Each time I enter the house I steel myself, and my jaw locks in a mask of stoicism I don't feel. Every step of the way has been a test of nerves as the contractor regularly starts a sentence with 'Hey, bro, can we talk?' with the same practiced, neutral politeness of an oncologist or funeral home director. And you realise that things can be going according to plan and yet need about 38 course corrections along the way.
But it's only temporary. Everyone I've spoken to has had the same stories, and they give the patronising smile of those who've forgotten how tough high school was just because they're in college. My experience is not unique, merely personal. Merely mine.
I hope I've not been a terrible, sulky, dramatic husband through all of this. Though I'm not going through this alone, I've occasionally demonstrated an ability to make people feel like they've left me to fend for myself. It's not true, even those times when I've felt so, just so I could wallow a bit.
But it looks nice so far.
It'll be beautiful in the end.
Motherfucker, it better be.