Suffering like normal people

by Joel Sherwood


Something is clearly wrong with us. We're probably the only 30-something apartment owners left in Stockholm who haven't renovated a bathroom. Not long ago we finally recognized what bad people we were. We decided it was time to turn the place we go to do stuff we don't want others to see into a pristine, tiled, water-tight sanctuary so nice we'd immediately call a real estate agent to see how much we could sell it and the rest of the apartment for. 

Blue tile

We made an appointment with a contractor to discuss our grand plans and gauge prices. They showed up and even emailed us after with an offer that seemed fair if you didn't think about the details too much. Looking not to get duped, we booked a meeting with another contractor to get a second opinion. When that contractor had problems remembering to A) show up, and then B) send us an offer of any kind, we decided the first contractor was obviously the best and most reliable in the world. We signed, agreed on a start date and then (on their urging) booked a trip to be as far away as possible when the loud and dusty work takes place. We were happy to finally get to suffer through a bathroom renovation project like the other normal people we know.

Yesterday we learned that the starting date no longer works for the firm. They can only carry out the job if they begin a few weeks earlier. Meanwhile our trip tickets are non-refundable nor re-bookable. We need to either say OK and find more time and more places to go away to, to try to find a completely new time to carry out the month-long ordeal, or playhard ball and say sorry Charlie we can't budge on dates. 

But the real dilemma to me: what in the world are we doing renovating our completely OK bathroom? Did I fail to mention that there's nothing really wrong with the room? It's maybe not pristine. There are at times random whaffs of mildew-like aromas. It's blue-on-blue-on-blue color scheme is maybe a bit too much of a good thing. Etc. So it has its issues.

We're talking about a perfectly functioning bathroom here though. Or to be more specific, a massive, $30 thousand dollar project that will takes weeks worth of planning and discussion and will de-home the entire family for a month to in the end produce a...perfectly functioning bathroom like the one we have.

In general, I think the young 20s Joel Sherwood looking at the current late 30s Joel Sherwood would be somewhat pleased with what he saw. I think he'd see a person who has stayed true to who he is and kept priorities somewhat straight. But I think he'd say, dude - what's up with this bathroom thing? There's nothing wrong with your bathroom.