Tuesday, February 03, 2009

2/3/09 I am a rock...I am an....


No. Definitely not. Please don't even say "island" around me.

I think I will Officially Lose My Mind today. Tomorrow, latest.

Thanks to measuring a friend's altogether reasonable island in her kitchen, I flipped out when realizing my future island would be 95" long. I mean, I've always known it would be 95" long, it was designed to seat 3, after all. Sounds, and looks, reasonable....

...until you take a tape measure to a friend's altogether reasonable island, pull it to 95" and realize that 95" is altogether unreasonable. 95" is almost eight feet long!

This is no time to be making changes. Electrical, cabinets....numerous things have been planned around a 95" island. ANY change at this stage risks introducing new problems, and certainly new costs and delays.

Still, it panicked me. We've invested so much heart and soul (read: time and money): I have to love -- no, LOVE, LOVE!! -- this! What if I walk in the house for the first time, when it's a house and not a jobsite, and go "Hey, what's with that island? It's huge!" I'm not an eight-foot-island sort of person! Really, I'm low-maintenance, right?!

This isn't a measurement issue, it's an identity crisis. I'm not suited for this. I'm too compulsive, too detail-oriented, too indecisive. Remodels are made for people who have broad ranges of satisfaction, who can shrug their shoulders and say "eh, whatever" -- not chronic optimizers who wrangle about every last millimeter of usable space. This would be much easier if I were a designer-type: I'd simply follow what the designer said about the "look," and be confident. But few people can beat a design far past its natural death on functionality and agonize to achieve perfection as I can.

Work, for me, is a relief: in network engineering, tiny details, immaculate organization, specific interpretation of rules, complete determinism and utter objectivity are hero's tools. With computers, there are no opinions, only irrefutable facts. That's my element. This fuzzy "looks good" stuff continues to be foreign, to the point of toxicity, to me.

Alas, my ever-patient kitchen designer compromised by bringing the island down to 85" -- still over 7 feet, but not quite as overwhelming.

Design isn't my forte, as anyone reading half a blog post knows...so my "theme" for decorating the house simplifies that, I think: I like the idea of regional-appropriate decorations, as well as ones that have some special meaning to us.

So I was beside myself to find these barstools for the Island -- on sale! -- at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop.

(In case any readers are not aware, we live in Santa Clara County, home to a fertile valley with a long tradition, almost gone now, of agriculture.)

My only hesitation about getting different fruits on the barstools is the fights this will cause: with three children -- heck, even two -- conflicts over a particular stool are inevitable. Still, I have to wonder: which fruit would they fight over the most?

I'm looking forward to having that problem, because by then, the island will be cast in stone, and I won't be driving anyone too too crazy anymore. Except myself, but alas, that is my burden.

Please take a moment to appreciate the depth of my husband's patience and stamina.


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