decorating / homefront · it's all about me

Paving like a couple of bosses (or Venus and Mars tackle the yardwork)

Being fifty-something means I’m always looking for learning opportunities. Always.

Mr P and I have been married for thirty-something years and I’m still learning about what we have in common. And what we don’t.

Last weekend we shared a repaving project to even up the pavers in the alcove between our front gate and newly-laid footpath, which the council levelled about two inches above its previous height. (The retired barrister in our family had pointed out the tripping hazard and our liability should a visitor or passerby fall victim to our dangerous alcove.)

This is just the sort of project that highlights our differences. Again, I’ve confirmed that any shared project that ends without us having killed one another or headed off to the divorce lawyers is a successful one. In the spirit of my earlier post about Venus and Mars going property hunting, here are some of my observations on our paving venture.

Paving image by Mooganic on www.flickr.com
Paving image by Mooganic on http://www.flickr.com

Mr P may have not have been a boy scout but he sure is a prepper. He insists on having every tool we could possibly need on site before we start (to avoid unnecessary trips to the shed).

Even though I was a Brownie in my formative years, I prefer to grab only the first tool I need and then source them individually, as needed and as we make progress (to avoid unnecessary trips to the shed).

Tools image by Ontario Wanderer on www.flickr.com
Tools image by Ontario Wanderer on http://www.flickr.com

Mr P is process-oriented. Before we begin, he prefers to plan out the entire process chronologically (yes, he ALWAYS reads ALL the instructions before using anything new, too), from removing existing pavers to finally sweeping a balanced mixed of cement dust and sand into the cracks once we’re done.

I am more concerned with results, so I work the process backwards in my head (beginning with the end in mind). No, I NEVER read the full instructions before I switch on a new appliance. I believe they include “the least you need to know” and “getting started fast” instructions for people just like myself.

Mr P is a company man: “If we work hard, we could get this finished by 5.30.”

I’m a union gal: “Let’s stop for a cuppa after this row. I’ll work much better after a break.”

Mr P is super-good at communicating what he needs in terms of materials, tools or support (not).

I am ultra-intuitive about just “knowing” what Mr P needs without him having to tell me (not).

Mr P is a hands-on bloke (with mechanical training). If it doesn’t fit, he’ll make it fit. When the last paver in a row doesn’t quite slip into place, he takes to it with a hammer and chisel, and makes it fit.

I see paving as a giant jigsaw puzzle … all those slightly different pieces came out of there so they’ll all go back in. Somehow. I embrace their nuances and tiny variations. When the last paver in the row doesn’t quite fit, I try another paver, or another one, or another one … until it does fit (just like doing the jigsaw’s tricky sky bit).

jigsaw image by Squirmelia on www.flickr.com
jigsaw image by Squirmelia on http://www.flickr.com

Mr P is safety conscious. He starts the afternoon in steel-capped boots, safety goggles, leather gloves, high-visibility vest and an awesome tradie butt crack display.

I’m more fashion conscious (we’re working on a busy public street afterall). It’s not until half-way through, and after several near misses, that I change out my Birkenstocks and manicured nails for heavy shoes and protective gloves. Not one centimetre of my butt crack sees the light of day, but I do finish up with a nasty sunburnt neck.

Mr P is a lone achiever. Once our project is done, he surveys the work and declares: “Paving like a boss.”

In contrast, I do a happy dance, high-five him enthusiastically and declare: “Paving like a couple of bosses. I’ll put the kettle on.”

Vintage Kettle image by sbluerock on www.flickr.com
Vintage Kettle image by sbluerock on http://www.flickr.com
Advertisements

17 thoughts on “Paving like a couple of bosses (or Venus and Mars tackle the yardwork)

    1. Balance is a great word for it, Karen. Your husband is a wise soul. Next time someone asks me for relationship advice (people assume because I’ve had a lengthy marriage I’m good at relationships … hah!) I shall look wistfully skywards then meaningfully into their eyes and say, “It’s all about balance”. 🙂

  1. What a sweeeeeet tribute to your marital compatibility. I love the disparate ways you go about a project–so similar to H2 and I.

  2. “Mr P is super-good at communicating what he needs in terms of materials, tools or support (not).

    I am ultra-intuitive about just “knowing” what Mr P needs without him having to tell me (not).”

    My favorite lines. Just curious, when did you see the the hubs and I working on a project? 🙂

  3. At our house, with ever project, there must be crying. But my husband doesn’t like me to tell people about his crying, so I won’t.

    I’m sure your pavers came out beautifully. So glad to “meet” you. Welcome to GenFab!

  4. In the end it really is about sharing that cup of tea! That brings you back to the same page. Very funny read. Thanks and Happy Holidays to you and Mr. P in the land of Oz.

    1. Thanks, Pam … I have been following (and loving) your adventures for a while now. Lovely to catch up with you via Gen Fab and look forward to more of the same. And yes, that shared cup of tea is so often the clincher! 🙂

  5. Projects that involve working together are few and far between in this household. I totally identify with the Venus/Mars thing. I am patient and near perfectionism and Roomy is get it done and this whole job sucks type. It does make for fireworks OR extreme quiet.

    Welcome to Gen Fab…wonderful group of wonderful writers and people!

    1. Thanks, Jo … I’m enjoying the warm welcome from the Gen Fab community. Truly enjoying all the love today! Thanks for reading and commenting. Fireworks and extreme quiet are good things … sparks to keep it all alive and silences to ponder and reflect, without the “colour and movement” it’s all just beige. I’m sure Roomy is a sweetie. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s