Why the Granfields should never renovate

Shabby Chic Table

A good workman never blames his car

It was one of the key pieces of marriage advice they’d received from Bec’s Dad after saying he didn’t want to give them advice – “Don’t renovate.” They didn’t, but they did buy, fix, and move some furniture, which was horrendous.

The day began with a visit to a series of smelly antique stores. Bec was polite and feigned interest on occasions where she’d she left her iPhone in the car, whereas Matt loved shopping for antiques. Nothing was suitable though, which pleased Bec, as she’d invented the game “Guess how many people have had sex on this couch/table/chair?”

After failing with antiques, they tried a second-hand store, which Bec was more comfortable with, as it meant fewer strands of human genome. Matt spotted a table and got excited – it was cheap and he could see the potential.

Matt was desperate for a project – they had a rainy long weekend ahead of them, and as he’d made a new year’s resolution not to drink before 5pm on any non-public holiday day, he needed something to occupy his time, or he’d have to talk about relationships with Bec. The table was purchased.

Matt and the store owner struggled with the table for 15 minutes, lifting it onto the roof, in the rain. Bec helped by staying in the car and playing on her iPhone.

The drive home in the wind and sideways rain saw the table slide along the roof, with Bec and Matt gritting their teeth hoping it wouldn’t fall.

Matt: So darling, when we get this home I’m going to need your help to get it off the roof before it gets any wetter.

Bec: Arrrgh. I HATE lifting stuff. It hurts, and it’s annoying, and you’re stronger than me and I’m not a removalist.

Matt: Darling it’ll take two minutes and it’s done. And you’ve always done a great job lifting the kayak and canoe off the roof.

Bec: Yes and that always works out well. I believe we have fought EVERY time whilst lifting.

Matt: If you help me, we can talk about your friend’s upcoming wedding for half an hour.

Bec: OK.

When they got home Bec helped lift the table off the car roof. They yelled at each other four times, then Matt disappeared into the shed for three days (as Bec would tell the story), only popping out to ask Bec if she thought if it was “sexual, me being all manly with the sander and everything?” Bec however was more focused on watching DVDs and moving far away from her wedding day weight.

On the second day, Matt announced that he had taken the legs off the table and would be driving his car over the top of the table to fix it. It had become somewhat swollen and buckled in all the rain and needed straightening. Bec informed Matt that he’d break the table and not to do that. Bec was in the shower though, so Matt ran up to the shed, got in the car, drove over the table and broke it.

For the next few hours Matt sulked about the broken table, and Bec ignored him. After some beers he was in better spirits and decided the crack added ‘character’ to the table, and repaired it as best he could. According to Matt he did such a great job “You’d never even notice the crack, unless you were specifically looking for it.”

It was then the time they’d been dreading – the carrying of the table from the shed to the dining room. Bec was in the midst of reading a heavy-hitting news.com.au article, so was annoyed for the interruption. When she arrived at the shed, the instructions were clear “You hold that end, I’ll walk backwards. Let’s get this over as quickly as possible.”

Bec couldn’t see anything ahead of her due to the length of the table, and Matt didn’t look behind, which resulted in missteps, stubbed toes, and scratched ankles. After seeing all of her toe bones exposed, Bec put the table down, yelling “I’m done with this! It’s stupid, you’re not telling me what’s in front, and I’ve zero skin left on my feet.” “Darling we’ve just got to get it up the stairs, and then it’s done. I’ll tell you what’s ahead of you.” “Fine.”

As they were climbing the never-ending stairs, Matt said “Just one more stair to go,” which Bec was appreciative for, except he meant for him. Bec knocked her ankle on a stair, slammed the table down, and refused to carry it.

Matt called his brother, he came over, and they carried the table the two metres from the deck to the dining room.

“That wasn’t so hard,” said Matt.

“Yes it was,” said Bec.

“We should so buy an old house to renovate,” Matt said. “It would be fun. I could sand it.”

“You spent three days in the shed, and all you have to show for it is a broken table,” Bec reminded him. “It would take us ten years to renovate a house because you’re so easily distracted. You haven’t even finished painting this table leg, I can see where you’ve kind of done around the outside a bit and then left it, probably to inspect an interesting looking ant. Are you planning on fixing it up, or are you just going to leave it?”

“Hey, look at that wine rack. It would look good in white. I’m going to paint the wine rack white,” said Matt.

And he did.


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