Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Grout Lessons

Woo-hoo!  After months and months of work, our kitchen remodel is done!  We tore out a wall, installed hardwood floors in the entire main level, tore out and replaced all of the cabinets, and had new countertops and a new backsplash installed.  And that's just a summary -- there are so many other things that we did, I can't even list them all.  I'm so pleased with the way everything turned out!


Tony and I did most of the work ourselves.  We hired a few people for things we didn't feel qualified to do -- an electrician, a drywaller, an HVAC technician, and, because my due date was getting so close, a tile installation guy.  Today was the final step -- grouting the backsplash.  I had spoken to the tile man about the grout color that I wanted -- not white, I stressed. I wanted a gray or taupe to give the white subway tiles some dimension and visual interest.  He assured me that he would show me color samples before he started the grout work.

So, he came to our house to finish his work this morning.  I finished up breakfast with the kids, helped them get dressed, sat with them while they played and I worked on something for my church moms' group.  My former next-door neighbor stopped by and we chatted.  When I took her to see the finished kitchen, I noticed (you guessed it): the grout was halfway done, and it was white.

As soon as I had a moment, I went back to the kitchen.  "Um, I'm probably asking too late, but weren't you going to show me color samples before you started grouting?"  The poor guy's mouth practically dropped open.  He said that he could pull off all of the tile that had already been done and start over.  I wanted him to start over so badly.  I was so disappointed.  But, I could not make myself make him do that.  The white looked fine, it just wasn't exactly what I wanted.  So I said to keep going, that it would be fine.  I was even more disappointed when he didn't even apologize or offer a discount for his mistake.  And again, I couldn't make myself be confrontational.

At lunch with Tony, I moped and frowned.  Trying to change the subject, he asked what else I had done this morning, and that's when I had an attitude-changing realization.

When I look at the white grout, it will remind me to choose my children.
When I look at the white grout, it will remind me to serve my church and my God.
When I look at the white grout, it will remind me to take the time to chat with a dear friend.
When I look at the white grout, it will remind me that complaining about material possessions is a first world problem.

Can your backsplash do all of those things?  :)  I guess mine isn't so bad after all.

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