grumpy about the construction project (I’m still not over the ARB)

I can’t let go yet of what the asshats at the architectural review board were like.

Asshat 1 (I’ll call him A1) sat next to me in his denim shorts and was such a self-righteous jerk. His first sentence about this situation started like this: “I don’t want to be difficult, but…” ASSHOLE MOVE. we’re grown ups and shouldn’t be doing opposite-talk like juveniles. What if I had started by saying, “I don’t want to tell the ARB that you’re a bunch of fucking idiots, but…”


A1 claimed to be worried about what our next door neighbor would feel about wood siding on our back corner, instead of brick. I answered as dryly as I could, because I was close enough to head slap the guy and was tempted. “You mean the neighbors sitting on their dilapidated wood porch,” I showed him a photo, “attached to the house that’s covered randomly in wood and brick.” I showed him another photo. The house could win an ugly house contest.

“Not that neighbor,” he smarmed at me in the worst patronizing way. “The other neighbor.” I answered again. “You mean the neighbor on the other side of our property from the addition, who can’t even see the side of the house where you’re asking us to put bri—-”

A1 interrupted me. He was clearly full of shit and had no idea what he was talking about. “What if you use the sheet siding that they press and color to make it look like brick?”


I took an internal breath. This guy is claiming to be worried about what my neighbors think? He thinks they’d prefer cheap-ass fake imitation sheets to real wood? No wonder so many of the renovations in my town are butt-ugly with ugly siding materials! This joker is telling people to do it.

Architect Kristi slouched in her seat and I saw her hide her glare. She replied quietly and stiffly, “They can’t make that stuff look good.” I chimed in. “I don’t want to put cheap materials on the house. That’s the whole point. I want to match the materials that are already on it, brick and wood, not sheets or aluminum or vinyl. That’s why we can’t afford brick in the back corner.”

I’m not sure anyone heard me.

Asshat 2 (A2) sat in his short sleeve 80% poly button shirt micro-criticizing the project with a tired dopey look on his face. “I don’t like the way this window is so close to the change of materials,” he whined. No renovation is perfect, I shot back. He smarmed sagely, “I wondered why the windows were like this until I looked at the kitchen plan and saw what’s going on. The sink really should have been on this back wall and then you’d be able to look out at the yard from it through a big window blah blah blah.” He finished smugly along the lines of, “but who am I to tell you how to design your kitchen.”

Oh really, asshole? My womanly place is at the sink staring at the back yard with my fat ass pointed at the guests enjoying my fine fare at the island counter? I’ll tell you who you are to tell me how to design my kitchen. NOBODY.  NO. BO. DY. Go shove your bad ideas up your patronizing male ass. Jerk.

This is why I hired a woman designer who does things her own way and actually listens to her clients, instead of telling them exactly how things have to be because that’s how it’s done. My guess is, these guys on the ARB are insiders in our town’s construction trade, and they don’t know Kristi, so they’re giving us shit. Fuck them all. I’m not buying into the con. I’m going to be communicating with the city manager and mayor and my alderman. I don’t care that I got exactly what I wanted. They shouldn’t have been wankers about it, and they shouldn’t have pissed me off. I’m coming after them now.

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