Friday, May 5, 2006

Gloomy Thoughts

We are out here on tour, spending most of what limited free time we have visiting kitchen and bathroom showrooms and Lowes and Home Depots all over the country.  Doug kept saying how we would have such a nice time planning our house and doing it OUR way, but we aren't really doing that at all.  It's just not possible and I tried to tell him that last summer.

I'm still not convinced we are doing the right thing, tearing down our 130 year old house that we've lived in for almost 25 years.  The insurance company had said they would restore it which means it would end up in far better condition than it was before the fire.  I don't need a fancy house - getting our current house brought up to brand-new condition would be like a dream come true for me.  But apparently I'm wrong, so off we go on this exciting new adventure.  At least I'm not going to have to do any of the work other than planning it and probably painting it.  I don't mind that.

But I have this awful sense of foreboding - that all of the planning with the design-build firm is just for show, to impress the people on the bus or something, and that Doug is ultimately not going to be able to let someone else do the work.  It seems like he is trying to make everything unnecessarily complicated.

I don't want to do any more work on the house.  I don't, I don't, I don't!   I know I'm going to end up helping Doug with some of the stuff he has signed on to do to in order to save money.  Why can't we have a more modest house instead?  The things I want are not ridiculous - they are mostly practical and designed to make the house easier to live in when we are old.

I'm not lazy - I painted the outside of our house by myself the summer before last.  I kept thinking that needed to be my last big home improvement project.  I hate to pull the woman card, but at what age do women typically stop being housepainters?  I'm sure there's a reason for whatever age that might be, the same way you don't see very many 50 year old carpenters.  SHEESH!

I sort of told our producer to leave us alone today which was not a very good thing to do.  We were looking at the blueprints because we have a big important conference call with the builder coming up that we MUST be ready for and he kept needing to ask Doug unnecessary questions about stuff that is happening two weeks from now that Doug has already finished planning for and has already briefed him on - several times.  I feel terrible about that - I'm not in the habit of snapping at people.

Doug has been extremely irritable as well, especially to me, since as his wife I should be more understanding about how frustrating it is for him to try to be all things to all people.  I completely understand that he is unable to say no to anyone except me because he has to keep his nice guy image going.  This tour manager gig has been extremely challenging for him because he is not naturally an organized person - at all.  Not one bit.

He's done an amazingly good job, but it's been extremely frustrating for him because so many people want to take advantage of him and his willingness to devote his time to their various self-serving needs.  It doesn't seem to occur to any of them that he might need a little time to do the other things that he needs to do.

The bus driver has made it her mission this year to make Doug's life as difficult as possible with all of her various complaints and arguments.  She constantly shirks her responsibilities and those of her bus company if she can get Doug to do the work for her.  She seems to crave his attention and does all kinds of manipulative things to get it.  At the end of each day she spends 30-40 minutes chewing Doug out about the hotel parking, or whining about the rude hotel clerk who disrespected her (probably because she's bossy and has bad grammar), or complaining about the producer or one of the actresses.  No wonder he comes back to the room in such a bad mood after I've been patiently waiting for 30-40 minutes for our "quality time" to start.  I understand completely what he's putting himself through.  I guess that makes it my fault because I was so easy going in my efforts to convince him that this tour was far less fun for both of us when he decided that he wanted to be the big important tour manager.

There's another guy on the tour who I know really wanted to be tour manager and he's insanely jealous that Bud for some reason or other chose Doug.  I guess since it wouldn't look good to go after Doug directly since Doug can apparently do no wrong in Bud's eyes, he's been acting kind of creepy to me this year instead.  It's completely out of the blue and has been very disconcerting because I'd actually been in favor of the idea of him being tour manager instead of Doug.  Couldn't he tell that?  I guess not.  There's a certain irony in me having to stick up for Doug's performance as tour manager to this guy.  Life is so weird sometimes, and not always in a good way.

This certainly has turned into quite a rant.  Well I have to do SOMETHING during the time that I'm not spending working on the house with Doug.  Hopefully we'll have some time tonight after the bus driver finishes HER nightly rant with him.  At least I'm not wasting anyone's time.

My biggest fear, before I got distracted by all of these other thoughts, is that the design/build company is going to start not wanting to deal with us and that they'll drop us and we'll be back to square one.  I don't know why I think this except that Doug keeps thinking he can add stuff and it won't cost more money.  They are going to have to wait for him to do his work before they can start and he is terrible at predicting how long something will take.  Unfortunately he is good at convincing people that something will take less time than it actually does.  I am worried about the consequences of everything - everything that I've mentioned.

Hopefully thoughts of our upcoming days in beautiful Hawaii and our trip to England and Scotland will distract me from all of this, but we still have to get this house stuff squared away.  There's absolutely no getting around that.