You walk into the office, ready to start your day, when Sarah ambushes you with her newest home renovation issue. Can you believe he painted the foyer caramel when I said toffee? That the neighbors complained about 7AM drill sawing? That I’ve been to Home Depot 47 times since yesterday?! Yes, yes, and shut the hell up. While you can’t say those things to her face (your income depends on a 40-hour a week cohabitation of the fourth floor cubicle space), here are a few physical reactions that can carry you through those one-sided conversations about the benefit of an eggshell white vs. crisp linen dust ruffle white.
1. The You Just Spent $5K on a Lamp?! Smile
Use this smile as Sarah scrolls through iPhone photos of the same green lamp over here, but maybe over there, though it could also work in the entrance way. Hold your smile steady as you think about that time you saw an almost identical green lamp at IKEA for $10 but nod your head in agreement that yes, $5,000 seems like a logical amount to spend on a small lighting fixture. This smile can also be repeated in 4 to 6 weeks when Sarah bitches about not being able to pay off her credit card bills. Who cares about a lifetime of bad credit when you have an Oscar the Grouch colored table lamp that is just darling. Showing teeth is optional but highly encouraged.
2. The That Electrician Was Late, Again, Smirk
Show faux sympathy with this just-the-right-amount-of-compassion expression. Darn, you have to wait a whole day for new gold light switches? Let’s call a remote African village that lacks electricity and indoor plumbing and bitch about it. While a rational person would simply get a new electrician because this one seems to suck, Sarah has been huffing caramel colored paint fumes and the chemicals have distorted her common sense. Smirk also available for lazy plumbers, sloppy painters, and the Best Buy home installation team that left an absolute mess under the new living room flat screen.
3. The Look, I Grouted! Smile
This reaction is for the days when Sarah shoves her filthy hands in your face after a night of grouting tile. Her nails may be chipped and caked with unnatural white junk, but damn it if she doesn’t have a completed navy and white mosaic bathroom floor tile pattern. Just think of the money she saved by doing it herself and not the money she will have to spend to fix it later.
4. The Which Drawer Handle Option is Sexier? Smile
Keep those lips sealed, as Sarah is not asking you an actual question, she wants you to stand next to her as she thinks out loud at the DiscountDrawerHandle.com photos that she has up on her computer screen. Curved? Straight? Curvy Straight? While you wonder how the fuck drawer handles could turn anyone on, feel free to occasionally make noises through your smile. Suggested noises include but are not limited to hmmm, mmm, and mmmhmmm. Whatever you do, do not ask her what is wrong with the drawer handles that she already has because they clearly do not match the sensual energy of her new space.
5. The Where is the Water Pressure! Flash Grin
While work has a policy of no personal calls, the rules don’t pertain to Sarah during a home renovation. You’re so close to finishing that expense report when you are interrupted by wails of, “There’s no water pressure and he wants to charge me $200 to come back and check the trickle. I’m not spending more for a house call when it should have been installed properly the first time!” Just flash a quick grin and back the hell out of her space cause bitch is about to explode.
The next time someone tells you that they are thinking about a home renovation, save yourself hours of empty smile lines by reminding them that it is a terrible, terrible idea. In the meantime, here comes Sarah about to ask your opinion on her new sky blue kitchen backsplash. By asking you, she is actually telling you to tell her that you fucking like it. A lot. Now tell her you like it and don’t forget to smile!