Kitchen Renovations: The 4th Leading Cause of Divorce

It’s Day 43 of our great kitchen nightmare, I mean renovation project. And, we’re pretty much where we were on Day 7. Ah, Day 7! We were chock full of hope and wide-eyed optimism (and naiveté) that this would all be done in a month.

Here’s an update: Our contractors destroyed, I mean cleaned out our kitchen, removing everything. And I mean everything. This is how you start a kitchen renovation project. Lots of smashing. The frig is in the living room, and plugged in. The stove/oven is in the dining room and isn’t plugged in. We have no kitchen sink.

And, when the contractors smashed up and removed everything, including a bunch of dry wall, they started discovering structural, plumbing and electrical problems. Big ones. Expensive ones. It would be a fascinating episode on one of those HGTV shows if this was an HGTV show and not my actual life. It’s always better when stuff like this happens to someone else! Sorry someone else.kitchen1

So, delay No. 1: Getting a permit. It’s a really complicated and expensive process. I’m going to stop using the word expensive, as it’s redundant, and every time I write it, a little piece of me (and our bank account) dies.

Delay No. 2: Getting a plumber. We’re still in the midst of this one, but he’s supposed to start removing and replacing all the plumbing in our entire house – the entire house, not just the kitchen – a week from tomorrow (knock on wood). Turns out the previous owner didn’t get permits for his renovation. Or do it to code. Which is probably why he didn’t get a permit.

Not sure when the electrician gets here to do his thing, but he can’t start until the plumber starts and/or finishes. And our contractors can’t do their thing until the plumber and electrician finish doing their things. A lot of things seem to depend on other things in a renovation project. And when one thing goes bad … the entire timeline is rubbish.

It’s been even harder on our cats, Louie and Penny, than it’s been on Susan and me. We’ve had to move their bowls/eating area from the kitchen and their litter boxes from the basement (which you get to through the kitchen) to the upstairs bathroom initially, and now, into the attic … in anticipation of the plumber’s much-heralded arrival and work in the kitchen, basement and upstairs bathroom. Poor Louie, he can’t seem to remember where to go to eat … or poop. He’s old and confused and spends most of the day yelling at us. And sleeping. Penny is handling it a lot better than Louie.

Susan is handling it a lot better than me. She’s become quite adept at doing dishes in the bathroom sink and has amazing patience with Louie. And with me. Kitchen renovations projects are the fourth leading cause of divorce in this country. Now I know why!

I’ve become quite adept at fashioning meals from supermarkets. And, by adept, I mean I ran out of new ideas on Day 27 and now it’s the same few things over and over again.

For breakfast we have a yogurt with stuff in it, either fruit or granola. Both on Sundays!

For lunch, we have more yogurt with stuff. Or a PBJ. I’ve learned that it’s really hard to get to the peanut butter on the bottom of the jar with a plastic knife. Three out of four times the knife snaps in two.

For dinner, my go-to is Whole Foods, and their prepared foods/salads, which are somewhat reasonable (for Whole Foods) at $9.99 a pound. Our favorites are the Mediterranean chicken and the lentils with mushrooms. Then again, I’m sick of Mediterranean chicken and the lentils with mushrooms at this point. One more lentil and I may lose it.

OK, time to stop whining.

“It will all be worth it when we have our beautiful new kitchen,” Susan keeps promising me. At this point, this is the only thing keeping Louie and me from a total meltdown. I wonder which one of us will crack first?

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