Being a homeowner for the past two and something years, I’ve learned quite a bit about home repair, and even more about myself.
We live in an older home. Construction was completed in 1937, and it is true what they say about old houses. They were built to last with sturdy materials, careful hands and an abundance of character. When a tree fell on a house up the street, the structure was razed, and during our walks, my dogs and I had the pleasure of watching a new one go up in less than a week. Foundation to shingles in less than a week. It took me the same amount of time to replace five tiles in our shower when I got tired of looking at the glue-stuffed hole the previous tenants left for us.
Which brings me to my point. I had no idea how to replace tile, and didn’t realize that fact until I was looking at the kitchen sink…from inside the shower (A full bath next to the kitchen? See: character). Throughout this particular project, I learned how to replace tile, drywall, corroded copper pipe fittings, shower fixtures, and most importantly, how to work a project once I’m in well over my head.
Once you’ve taken that first step, you handle the rest one at a time and never think twice about asking for help. Thanks to my patient wife, my folks, my uncle Joe, my father-in-law, and a good foot doctor, we have a patio, a tile floor in our bathroom, a porch swing and new plumbing under the kitchen sink. There are some other projects I could brag about, but I’m getting away from the purpose of this post.
While I have learned that I genuinely enjoy home repair (I can hear Kendall laughing as she reads that statement), there is one thing that I just cannot develop the skill or patience to handle effectively.
Curtains. I hate hanging curtains.
Kendall loves curtains, and when we first moved into this house, she really expressed her excitement through finding the perfect set for each room. This was done through a lot of trial and error. She would try new curtains, and I would make lots of errors in hanging the damn things.
For most homeowners, I’m sure it’s a snap, but I just can’t handle it. I don’t curse much, but when trying to hang the brackets for the rod holders… I just… and oh yeah, they don’t go in the window frame, they go in the wall… then I’ve got hang the things twice… they look crooked… and then the screws fall behind the couch… and the $#%! thing is bent and… GYAAAHRGH, I HATE IT!
But I love my wife very much, and if she wants curtains, I’m hanging curtains.
These past couple of weeks we’ve really been pulling William’s nursery together. Walls painted? Done. Giant low-hanging death fan? Replaced. Crib? Standing and secure in less than an hour. New curtains? Beg your pardon?
It’s for my son’s nursery I told myself. There’s no way they’ll get the better of me again. I’ve done this enough times, it will be fine. I got my tools together, put a plan in place and checked the battery for the drill. I took a couple of deep breaths, grabbed a bracket and headed up the step ladder.
Once all the holes were drilled, I hammered in a couple sinkers and mounted the first bracket. So far it couldn’t be easier. (I should mention that I’m reusing hardware and curtain rods that had been replaced during CurtainFest 2010.)
I grabbed bracket number two and wait, what’s this…
Note the two previous attempts in the window frame left from the previous owner. Yeah, that’s awesome.
The bracket I used to measure the holes is a different size than all three brackets I have left!! GAAHH!
Moving on. Does something about this next picture look a little off to you?
Other than the buildup of 75 years of painting and repainting.
No? How about this one?
“So that last hole looks like you had some trouble with hammering in the sinker,” you might say. Well, I did.
Not frustrating at all. I just starting using my head instead of the hammer.
I stopped taking pictures for a while after this, which is probably a good thing. I don’t remember much of the next few steps except flashes of red and words that should never be repeated. What I can tell you is that one set of curtains was noticeably lower than the other set. What I did to fix this issue really calmed me down enough to start taking pictures again. Behold.
There, I fixed it.
The one redeeming thing I’ve found about hanging these cursed things is that once you’re finished and all of the brackets have been bent to the appropriate angle (not standard procedure), the curtains and rods will hide ALL THE MISTAKES!
What, these things? They practically hang themselves.
So there you have it. The curtains are hung, and I have to say I was pleased with how they turned out. I’m really pleased that I didn’t break anything, including myself or my sanity.
Mostly I’m pleased to know that if Kendall wants a new set of curtains, they’re going up. Because no matter how much I despise this seemingly simple project, it’s not nearly as much as I enjoy making her happy.
And I really hate hanging &$#%ing curtains.