I've been watching a lot of home renovation shows lately. I have HGTV on permanent rotation on my channel changer, my thumb poised on the button to switch to another reno show whenever those pesky commercials pop up like a bad pimple on my 39-year-old face. (The older I get the more I transition between an adolescent and an oldie - how the hell could I have a massive pimplic eruption and a chin pube at the same time!?!?)
Hardwood floors are my obsession as my laminate is just not holding my attention the way handmade, hardwood planks are peppering my every dream - awake and in slumber. And, especially after seven years of living with a pukey Peptol Bismol pink carpet that cushions my walk upstairs to and throughout the bedrooms. I am not a pink girl, having only a passing obsession with the hue when I was three and my mother dressed me in polyester dresses.
The issue, as always, is money, and the fact that I constantly bring out the age-old rule that it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind - and I do constantly - whether it's furniture placement or the more expensive alteration of revamping my builder's issue kitchen cabinets now 30 years old.
I bought the house almost eight years ago, my entrance into adulthood. I bought it a year after my divorce, almost two years after buying and losing my first house bought with my first husband. A new build, by the time the house was ready, we were not. My house now needed a lot of work - new bathroom, new paint in every room and a massive clean-out thanks to the old owners - but it had the bones and it was all mine, an indication of my independence, of my foray into responsibility.
Now the bones are starting to crumble. Lately, I've become obsessed (who me!?!) about a dip that has creeped into the laminate at the entrance to the living room. I guess it has always been there, but after years of traffic and almost two years of the clickity-clack of Kao's nails on the floor (not to mention the boxing sessions, which really should have been taken outside), the uneven floor is even more noticeable, sinking deeper and deeper into my psyche.
The house is a constant work in progress, somewhat like me - new floorboards, new doors a metaphor for the self-discovery, the new self realization. And, like the present laminate, it's not always pretty.
Perhaps that explains my addiction to shows like House Hunters or Property Virgins - it's the outcome after the work, the bones, the flesh, the work already done and move-in ready. It's constant baby steps: hardwood, kitchen cabinets, the dream of tearing up that god awful pink carpet to unveil new skin, harder armour and a much prettier, sleeker and self-aware home.