I'm none too fond of unnecessary change, and I place the blame for this one firmly at the feet of my mother, or to be more precise, her renovating tendencies. These led to the common phenomenon of things in our house changing suddenly and without warning, and when I look back at my childhood, I marvel at the fact that I never lived in a fully 'finished' house. It seemed that as soon as one thing was done, my mother would rest for all of - ooh, about five seconds - before she was holding paint swatches and fabric samples up in another room. Add to this the fact that both my mother and father are, like all good Kiwis, total DIY-ers, and your result is a sad image of me and my brothers walking around the house in bewilderment and a slight state of tension after each day at school, trying to work out what was different.
Now I'm an adult, and have power over these decisions, I decorate once, then sit back and enjoy the results. I can, because I have the relaxation gene (and probably also because I've never owned a house, and since moving out of home, the longest I've managed to live in any one abode is just under two years). But mainly relaxation. And fear. I know I'm not great with too much change, and although I can appreciate that I'm one of the lucky ones, and that coming home to a different coloured bathroom is nowhere near the level of house-moving, family-shifting, friend-losing type of dramatic change many kids have to go through, I still tend to remember it with a nervous sigh, a little giggle, and a quick glance around my flat to ensure everything's still where it belongs, and how it belongs, and the right colour.
So you can imagine my reaction when the notice went out that they were going to redecorate the hallways of our building.
Joy and excitement.
Oh yes, that's right. Go back to the beginning. Read it carefully. Unnecessary change. You know what's not unnecessary change? Re-doing the hallways of our building so they no longer bear such a frightening resemblance to a pay-by-the-hour motel that's seen better days.
I'm really looking forward to the end result...but really not enjoying the process. The notice told us that they would be starting on the top floor, and working their way down. That's fine, makes sense. What they didn't say is that they would be doing a little bit on the top floor, then doing that little bit the whole way down. Then going back up to the top, and doing a little bit more, before repeating on every other floor. And so on, ad infinitum. And while they're doing all these little bits of work, which may one day add up to a whole, they are treating every hallway like a construction zone.
The best way to describe our hallway at the moment is 'Dextered'. I've never even seen Dexter, but I've seen enough of it when H1 is watching to know I don't like it, and I certainly don't want to live it. But I am, with my hallway carpet covered in plastic (as if it were leftovers, wrapped in many rolls of giant cling film) and my walls covered in plaster and unidentifiable marks, and my 'refuse room' housing large, eerie looking pieces of sharp steel. It's creepy to hear people crunching down the plastic hall, and it's creepy to hear the workers drilling and sawing things just outside my door, and it's really creepy when I innocently make my pyjama'd way out of our flat to take some rubbish down to the 'refuse room', only to be confronted by a man dressed completely in black, with just his eyes showing, standing in the middle of what is currently the murder hallway. I like an orderly, tidy house, but I'm not prepared to die for it.
You may have guessed I didn't (turns out he was a delivery man, rugged up warm against the cold outside. Winter, ha ha!) I gasped, grabbed hold of the plastered wall, then saw the bag of food and realised that he came for good, not evil. Smiled sheepishly and made my way to the refuse room, then came back, smiling way too much, just in case he was still there, and was hurt and upset by my assumptions.
He was gone, but the memory lives on. The memory of how I nearly died in the murder hallway one winter night, thanks to renovations. Yeah. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that nobody can disagree that I'm more than justified in my dislike.