Monday, May 28, 2007

Two Control Freaks Working Together

Today The Husband and I worked on a project together. I suspect there are couples out there who can work harmoniously side by side, giving and taking, enjoying the pleasure of each other's company while relishing the satisfaction of a job well done together.

But we aren't one of those couples.

What do you get when you put two control freaks, and the task of refinishing/restoring a filthy, old, mechanically confusing table in the same garage? I'll tell you. You get two very definite ideas of how to do things. And those of you who know me and TH, can imagine that we had very different ideas on how to get started on this mammoth project. We are refinishing a set that consists of the table, a buffet table, and a set of chairs. If we get this project finished before Hollywood graduates from college, it'll be a miracle. Our focus today was on the underside of the table.

The conflict started when TH said, "You are going to refinish the underside, aren't you?"

I hadn't planned on stripping it and refinishing it, considering that 3/4 of the underside wasn't finished originally.

I explained that it would be silly to spend the time refinishing the underside of the table. The trim that was visible on the underside, yes, but not the actual underside of the table. He disagreed, and of course had a million reasons why. We went round and round about this issue and he started making me nuts! I explained that the underside of the table was never going to be seen, unless one was lying on our floor! At one point he said that the mechanics of the table wouldn't work as well if the table wasn't finished, meaning that the leaves on the end wouldn't pop out and up like they're supposed to in order to enlarge the table. That was a ridiculous statement, I thought, and because I can't keep my thoughts to myself like I should, I told him.

I told him he was a control freak and he started laughing. Real, genuine, amusement came from this man who was trying to tell ME what to do!! I was incensed. But then I thought about it for a while and realized that if I were to call him a control freak, I may as well don my pot (calling the kettle black) outfit.

He went to the store to get some supplies. He had a lot of work to do to reinforce the bracing on the underside of the table, and to fix broken pieces. While he was gone I removed the cobwebs and wasps nest shells on the underside. I cleaned it up with degreaser, and began the tedious process of stripping the trim on the underside. When he got home, he was surprised at how well it looked cleaned up. He told me that he was fine with leaving the underside that way since it looked nice after I'd cleaned it up. "Did you think I wasn't going to CLEAN it?" I half-joked.

In the end, we both kind of compromised. I know, shocking!! I decided that I would strip and refinish the undersides of the edge pieces, if for no other reason, than for when someone looks underneath the table to retrieve some gum that was left there. Actually, I decided that he's right. The parts of the table he was referring to were finished originally, though I still have no idea why since the rest of the underside wasn't. I agreed to restore it the way it was originally made. But only partially because he said to. I think it'll be good practice, and if I mess up while I get the hang of it, nobody will ever see it!! He seemed genuinely impressed that I thought to label some trim pieces and their corresponding spots on the table, and complimented me on thinking of that. (I didn't tell him that it was suggested on the DIY site when I googled 'furniture refinishing'.)

We're both control freaks. We both have very different ways of doing things. He's very precise, deliberate, and has an amazing attention to detail. I'm efficient, organized, and maybe the best multi-tasker in the world. Which means we are just about polar opposites who have to meet in the middle.

It's going to be a long project. I know the set will be beautiful when we're done with it, and it means so much to us because it belonged to TH's grandma, who we visited this weekend. I'm happy to say that we didn't kill each other while working on day one of the project, but there are many, many more opportunities for carnage since this will take forever to complete!

At the dinner table tonight we were casually discussing the day's work and Bumblebee chimed in with her two cents' worth: "You know," she said in a very serious, grown up voice, "It would be much easier if you put the legs on the table first." She's got her own way of doing it too, and she's only three. Yeah, I think we've spawned a mini control freak.

1 comment:

Mom In Scrubs said...

This post could be the story of my marriage, right down to the opinionated 3-year-old. JeepMan is the deliberate freakazoid, and I am the efficient multi-tasker. Lulu will hopefully land somewhere in the middle, but the control-freak gene is definitely dominant in her...
Good luck!!