Barry Smith: Irrelativity
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
OK – the major house-renovation project is behind me, so now it’s time to concentrate on what I do best: showing people pictures of the major house-renovation project.
Oh, I took a few pictures along the way, yes I did. Dozens every day. And video. Shot lots of video as well. LOTS of video. Maybe that’s why it took as long as it did to finish this project, but the thought of doing all this work and not documenting it – well, not really an option for me.
Even as the project was coming to a close I already was making extensive mental plans for the “Making Of” video, slide show and self-guided audio tour (with souvenir photo booklet). I won’t always be home and available for the full tour when people show up, and I know that everyone who stops by will be eager to know every last detail of what it took to bring this house back to life.
But these “Making Of” projects take time. Heck, just the initial culling of the thousands of photos and hundreds of hours of video could take months. I’m excited for guests to come see our house, but I also kind of hope they wait till I’ve burned the DVDs.
So it was with mixed emotions – and no audiovisual backup – that I opened the door last week to greet our first official guest.
“Come in, come in,” I say, shutting the door behind them. “Brand-new door. Don’t know if you remember the old one, but this one is much more solid. It’s fir. Made locally. Got a really good price on it, too. Still haven’t gotten around to staining it yet. That might have to wait till spring. You know how these things go, ha ha.”
“Oh yeah … nice,” my guest replies.
Cool. This tour seems to be off to a great start even without the multimedia aspect.
“Well, OK, I guess we can start right here in the entryway. We ripped up all the old carpet, hoping there would be some pristine wood floors underneath, but they were pretty trashed, so we had to redo them. Everybody said that they were so far gone that we should replace them, but we decided to go for it. See, right here … uh, you kind of have to get on your knees to really see this part … there. See, you can tell here that we had to put in a few patches to cover … ”
Wait a minute. That look on my guest’s face. I know that look. That’s the look of someone who doesn’t give a crap.
I know that look because, well, I do that look. Or at least I used to, whenever anyone would try to tell me about renovating, remodeling or really anything related to their house, no matter how impressive it was.
“We added solar panels, and now we’re actually selling electricity back to the …”
Boring! Look, here’s all I want to know about your house – where’s the couch, do you have coffee, and what’s your Wi-Fi password?
This has all changed for me now, though. Now I’m genuinely interested in house-related projects, having been immersed in my own for most of last year. And I naturally assume that because I’m now interested, everyone must now be interested. Isn’t that how evolution works? The Hundredth Renovating Monkey and all that?
Well, based on the “Please-God-make-it-stop” look on my guest’s face, I guess not. Realizing that everyone doesn’t care about the same things you do is a sign of growth and maturity. So … time to grow up a bit, I suppose.
“Hey, sorry about that,” I say. “I can tell you aren’t as excited about all of this as I am. I just got a little carried away.”
“No problem,” he says. “Now, if you … ”
“But! You really do need to take a quick look at what we did in the attic. It’s not gonna look like much, but when I show you the pictures of what it looked like before, man, you won’t believe it! Let me grab my computer and pull up some of the old pictures so you can …”
“Actually,” my guest interrupts, “if you could just sign for this package, I should really get back to work.”
Next time: Barry tries to tell the FedEx guy about his cat.
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