Tuesday, August 28, 2012

There Were Bells on the Hill, But I Never Heard Them Ringing

Do you know how difficult it is to find a doorbell button?

I do!

It's practically impossible.  No exaggeration.

I thought a quick trip to Home Depot would get me exactly what I needed, but boy was I wrong!

Here's the deal.  We're refinishing our front porch.  We're getting closer to a finished product, so to keep me positive about the whole thing, I have started having mental visions about what the front of our house will look like.  I'm excited about having found the "perfect" mailbox to hang next to our door - it actually works with our colors, and is in the same metal family as our door knobs.  So last weekend, we were working, and I needed to run out to get lunch, and Greg asked if I would mind picking up a doorbell button since our existing one is basically garbage - it probably cost the previous owner less than $1 for the ugly plastic button which wasn't even really attached to the door frame.  So, I agreed, thinking to myself that it will be fun to find a doorbell button that looks good and will get us one step closer to an appealing front entrance.

I had no idea that the choices were so limited...or that they would be so far off from our style that I'm not so sure that getting rid of the plastic P.O.C. that we have on there now is a great idea.


Our house is a very light yellow.  Our front door has a glass insert that has gold trim on it (which I don't love, but I am not going to buy a new door just because of the glass.  So, to match the glass stuff, we bought doorknobs that are antique brass so they would compliment the glass in the door.  No biggie.  Then, we found a mailbox - at Home Depot - that is antique brass and dark brown.  Again, no biggie.  Now, if we want an antique brass doorbell button we either need to use an ugly, flower-y, gaudy one or we need to go with polished brass (aka gold) which I am vehemently against.  It seems if our hardware was brushed nickel we'd have so many more options!  But, alas, we do not.

So, I gave up on Home Depot and reasoned that online stores should have some better options.  Well, they do, technically, but to get an antique brass button, it seems I have to also want something kitschy.  Like a dragonfly.  NO JOKE!!  They have dragonfly shaped doorbell buttons.  And frog shaped ones.  And ones that are supposed to be lady bugs but really look like dilapidated mushrooms.

I'm not complicated, I'd really like a rectangular, not overly large, simple, antique brass button with a lighted center.  These two are the closest I've gotten:

Heath Zenith 925 Wired Door Chime Push Button, Antique Brass with Lighted CenterZoomed: Utilitech Antique Brass Doorbell Push Button

Kind of simple.  But not really rectangular.  And if I'm being honest - they're kind of floofy.  Yes, floofy.  That's a word.  Look it up.

And don't even get me started on finding Antique Brass house numbers.  That's been even more difficult.  It's not like I've even found options for those in stores or online.  It seems they simply don't exist.


I might give up.  And not have everything match.  Or, worse, keep the same crap we have up there now - I mean, what the hell, right?  Life's too short and all that jazz?

Except I think that giving up might kill me.  Literally.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Love Dare, Days 1 - 5

So, my Mom recently gave me a bunch of books to read, consisting mostly of Clive Cussler adventure novels.  Snuck (yes, in my mind, that's a word) into the mix of gratuitous fiction was a book entitled "The Love Dare."  When Mom dropped the stack of books off, she mentioned "The Love Dare" to me, saying that she had received it not too long ago from one of my cousins, who was hoping that maybe my parent's relationship could be salvaged.  Alas, it could not, and my Mom never actually used the book (at that point I think she already knew they were headed toward splitsville). Anyway, apparently the book is featured in some movie starring Kirk Cameron (aka Mike Seaver), and, like most things my Mom brings to me as a specialty item, the book and the movie are actually faith based in Christianity.  The premise of the book is to take 40 days to challenge yourself to small daily dares that will increase your awareness of and love for your spouse.  Each day's challenge is prefaced by a short summary of the day's theme (replete with biblical quotes) that will be carried out in the dare.

Like everything related to Christian faith, I was a bit skeptical to delve into the book, because, well, the truth is, I'm still trying to figure out where I stand related to religion and faith.  On top of that, Greg was raised Jewish and I was raised Catholic, and although neither of us identify fully with either religion, sometimes discussions related to faith get jumbled between us because our backgrounds are so different.  On top of that, our marriage is pretty awesome.  I'm not saying we're perfect, but we don't fight often, we work well together on most days, and we are pretty decent with communicating with one another.  Of course, there's always room for improvement, so, figuring it couldn't hurt to bring it up, I asked Greg what he thought about taking the "Love Dare" with me.  Surprisingly (or really not surprising at all since he is so good natured that he basically always goes along with anything I want to do, including going for ice cream at 10:00 PM on a Tuesday night), Greg agreed to give the dare a try.  He, like me, was also a bit skeptical about the amount of references to the bible and God, but we agreed that we would both keep an open mind about it, and not focus as much on the God stuff, but more on the things that we would be doing to make ourselves more aware of each other.

So...here's how it works.  Every night, we agreed that we would read the pre-dare passages to one another (alternating days of course) and then read the dare, which we would carry out the following day.  We started  on Saturday night.

Dare #1 - Say nothing negative to your spouse all day.

Seems easy enough, right?  HA!!!!  It just so happened that we were working on our porch that day, and doing some pretty frustrating, tedious work.  On top of that, we had to be finished working, showered, dressed, and get gifts for our neighbor's 3-year old twins' birthday party which was starting at 3pm.  The slew of negative comments going through my brain (as we were trying to figure out how to cut and fasten column wraps onto our support columns) made me stop and take lots of deep breaths before saying anything on several occasions.

Dare #2 - Say nothing negative AND do something kind for your spouse.

UGH -- you mean we have to be positive two days in a row???  How about me being not negative is the kind thing I do??  Huh?  The day was kind of cool.  It was a Monday and I randomly bought steak and lobster for dinner as my kindness to Greg (who always whimpers a bit when I tell him, no we are at the fish counter for salmon, NOT for lobster!) and Greg did a ginormous amount of laundry solo -- soo kind of him! The negative part was difficult again, but being at work made it a bit easier.

Dare #3 - Say nothing negative AND buy a gift for your spouse to let them know you're thinking of them

Seriously?  Is every day going to be like this?  At least it's another work day.  Greg got me an awesome green re-useable coffee mug and gift card from starbucks, and I bought him a sweet knife that has little holes in it to prevent stuff from sticking to it while chopping and a novelty book called "Thanks for Being You" or something like that.  Very cute book!  This day was not so difficult, in fact, I kind of liked it since presents were involved :)

Dare #4 - Call your spouse during the work day to see how they are and ask if you can do anything for them.

This was kind of a weird day because on a normal day, Greg and I communicate regularly.  More so via e-mail than phone, but we're usually planning what we need to do that night, what groceries we need at home, etc.  Greg did actually call me, but I was in the middle of a meeting and couldn't talk - and I totally bombed on this day and didn't call him at all.  We chose to call it a good day, though, since we think we do pretty well with checking in.  Go Us!

Dare #5 - Ask your spouse to list 3 things that irritate them about you.  Listen to their complaints without judgement.

SOOOO...Day 5 (Thursday) turned into a disaster.  One which I will tell you about another day.  But, we never got around to talking about being irritated on Thursday.  And we were both going away from home separately for our cousins bachelor/bachelorette parties, so we tabled our discussion to Sunday.

Sunday night, we discussed, and I learned that Greg hates that I leave stuff all over the house, which was surprising to me.  We talked about some other irritating habits, and I'm guessing these things will come up at some point later with dares.

We're now on Day #6, and I don't fully understand what we have to do today, so I'll hopefully have some info another day.  Stay tuned.