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Published: Saturday, 2/23/2002

Renovation temptation plays a role

Phew, that was close. They almost got me.

“Hey,” I suggested to my beloved earlier this week, “we should drop by the house-and-home show at the SeaGate Convention Centre this weekend. We could probably pick up a few ideas there.”

The man with whom I have long shared residential square footage shot me the look he gives whenever he fears (appropriately so) my good home-improvement intentions.

“Picking up `a few ideas,'” he said gently, “is probably not in our best interest.”

Experience tells me to respect his take on this, because ours is a long and successful marriage that has gone through much.

It has endured interior and exterior painting, wallpapering, a kitchen renovation, replacement windows, major stucco and plaster repairs, a new heating system, deck construction, extensive landscaping, application of a rubber roof, and the refinishing of hardwood floors.

Up next (deep breath): remodeling the bathrooms.

Well, what can I say?

We just prefer older houses, which is of course another way of saying we like spending w-a-a-a-y too much money on renovation.

In fact, we are the very people who provide the home-improvement industry with its raison d'etre - and that's why they almost got me this weekend.

Hey, c'mon. It's February.

The annual resolution of self-improvement has pretty much run its course and petered out by now. It started eight weeks ago like this:

Note to Self - On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, run two miles. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, lift weights for 45 minutes. On Sundays, take the day off.


You can imagine how long that lasted. Within two weeks, Note To Self looked more like this:

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, try to find time to run a mile. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, try to find time to lift weights for 20 minutes. On Sundays, take the day off.

Another two weeks, another revised Note to Self, which then ended up looking more like this:

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, try to walk to the mailbox immediately outside the front door. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, pick up the big, heavy piles of stuff around the house. On Sundays, take the day off.

This sterling example of diminished expectations lasted another week or so before it, too, fell subject to reconsideration, ending up as something like this:

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, make a point of getting out of bed sometime during a 24-hour period. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, do bicep curls using the TV remote control. On Sundays, take the day off.

Oh, yeah ...

Let there be no doubt: By the time the Home Builders Association's home show rolls around in late February, I am absolutely primed to forgo self-improvement and replace it instead with home-improvement.

When it's a choice between getting myself heart-healthy and buff, or blowing up the house with dynamite and starting over again, it's no contest picking the easier option.

Bring on the dynamite.


Roberta de Boer's column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays,

and Saturdays. Email her at roberta@theblade.com or call 1-419-724-6086.

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