‘Oops’ is a four-letter word

My sweatshirt’s got it all wrong.

Emblazoned across the front, in bright gold letters, it says, “STRESS: what happens when your gut says no and your mouth says ‘Of course, I’d be glad to.’”

That may be the cause of most stress, certainly the cause of much of mine in the past, but I’ve found a new source: home remodeling.

We’re only having some changes made in our bathroom.

Via Bing Images

Via Bing Images

The tub is gone, the washer and dryer are going in, new lines had to be run, and three guys were huddled together at the far end of the house, arguing over what could and couldn’t be done. They were worried about logistics. I was worried about holes in my walls where there weren’t holes before.

There’s no way I can watch the process. I took myself off to the other end of the house, but it wasn’t far enough to avoid hearing the mysterious and terrifying sounds of construction–drilling, pounding, crunching, crumbling.

Worse are the running commentaries. For people like me, duct tape across the mouth should be mandatory for those doing the work. Nothing sends me to my knees in prayer faster than hearing things like this:

“Oh, great.”


“I was afraid of that.”


“I didn’t expect that.”

“I should have known.”

“Now what?”

“We can fix it.”

Eventually today the talk turned to hunting, and grandkids, and somebody’s music band. That must be a good sign, I thought. Please let it be a good sign.

Finally, finally, I overheard the one phrase I’d been waiting for.

“We’re done.”

They picked up their tools and headed out the door, and the contractor announced that all the lines were in and they were finished for the day.

Best of all, the house is still standing, and I don’t see daylight through any of the walls. They knew what they were doing. What a relief.

Stress levels now going down.


About Monica Sawyn

I'm a retired newspaper reporter/columnist, and although I still freelance, I miss the weekly column I used to write. I still "see columns" in everyday life and need a place to put them after they're written--thus, this blog. I'm Catholic, have been a Benedictine oblate since 1977, and live with my husband and our beagle in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. When I'm not writing, I'm probably reading, sewing, taking photos or walking the dog.
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4 Responses to ‘Oops’ is a four-letter word

  1. blb1 says:

    I hear that. We just finished with daughter’s bathroom and paid the guys yesterday. Sometimes having friends do the work leaves room for more discussion come the end.

    • Monica Sawyn says:

      That’s probably true. But we’re fairly new here, and don’t know people with these kinds of skills. Besides that, I think sometimes contractors have better connections with suppliers, and know more of the codes and requirements. I’ll just be glad when it’s all done!

  2. Clif Martin says:

    Maybe it’s a guy thing … I watch the professionals do that stuff with fascination and admiration. How do they know where those pipes and wires and holes in the wall go. Is George interested?

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