Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Having some work done on our house

In case you didn't get it from the title of the post, we're having some work done on our house.

Captain America finally warmed up to the idea of hiring other people to do stuff. I've been a big fan of this policy all along, because I don' t like to get my hands dirty and because it's my American duty to improve the economy (which is why I also have a personal trainer, a massage therapist, a chiropractor, an esthetician, and a cleaning lady; you're welcome, Mr. President).

Mark, the handyman hired to do this round of house-related stuff, is a little odd. His work seems competent enough, which is the point. Captain America is of the opinion that it's moving slower than he anticipated, but I think it's fair to say that the first rule of home-ownership is that everything takes longer than anticipated. It took longer to find the house, for crying out loud!

However, it would probably take us even longer if we were doing this stuff ourselves, and we would probably average, oh, I don't know, about one argument every hour or so. So, we're not only improving the economy and our house, but we're saving our marriage. That alone sounds like money well spent.

On Sunday, Mark's odd behavior included informing me of when he took his lunch. I suppose this is appropriate, as we're paying him by the hour (okay I realize that may sound strange, but he gave us an estimate of what the total cost for our project will be, and how long it would take, and the end result is that we agreed to pay him every morning for the work he did the previous day). Mark doesn't seem to know me very well, which is probably a good thing, but what he doesn't get is that it doesn't really matter to me when he takes his lunch or for how long.

Mark also informed me that I reminded him of some TV-preacher's wife, whose name is Victoria. I'm not sure if he knows what my name is, or if maybe we're the only two people who's name starts with a "V" that he's ever heard of, or maybe he's just happy with the simple things in life.

On Monday, Mark had a moment of panic, packed up his stuff and left randomly. He was supposed to go work for the salvation army, but he felt bad that he hadn't finished our bathroom, so he came over to do that instead. We told him it was no big deal if he went to his other job, because really, he's a handyman...if stuff at our house takes longer than he estimates, then of course it's going to mess up whatever's scheduled with his other clients.

Here's the conversation between Mark and Captain America regarding Monday's mini-meltdown, as far as I can recreate it:

Captain America, upon seeing Mark pack up his things: Mark, what's going on?

Mark: I've gotta go. These people are pulling me in too many directions.

Captain America: Did you get a call from the Salvation Army? Do they need you? Is that why you're leaving?

Mark: I think you know what's going on.

Captain America: No, I don't know what's going on.

Silence from Mark.

Captain America: Is there something you need to tell me?

Mark: No.

So. I'm hoping that Mark was feeling a little stressed because our project was taking longer than anticipated, which was preventing him from doing other things, and that the "these people" weren't voices in his head. Or that if he really does have some sort of mental illness, that he's got a plan to manage it.

Mark wasn't supposed to come over yesterday, but for whatever reason, he called to say he could.

My sister wanted to come over to make a lasagna.

I tell Mark this, to give him a head's up, because Sister was going to show up before I got home from work/the gym/etc, which prompts another randomish conversation with Mark:

Me: Hey Mark, my sister is going to come over later today, probably between 5 and 6 to make lasagna. If you're not here, no worries--she has a key, but I just wanted to let you know in case you're still here. She's taller than I am.

(In retrospect, I realized that probably wasn't much of a description, and I was going to say, she's the other girl, who sort of looks like me, in all of the photos all over the place, but I really didn't want him to think he should be staring at my photos to figure out what my sister looks like).

Mark: Okay. Why is she coming here to make lasagna?

Me: She says her oven's broken or something.

Mark: Why is her oven broken?

Me: thinking: what do you care? says: I don't know...maybe it's not heating evenly.

Mark: She should get it fixed.

Me: thinking: Duh. says: She's probably told her landlord.

Mark: She rents? Her apartment complex should fix it.

Me: thinking: Good grief! I have to go to work. It was just supposed to be an FYI. says: I'm sure she's told them.

Mark, unsure: Well, okay.

I'll be very interested to hear what sorts of conversations Captain America had with Mark, and even more interested to hear if Sister gots to meet him. I already warned her, he's missing a tooth.

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