One of the nice things about getting older for me is I’m still as fussy as ever with my work but the slightly off things fade from memory faster and I tend to see my work just as others see it. Those little gaps used to drive me nuts or a deck board that just didn’t look right next to the one next to it at the time and a week later I can’t find it if I tried and I wonder why I spent 5 minutes thinking about it.
During Christmas we had my family over to the house we just remodeled. One hundred year old houses equal lots of shimming. My sister was sitting in the corner seat in the living room and from that seat you look across the room and into the kitchen thru a doorway. In the kitchen sits the built in island I made with a wood top. The floor had a little drop to it and when I mounted the top I threw my level on it and it was out a quarter inch over 80 inches so I added a shim on one end to bring it up to level for whatever reason. She pointed out that I needed to trim under the top as she could see a sliver of light from her seat to the island to the door behind. The island top has good overhang all the way around and there is nowhere in the kitchen this can be seen unless you sit on the floor. I first told her the gap was required for air exchange as I have a wine fridge in the middle. Others started asking what she was talking about, and I said you know you are right I should fix that and got up. She said well not now you could do it later. I said no its ok the fix won’t take that long. Everyone got quiet and I went over and pushed her chair to the left about 12 inches and said “How’s that look?” everyone got a good laugh, including her.
My girlfriends grandfather a retired builder worked with me almost every day on the house and when I would want to correct some minor issue he would roll his eyes. One day I was fussing over something and I said “We have to fix that everyone will notice.” He said well when they do here is what you say. “Where were you when we needed help and then you tell them if you don’t like it get the hell out of my house.” LOL 88 year old guys tend to think that way. Well after I moved her chair he was grinning ear to ear and came over later and said I like how you handled that Bud, that went over better than my way would have.