Writing at the House ...

We are presently blessed with power and some furniture, making it possible to write in relative comfort while also being able to oversee the finishing touches to the house. The kitchen counter top has been a major stumbling block as well as some of the bathroom and kitchen plumbing. I’m not an expert so usually rely on the word of the contractor or subcontractor about their ability to do something. Sometimes it becomes quite clear, after the fact, that they have done it wrong.

It is not all that difficult to look at something and see how it is supposed to work based on the design. The problem is, that it does appear to be difficult for the workers sometimes and by the time I catch it things have probably gone too far. Then the question is how significant is the mistake and what can be done about it, if anything. Sometimes you have to rip it out and do it again, as with the kitchen counter. That entails reordering materials and waiting for delivery while delaying all other work that depends on that being done first. Other things you just do the best you can and live with the results.

While everyone else is sitting around pointing fingers of blame or making excuses I trying desperately to get people thinking about what can be done and how to fix it. We all have our little pet peeves and the blame game is one of mine. People waist valuable time going into the minutia of who did what and who said what to whom and how nothing is their fault because someone else did this or that. Alternatively they simply tell you what can’t be done with no interest in exploring the alternatives. I just want them to shut up and deal with the here and now. After you have fixed the problem, you can take all the time you want figuring out what went wrong and how to avoid the same mistake in the future.

I’m beginning to compare the house to a beautiful woman, who may not possess a single remarkable or perfect feature, but while beholding the entirety of her being, you cannot help but be struck by her presence and beauty. My wife worries, this thing or that thing, isn’t quite perfect. I figure no amount of worry will change it and prefer to look at the bigger, overall picture. In the eye of this beholder, that picture is indeed worthy of a long lingering gaze.

We put on a small party for the workers in conjunction with the contractor and his wife. There were various outside contractors and workers on the job that day as well who were able to partake of the food and drink after they finished their respective tasks. The curtain lady brought her little boy, who attempted to walk or climb on everything in the house.

Watching him try his best to destroy all that lay before him, brought nightmares to mind of the traditional Thai housewarming party. If one little boy and twenty or thirty drunk workers could do this much damage, then what in the world would happen to our beautiful home with a few hundred drunk villagers and all their children and dogs? The thought of all the subsequent repairs that will be needed in the aftermath, as well as all the expense and preparation beforehand, makes me desperate to find a way out of this obligation to throw a party.

I have suggested that my wife could explain, that her husband’s custom is to wait three years before such celebrations. My tone was that of jest but in my heart I was deadly serious. Why would anyone, in their right mind, open up their immaculate home to the marauding hordes to trample and destroy? Anything clean or pretty seems to present an irresistible challenge to break or soil and make it look like something familiar.

Perhaps I could resort to the Thai technique of saying that the party will happen soon (a blatant lie) and then continue postponing it until people get bored and move on to something else. In the process, I would be avoiding any direct confrontation. If it works for them, maybe just maybe it could work for me too.