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I Once Was Blind, And Maybe I Should’ve Stayed That Way.

When I was in middle school, our stereotypically gender ambiguous physical education teacher used to make us spread out in an even grid on the gym floor to await instructions before every class. My designated seat, as the new girl who’d arrived mid-season, was in the very back row, directly in front of the locker room doors. I’d amble out last, undoubtedly too cool for school with my stick legs poking out of an over-sized t-shirt, plop myself on the floor, and make eyes at the cute boy across the room every time he turned my direction.

This was a time in my life that I think of as my “cloud” period. I was the mysterious new girl, I’d started making a few friends, and the world was… fuzzy.

“I think you need glasses,” my mom said to me as I squinted across the dinner table.

She might as well have told me that I had suddenly grown a huge facial mole or webbed fingers. I already had braces, for crying out loud. What more did the woman want from me?

It’s okay, I thought. I can pull this off.

This was several years prior to Sebastian Valmont making it work in Cruel Intentions, but I’m pretty sure I thought I’d look like the female version of this:

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I didn’t.

And, even worse than the fact that I didn’t manage to be the only girl in the history of middle school to fashionably rock stylish specs and turquoise braces, donning glasses unveiled an entire world to which I’d been previously blissfully unaware. I put them on in front of the bathroom mirror, and suddenly my once-flawless, porcelain skin had pores. Pores! And sure, noticing individual leaves on trees and blades of grass was wondrous in comparison to the green blobs they’d once been, but was it worth the trade-off when I discovered cute gym boy wasn’t actually smiling at me, but the girl next to me?

I think not.

It was the first time I discovered the bliss in ignorance, and it’s a lesson I wouldn’t soon forget.

Eighteen years later and perpetual seeker of information that I am, I still find that I’m much happier when I don’t know everything.

My friend Missy came to visit last week, and she helped us start demolishing the kitchen on Saturday. Missy is one of those women who can seamlessly blend hard work with spiked-bracelet style, while I, as an apparent nod to my middle school days, sport frizzy hair, chipped nails, and an old concert t-shirt.

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“Damn flathead screws.”

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And listen. The discoveries we made while pulling out appliances, ripping out floors, and tearing down cabinets were no exception to the way I feel about remaining content in ignorance.

Like missing walls:

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And pink vinyl flooring:

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And show-stopping exposed wires wrapped around the studs:

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There were a few fun discoveries, too, like oddly installed antiquated appliances:

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Retro wallpaper:

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And a recipe for Fettucini Alla Patricia, from the 1992 Parade of Homes.

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We didn’t get as much done as we’d have liked, and I’m currently living amongst a proper, sawdust-riddled mess:

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And while there are some sights I certainly wish I could erase from my mind, I know we have to acknowledge the flaws before we can actually fix them.

And that, dear readers, is what licensed electricians and CeraVe skin cream are for.

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Katie

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Comments

NovaBlast
Reply

wow I feel for ya you just got finished renovations at your other place….now your at it again….I hope you have a good wine store near by and your wine glass ready.

Katie
Reply

Ha! Last night it was gargantuan margaritas at the local Tex Mex place, but tonight will undoubtedly involve some vino. :)

shelly
Reply

i love old wallpaper. i dont know why. the old house i just moved out of had some crumbling floral wallpaper in the stairwell on the way to the basement. i was really tempted to cut a piece of it off to put in a frame, but i was renting, and even though the house is eventually going to be demolished, i couldnt bring myself to do it, or even ask the landlord (who was a friend!) if i could try. but anyway, there’s no way in hell i would cover my whole kitchen with it!

Katie
Reply

It’s so funny you say that, because I actually considered it with the three specimens we collected from the kitchen. In the end, though, I’m just not that organized. :)

Andi
Reply

OMG I’m having heart palpitations looking at these photos, I can only imagine how you feel! Good luck with the renovations!!!

Katie
Reply

For the first couple mornings, I wanted to throw up when I walked in there to make coffee. Now I can hold off my nausea until 5-ish, at which point an alcoholic beverage will help soothe my apprehensions. :)

Colleen Brynn
Reply

Oh the horror!
(you like SATC right?)
:D
Anyway I probably would have found you mysterious and interesting as the new girl. I definitely would have been crushing on you from a distance.

Katie
Reply

Sooo you’re saying you’re into braces and glasses?? :)

I LOVE SATC. (The series, not the movies.) I’m pretty sure it’s one of the most brilliantly witty-yet-poignant shows ever written.

Johnna
Reply

We found a patch of wallpaper too in our kitchen reno – some type of brown leaf, on the inside top of the window frame. It was hidden by the mini blind. I’m keeping it! It will go nicely with our countertops, when they get installed….

Katie
Reply

Aww now I’m kind of feeling bad that I didn’t keep a little square of it. We still have a bunch of soffit to remove, so if we find more I’ll snag some!

Missy
Reply

So…now that it’s out…peninsula or no peninsula?

Katie
Reply

I was leaning towards adding one but Justin still wants it gone. I don’t feel strongly enough to argue for it, so I guess no peninsula! I might be emailing you about our soffit situation though…

Stephanie
Reply

I know you’ve got a long way to go, but it already looks so much more open.

Katie
Reply

It feels more open! Surprisingly, a lot more light gets in from the sun room. Now if only we could open the rest of that wall. Sigh…

Matthew
Reply

This has me further convinced that should we actually decide to attempt renovations to the kitchen on our own…we may commission the two of you.

Katie
Reply

Ha! I would’ve thought it would do exactly the opposite! (Unfortunately, we’re unavailable for hire for probably the next three years while we attempt to finish this one.) ;)

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