A Second Chance at the Good Life
POMP Rating: 🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴
Factors Influencing Rating: This guy is pure paradise, all the way.😊 He will jump into almost anything I want to do (see koi pond, below). 😊 He knows ALL of my flaws and he loves me anyway. 😊 He’s never in a bad mood. Seriously.😊 He’s fun.😊 He understands that the projects will never, ever end and he’s ok with that.😊 He’s hot as hell. 😊
In the Beginning: Before the Love
The first time I ever felt the energy that is Marty Collins, I saw him on a stage at a bar downtown, singing into a microphone, playing the harmonica (it was karaoke), and winning over the entire crowd with his pure joy for living life. I was certain everybody in the place felt it, as people of all ages were on their feet dancing, laughing, and enjoying the moment. The man I was with said to me, with a puzzled look on his face, “that guy just doesn’t care what anybody thinks.” As I watched him on stage, I had to agree, and I knew that I wanted to know more about him. At the very least, I wanted to know how he was so happy because I wanted that, too.
I’m Not Going to Tell You What Happened Next!
You know, I really do need to keep some things private, but I will say that once we got together, we both knew that we were each other’s missing piece. Seriously, I could write an entire book about our relationship, and I think it would be a hit, but for now I’ll keep it rather simple.
I hired him to be my contractor when I had a full time design business in Savannah. We were both in bad places in our personal lives, and we became best friends almost immediately. I admired the way he worked. He had a drive about him that reminded me of myself. On the job he could anticipate my needs and I could do the same for him. We worked together like we had been working together for years. It was great, and the friendship was one I knew would last forever. We helped each other through some seriously tough times, and we grew closer as we continued to work together on renovations all over the city. And that is how it all started, my second chance at the good life was because of meeting him.
The Projects, and the Stuff We Get Into
I can’t even begin to count the number of projects we’ve tackled together over the years. For three solid years we worked for the public, ripping into walls, and remodeling houses all over Savannah and parts of Texas. The truth is, we got into some things we should have never started, and we had some hilarious moments along the way. He will tell you, I got us into more shit than one can imagine, I swear, but we always ended up laughing our heads off about it. There were furniture deliveries that fell off his truck and splintered onto the highway (we forgot to strap some things down), there was a floor sander that got out of control, I got stuck on a roof and panicked and had to be talked down, and there have been some nail gun misfires into body parts. There have been trips to the emergency room. There have been fights. There has been courtroom drama, money problems, and black eyes. There is almost always blood-shed, but this is part of our love story, and we just keep getting into more and more shit together. I can only hope that this will be the way we live life until it’s over, because it sure is fun.
The End of the Business
When the recession hit around 2007, I went back to work full time as a teacher, doing design work on the side, and he continued working for the railroad while we waited it out. I never went back full time as a designer, and he retired from the railroad as we closed our business, but we never stopped with the projects at home. I keep him very busy with my constant need to remodel around our house, he helps friends with projects, and thus we stay engaged in design. My former husband hated projects. He once said, “I’ll just be glad when we reach the finish line.” He didn’t understand that there would never be a finish line with me. Never, ever, ever.
He Said No, Once: Koi Pond
The only thing Marty has ever said no to me on was building a koi pond. I still don’t know why, but when I was in my koi pond design phase, he just said no. He was very calm, but it was a hard NO. It still puzzles me. I instinctively knew not to push. Now, we have plans to build a pool. Seems to me the koi pond would have been easier, but, hey – who am I to question these decisions? I can’t wait to build the pool! That is going to be FUN. I’m expecting a POMP rating of 🌵🌵🌵🌵🌴 for that one! Hang around us long enough, and you’ll probably hear me say to him, “well at least I’m not asking for a koi pond.”
The POMP Scale is Real.
Seriously. I always consider the POMP scale in my mind before bringing up the next idea for what’s going to happen with our house. And we don’t waste time, either, so once I bring up the idea we could be knocking out a wall that same day – that’s just the way we roll. The POMP scale (Possibility of Marital Problems) is important because I love this guy, and I want our marriage to last. I can’t imagine a more perfect fit for me as a partner, and the way my mind never rests, I don’t want to over-work him or our budget. So, it’s fun for me to look back after the project is finished and assign a POMP rating based on how it went down for us. I do try to consider what we need to contract out and what we need to do ourselves before jumping in, but most of the time we end up doing the work ourselves, sometimes arguing, sometimes crying (mostly me).
Taking the Time to Rest
Taking time to rest may be the biggest challenge and argument we have as a couple. To slow down on the projects, we must always leave the house. That is where the vacation adventures come in. We get into messes with that, too, because we dive in without thinking things through sometimes, and then we have stories to tell. But, that is how we solve the problem of over-working ourselves at home. We travel. We get away so we can rest from the constant projects that keep us both working 24/7.
With a House There Are Always Problems to Solve, but There is Love
I think we both understand that as long as we own a house, there will always be problems to solve. Some projects are more fun than others, that’s for sure. Fixing things that go wrong is just a part of home-ownership, but remodeling and design are our passions. We will always be involved in it. I truly hate it when there are maintenance issues, because those jobs are boring, but I will write about them, because that’s when we usually get into unexpected things that end up being really funny. We’ve remodeled our kitchen twice in 12 years because, admittedly, I made some errors in the design the first time. We took a whole year to remodel our bathroom due to budget issues (we had NO money). We’ve built onto our back deck so many times it’s starting to look like a patchwork quilt out there, and soon we will be digging into that deck to make the pool look like it seamlessly fits into our backyard. There’s a garden shed/pool house being built at the moment that was supposed to be a “she shed”, and with each phase we find more problems to solve. I tell you, though, this is the good life to me, and I am perfectly content to never reach the finish line of projects with this man.