Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)
TITLE: Toilet, Tub, and Tile, or Vanity?
By Angela M. Baker-Bridge
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By the time Kevin drove down the street, Madge dried her eyes, pulled out a notepad and pen from the glove compartment, and turned toward him.
“Okay, I want to start the remodeling with our bathroom and bedroom first.”
“What remodeling?” Kevin asked, astonished.
Madge laughed, “The remodeling of our house, silly. What else would I be referring to?”
“I have no idea, but when did we ever consider remodeling our house?” he innocently asked.
Indignantly, Madge answered, “Try like from the first minute I stepped into Jane’s house. She’s been telling me for the past five years the house was the nicest one they’ve owned, but I assumed she was exaggerating. After all, I’ve been making our new place sound bigger and better than it really is. I can’t believe Jane didn’t tell me it was an outrageously astounding mansion. This makes me mad. Could you imagine if we had decided to get together at our place instead of theirs? Oh well, here’s my thinking...”
“Back-up the truck sweetheart. Our house is great just the way it is, dear. Your sister’s place is too big and pretentious as far as I’m concerned anyway.”
Madge continued as if Kevin had never interrupted. “By ripping out my vanity area and moving the toilet, then removing the bathtub and tile walls, we can build a gorgeous walk-in shower surrounded with massaging jets. I want 12-inch Italian tiles for the walls and floor, done diagonally like on the Home Remodeling Network, and a decorative tile border. I want a built-in seat, frameless glass doors, and heating light. Then,”
Madge went on like that for the entire seven hour drive while Kevin remained silent. He was however, keeping a running tally of the costs of materials and labor, and an approximate timeframe, as he listened.
When they finally walked into their own humble bedroom, Madge commented, “Do you know that you hardly said anything all day?”
Kevin looked at her over the top of his glasses, “You mean you wanted me to talk? Well, I don’t really remember any breaks when I could’ve jumped in, but since I have the floor now, I can share all of my thoughts on the subject in two simple statements… we can’t afford it, and what we have is just fine.”
For the next six months Madge and Kevin lived in a construction nightmare. Since she was unwilling to alter her design or material choices, and he fretted over costs, the unnecessary bathroom and bedroom remodeling became a do-it-yourself project.
Every night after work and every weekend in-between, they shopped, demolished, cleaned-up, measured, mixed, ran out for better tools, cut, installed, or returned mistaken purchases. They worked, waited, worried, and became weary.
One night, Kevin grumbled, “You really think our marriage can survive much more of this? Because, I don’t.”
Madge answered sharply, “Just stay focused on the end result. It’ll be worth it.”
“So, that’s what you’re telling yourself?” Kevin snapped back.
At last, Madge prepared to embark on the virgin voyage of her full-body massage shower into the land of luxury. Lighting candles in her new custom-designed up-scaled bathroom, she squealed, “You will get your turn when I’m done, Kevin, but right now, shoo!”
Slowly Madge adjusted each shower jet. Smiling, she stepped into her long awaited dream. After indulging for ten minutes, she screamed for Kevin.
“Oh no,” she whined as he entered the bathroom. “Look! The water isn’t draining right. See how it’s puddling on the shower floor? It’s actually accumulating away from the drain.”
Kevin inspected the uneven base while Madge sat down on the shower seat. Crying, she noted, “And these tiles aren’t as smooth as they felt when we were fully dressed!”
Reaching for the towel rack, Madge discovered it was too far for her. Kevin had measured his own reach from the shower. Mindlessly, Madge dripped water on the smooth tiles, slipped, and fell.
Kevin muttered, “You couldn’t be satisfied with the bathroom we had, could you. This means more time and money.”
Hebrews 13:5 admonishes us to “be content with whatever you have…,” unlike Madge's vanity over her vanity.
Scripture quoted from NIV Bible.
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