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Dawn's Column Home 'Improvement'
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A little over a year ago, right before I got married, my then-fiancé and I embarked on an ill-advised, do-it-yourself closet system installation. I had believed that it would be easy and convinced him of the same. I say "ill-advised" because my original theory was disproved when my guy just about blew a gasket a short while into the project.

To add insult to injury, I wasn't exactly completely happy with where a couple of the shelves were placed in one of the closets and I let it be known. Well, they were too close together to hang stuff on the top pole and I just pointed that out.

The conversation went something like this with expletives uttered by my guy edited for reader approval:

"Babe, those shelves need to be a little lower so clothes can hang properly above and below."

I could tell that my observation didn't go over very well.

"I'm not (expletive) messing with it anymore! I'm not (expletive) moving it, that's where it's (expletive) gonna stay! This was a mistake!"

With my two cents on record, and his colorful refusal, we filled the closet as it was.

So a little time went by and few months ago I began to mention how much more hanging room we'd have in the closet if those shelves were lowered. Then, his shirts wouldn't be crammed in there anymore.

Eventually he agreed but I could tell he had no intention of emptying the closet to redo the placement of the shelves. Then I got some unexpected "help" from these destructive little moths.

Somehow, we began having a moth problem. They ate holes in some of his business clothes. We got some traps from the pest control company but they told us we needed to empty the closets so they could treat the problem effectively. An argument between my husband and the pest folks about the need to empty the closets to fix the issue went back and forth for a few months.

I totally get his reasoning for not wanting to do it, it's a big job and he's busy. However, he finally relented and cleared out the closet.

"Babe, since the closet is empty, this would be a great time to move those shelves," I said with a smile.

I showed him where I wanted the shelves to be, and I think he sighed at me, but he started disassembling the closet system anyway. Meanwhile, I decided to stay out of the way and start my own project of refinishing one of the bathroom vanities.

A short while later, he was grumbling about how this project wasn't going to be so easy after all because there were some extra parts he needed and some other challenges.

How was I to know that it wasn't a simple fix? Is that my fault?

Apparently, it is.

I'm pretty sure he thinks that the biggest pest in our home is me.

I tried to go about my business of cabinet refinishing, but he kept interrupting me, reminding me of the can of worms that I made him open. With our clothes taking up valuable real estate in other parts of our home, we're now waiting for some closet "guidance" from my dad in order to complete the project.

I was kind of thinking about painting in the closet to freshen it up while we wait but I haven't shared that with my husband. He keeps asking me when I'm going to finish that bathroom vanity project I started. You know, if he helped me it would probably go faster. Although, I don't think he's interested in hearing any more of my home improvement ideas, let alone actually pitching in on them.

This will all be forgotten once these projects are complete - which has to be soon. Did I mention that we're having a party this weekend?

There's nothing like having a few people over - and a few pests - to make you get things done around the house.

Dawn M. Henley is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News, and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.