countertops and designer lighting." Give me a break.)
My parents, as you also know, are completely the opposite of this. When they first saw pictures of Pond House, they were practically ready to buy it for us. They saw what we saw: a house oozing with potential, a project that would test our creativity, a place we could inject with our personalities. When they were here to help us move in this past August they could not get enough of the place and the fun projects they could do with us. As I've said before, my parents are devout do-it-yourselfers, and the thought of paying someone to decorate, clean, or paint your house is more revolting to them than it is to T. My Dad has already been chatting with T on the phone about what project they're going to tackle over the long weekend they're here. Dad is especially thrilled because my brother Rob will also be here, and that simply means more manpower to do bigger jobs.
It's going to be a busy end-of-October for us, but also good. Despite the bit of stress MIL's visit will cause us, I'm really looking forward to seeing her and so is ST (who adores her because she is always full of surprises for him, usually plastic bugs and baseball cards that she somehow manages to pull out of her purse in an almost endless stream). And of course I'm looking forward to seeing my parents again, and to the projects we're going to tackle when they're here. I'm hoping to get rid of this disgusting 1980s item from the stairwell, which Mom says makes her feel like she's on the Love Boat:
Maybe the cutesy wallpaper in the half-bath downstairs will go, too. How lucky is MIL, though, that she will be able to relive the 1980s in our brown tub? I'm hoping she doesn't decide to check into a hotel!