Years ago, when hubby and I were all excited about taking our almost 200 year old house and turning it into the showplace of the county, this thing I’m about to relate – happened. I still remember it with chagrin, but at the time I felt quite superior to – ahem – said hubby. I had a will and a friend who was a better all round handy person than anyone I ever knew. As a result, when she told me how to do this, I went in with a vengeance. Ready?
My husband had installed our new vinyl bathroom floor (see photo) and it looked great except for a couple of places where the lines in the pattern didn’t quite match up. If he had listened to me they would have. If only. My friend, Pam, had given me precise instructions for cutting patterned vinyl by overlapping two pieces slightly and using a utility knife to cut through both pieces making for an exact line match. I decided to show the man up and followed Pam’s instructions for the piece going down on the closet floor.
I hummed along. I went down on my knees. I had a sharp knife and, at the time, strong hands and an even stronger sense of righteousness. Okay, that sounds a little bit like I’m about to murder the floor, but you know what I mean. When we’re on the verge of showing someone up there’s a heightened sense of “I’ll show you!” and we can’t wait to do the deed. I lined up those two pieces, held them flat with a heavy wooden level, and with a few deft strokes of my utility knife had my two pieces cut. It was ridiculously easy.
I pulled the pieces apart, stood up and gazed at perfection – kind of an Olympic downhill ski champion moment. Ya know? That is, until I went to lay the pieces down. My moment of glory swiftly faded when I realized I’d completely neglected to consider the small fleur de lei in alternate corners of the squares. When I pulled the pieces apart the lines were perfect but the fleurs were exactly one square off. I now had a half a fleur in every corner. Gaaa! I’d covered them up when I overlapped the pieces. Curse those fandangle, floozy, fleurs! (Channeling Yosemite Sam). I stood and stared at my careless blunder.
The tough, really tough, part was – that was the last of the vinyl. There would be no throwing away or hiding this mistake. I flailed around the room unable to come to grips with my own dunderheaded – ness. And if that wasn’t bad enough, I knew I had to confess.
After huffing and puffing for about a half an hour, I went all hang dog to the man and told him what I’d done. And take a wild guess what he said.
“I know just how you feel.”
So just pile it on. Rage or laughter would have been better. But empathy? Ugh.
Every once in a while God grabs a hank of your hair, brings you nose to nose, and says, “What WERE you thinking?”
And every once in a while, you listen. So now I don’t do floors anymore, just windows. But if you can think of a way for me to screw those up, I’d be happy to stop doing those, too.
Anybody? Just give a shout.