I've always believed that everything happens for a reason. It's a bit simplistic, I suppose, but it keeps the optimism alive. It explains stuff.
I lost my optimism not long ago, after I became just another Bad Contractor story, with a company that was at best incompetent, at worst unethical. I clued in after realizing that I knew more about building codes than they did; and that a 90 degree angle shouldn’t be a mere suggestion.
Having no plan B, which I am loathe to travel without, I fired them. After much chest pumping and veiled threats, this company exited my life, leaving me with a shell - nay, a war-zone - of an unfinished kitchen.
While I didn't have a clue how to finish the job, I had a decent sense of what needed to be done. Soon after our ugly break-up, I met with Gary, of HVAC expertise. My husband found Gary on Kijiji, which redeems the whole process of finding a trade on that forum. I'm a bit of a talker, and so I talked about my jaded experience. Lovely Gary knew a guy.
He knew Tino.
As cooking is a craft, so too is dry-walling - the fastidious standards, the patience, the execution, the eye on the end result. Now, not to discount the good work he brings to his craft, his real skill is that he could very well hang his hat on being a life coach. This guy needs his own TV show: big and burly, he "clears his head" with his guys at 5 in the morning at the gym, loves his family, and simply exudes positivity. He called me right after our first meeting, demanding that I only focus on the positive, don't bother looking at the past negatives. He has constantly reminded me, in his Tino-Apostle way: Focus On The Good. This is the only guy on Earth that can call me sweetheart as a nickname without me blowing my equal rights gasket.
Further, Big Tino knew a guy.
Steve is quiet. He works hard and is proud of his work. He cuts no corners. Where I thought you could basically plop the tile down, he insisted that things be as smooth as a baby's bottom before doing any such thing. He was witness to my tears over what was not a big deal in the scheme of things (and nothing to do with him, I feel compelled to note) and was so sympathetic about my lack of composure. He worked with his brother and his beautiful wife (love family ties) who, whether she knows it or not, sings when she works. When they were finished, I was so happy I said I wanted to hug them. Expecting air pats, expressing happy departure and mutual sentiment, I instead found myself in the bear hug of an amazing, dusty flooring team.
Remember the tears I spilled? Well, lovely Gary, who was pretty much done at this point, called the next day to be sure I was ok. These guys, they all talk, and all take care of each other. And now I’m a part of that too. I am humbled and so grateful to have met such good people.
And so it holds: Everything happens for a reason.