Sunday, January 31, 2010

Home improvement arms race

The men are at it today, at their periodic competition. I doubt that they recognize it as such. I have noticed that when one of them works on a home improvement project, the other one will all of a sudden start a home improvement project, too. It's like a crazy suburban man-ritual.

The Man is putting in a new vanity in his bathroom. Yesterday, the man across the driveway from us came over to look at the new vanity as it sat on the deck awaiting installation. The Man was discussing with him how he planned to carry out this project and the struggles he was having with it. The two of them consulted for quite some time. Today the other man across the way fired up some god-awful woodworking tool that made an unholy racket audible for miles around. Now he's got a project of his own.

I sometimes wonder if whenever The Man starts a home improvement project if the other man across the way, whose house floor-plan is just like ours, starts thinking that our house is improving in some way to become better than his, and therefore he figures he ought to get to some put-off project of his own lest his house lose value somehow, along with his manliness. It is like some kind of home improvement/manly-man arms race. We have never let him come inside, as far as I know. That is because our house on the inside is truly shameful. We don't want anyone to see the disgrace that is our hovel, our sty.

So the improvement war among them escalates with every new project, but we over here already know that they over there have long ago won the contest. So in a way, it's sort of tragically funny. At least from my womanly point of view.

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