Thursday, May 25, 2017

Bricked and mortified


"But I don't have a hold on what is real
Though we can only try
What is there to give or to believe."

We're between trips just now. Barely. We have Ryland's birthday weekend in Keller coming up and we just got back from Lake Charles.

Before that we spent five days in North Carolina.

What did we do? What didn't we do?

The house is framed and wired. Bricks were being applied all week. We met with the builder and made a few tweaks, added a couple more cans and data ports.


I really, really love the brick color. It reminds me of home.

We met with the landscape company and Neil sketched out his ideas about a kidney shaped island and raised garden beds.

We met with the closet designer and brainstormed how to create an illusion of separate closet space with a center island.

We tagged the granite slabs for our kitchen island and counters. Hmm, that's the second time I mentioned islands. Did I mention I was rewatching Lost?


We went back to the lighting company and chose a dining room chandelier. Only it turns out it may be too big for our space. I personally liked the smaller version of it just as much, one level of lamps versus two. So I think we are good there.

We met with two shutter companies. One uses all North American hardwoods. The other uses "Pollywood." I guess we'll see how the estimates compare.

We met some of our neighbors, three ladies with young kids, chatting in the park. I called them a hen party, which made Neil laugh.

We walked around the pond which is all wooded and nothing like walking around our pond here. At least the ducks are familiar.



We ate a lot of ice cream. Also soup, pizza, sushi, sandwiches and grilled chicken. We drank lots of lattes and mochas and strong coffee and ate scones and muffins.


We went to the bead store in Mooresville and I bought a few things.

We look a walk at Jetton Park on Lake Norman.


Always good to have a nuclear emergency plan in place.

We loved the airbnb we stayed at. We had an entire third floor suite. While it was not completely separated from the home, our hosts were friendly but respectful of our privacy.

In fact, it turned out we had a lot in common with them, a couple of about our age, with copathetic political views and a wealth of information about the area. I have leads on a housekeeper and cat sitter as well as an interior decorator.

We visited a furniture place about the size of three airline hangars. For jumbo jets. After that, I acquiesced to Neil's desire to use a decorator. I feel confident in my ability to arrange a room. What I don't have is the patience to scout out furniture pieces that suit my vision. I'd be thrilled to have a decorator just to help with sourcing.

Not that my vision is anything exceptional, nor do we need a massive amount of stuff. I want some simple, quality pieces at realistic prices. I'd like a round dining table, large enough to complement the space and to seat eight, maybe with a leaf. I want durable, cat-resistant sofas and armchairs. I want a couple of queen-sized guestroom beds and for the master bedroom, night stands (that could be small dressers) and twin larger dressers.

Those are the basics. I'm sure there will be more things that we'll find out we need. Neil thinks the stuff we are bringing will rattle around in the new house. I think we will fill it up pretty well. We'll see who'd right.

When we started out on the whole moving venture, I suspected - and warned Neil - that it would be stressful at times and that we might as well expect to be cross with each other at times. We had a couple of moments on this trip, although they weren't the sort I'd have predicted.

None of us sees ourselves as others see us. I see myself as kind and gracious and polite and respectful. Neil thinks I could be nicer to service people. I do try to be conscious of what I put out but sometimes what I think is appropriate makes Neil flinch.

I had a soft-serve ice cream in a sugar cone at Carolina Cones. Two days later I ordered the same thing and was told I couldn't have soft-serve in a sugar cone.

You're kidding right? I had one two days ago. Seriously? OK, what are my options? How about this. I'll have soft serve in a cup with a sugar cone on top.

I didn't think I was so bad, but I could tell Neil wasn't happy with me and that makes me doubt myself. I feel angry and confused because I'm not sure whether I'm truly a bad actor or if I'm being harshly judged.

And as sometimes happens, when you let down your defenses, all sorts of things spill over. Neil concedes that I have a special talent for having whatever I order in a restaurant come out wrong. For instance, bacon served on a sandwich when I asked for no bacon. Soup served room temperature. Cheese when I didn't want cheese. And no one seems to be able to get "eggs over medium" right.

However, while I might mention it to Neil, unless it is something like bacon (because I don't eat pork) I don't usually complain or send things back. But I'm going to have to stop mentioning it, in fact, from now on, unless something truly is inedible, it's going to be delicious, because I have to counteract the image Neil has of me as a complainer.

Relationships are so complicated, aren't they. I just want his good opinion so badly. I don't see myself as a complainer but if he does, then I might as well be one.

So this weekend we went to Cracker Barrel in Lake Charles and I ordered my eggs scrambled.

Extra points for me because I really don't like Cracker Barrel in the first place, but Laurie wanted to go and I didn't resist.

If it takes one "oh shit" to wipe out ten "attaboys" then I assume the reverse is true and I will have to be a martyr multiple times to reinvent my image in Neil's eyes.

And since his are the eyes that matter most, I will work at it.


By the shadows of the night I go
I move away from the crowded room
That sea of shallow faces masked in warm regret
They don't know how to feel
They don't know what is lost

Lost in the darkness of a land
Where all the hope that's offered is
Memories of being taken by the hand
And we are led into the sun
But I don't have a hold on what is real
Though we can only try
What is there to give or to believe

I want it all to go away
I want to be alone
Sympathy's wasted on my hollow shell
I feel there's nothing left to fight for
No reason for a cause
And I can't hear your voice
And I can't feel you near

I wanted a change
Knowing all I could do was try
I was looking for someone.


(Sarah McLachlan, Lost)