April 14, 2005

Stress Test

Last weekend, I finally got around to the distasteful task of putting sheetrock up in the porch, in one of my spring attempts at improving the resale potential for this little house of mine.

I'm not a carpenter. I don't even play one on TV. So, as I walked around Home Depot and looked at all the tools and materials required to adequately hang and finish sheetrock, I felt a little like I was about to perform open heart surgery on a patient after having briefly paged through Grey's Anatomy. I needed more information. To the Internet!!

Thank you, Lowe's!

Thus adequately armed with precious information, I went and purchased 14 sheets of drywall, a hand-held drill and enough drywall screws to likely cover the Sears Tower from top to bottom, with enough screws left over to cover. . . oh, I don't know, my porch. In other words, I have a lot of leftover screws.

After about 45 minutes of hanging sheetrock, I came to a thunderous conclusion, that being that you should never, ever, evernever, hang sheetrock with a girlfriend. Oh, the arguments we had! About nothing!

For example, when I explained to my girlfriend that power outlets and light switches had to be pulled out so that they were flush with the sheetrock, she disagreed. When I tried to point out that putting a faceplate over a square hole cut in sheetrock to cover an outlet buried half and inch back behind the sheetrock, she didn't seem to grasp my point. So, I told her to go inside the house, remove and faceplate of her choice, and report back to me.

"Okay, in this case, it appears you're right," she said meekly from inside the house, after having removed a faceplate of her choosing.

You know, I don't know if there are any sweeter words a man can hear than those spoken by his significant other indicating his rightness and her wrongness. It's just so. . . gratifying.

In my girlfriend's defense, she did do all the measurements for cutting the sheetrock, and she nailed the exact location of all the outlets and switches perfectly. She's a measuring machine. The tape measure is strong in that one. She is one with the tape measure.

But she can't drive screws to save her soul! Here I had purchased a handheld electric drill, with a screwdriver attachment, and she couldn't drive a screw straight into drywall for anything. It was like watching Tim Taylor trying to drive screws while suffering a seizure. I finally had to ask her to hand over the drill and to kindly go measure something.

Such was the weekend for the girlfriend and myself. Dusty, dirty sheetrock hanging, with about 800 small and meaningless disputes and bickerings thrown in for good measure.

The next chapter: mudding and taping. So, if you hear about a serious case of domestic squabbling coming out of Rochester next weekend, you'll know why.

Posted by Ryan at April 14, 2005 01:35 PM

"Okay, in this case, it appears you're right."

Wow. Even with the qualifier, that's pretty amazing.

Posted by: Steve Gigl at April 14, 2005 02:10 PM

Ah the joys of home ownership ...


Posted by: david at April 14, 2005 02:38 PM

Pretty trusting of her to put time into boosting your equity when you're not married, or even co-owners of the place.

Of course, now that I think about it, I once helped an ex-girlfriend's dad carry a fucking cast-iron bathtub up a flight of stairs in a house she bought after we broke up.

Posted by: Joshua at April 14, 2005 03:03 PM

Well, she is moving in the middle of next month, so it's in her interest to have another habitable room in the house so we can escape to separate corners when we get sick of being in such close quarters 24/7. Once I actually get enough money built up to tackle the basement and get that done, the house will have two habitable levels, which will be awesome from a domestic tranquility perspective.

Posted by: Ryan at April 14, 2005 03:13 PM

So, can you give us more details of what it feels like when your SO tells you that you're right? I've only been married for 17 years, so I have yet to experience this. Thanks.

Posted by: Derek at April 15, 2005 07:57 AM

Derek: Angels sing, the heavens open up, the sun shines, and the lottery admininstration notifies you that there was an error and that single quick-pick ticket you bought 10 years ago was a $300 mill winner.

Seriously ... My wife tells me things like that all the time ... but mainly because she's a blogger (moreso than me) wants me to install MT plug-in's & such for her.

Posted by: david at April 15, 2005 12:15 PM

LOL, this made my day. At my house, the roles are reversed, the hubby does the house stuff, cleaning cooking etc, and I do the building, painting, and gardening.
My stuff is so much more interesting, and he would rather watch tv, (he works at night and has to tape his shows) and fold clothes than be outside sweating his ass off doing yard work. Which I don't mind doing, and he leaves me alone when I build shit, (greenhouse, gazebo, porches, and 8x8 ft. bookcase in my bedroom for my tv, computer and fish tanks), unless I need him to come out and hold stuff in which case he comes out bitching the whole time so he can go back in the house. He also says he likes watching me struggle holding shit up and finds it very funny when I fall down (which I do alot). He can hang the shit out of curtain rods though!
If your girlfriend can measure well, you'd better keep that girl.....I have a hell of a time with that, but just remember, measure twice, cut once!

Posted by: Donna at April 16, 2005 07:40 AM
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