Yesterday, I ordered samples of several products that, if their promises hold, could transform the appearance of our fireplace and, perhaps, the look of the brick on our house. As I wrote a few days ago, I was considering putting in an order. Instead, after looking at many of the company’s products, I contacted them by email, asking which of their several products might be best-suited to accomplish the look I want to achieve. Their response was by and large a non-answer; “you might want to get a sample of this product or that product to see which one is best.” But they did suggest one product might not work. Their response notwithstanding, I ordered samples of several products. I decided I might as well determine immediately whether any of the products can accomplish my aim: turning a pinkish/whitish/grayish conglomeration into a light mottled grey.

This morning, as I consider what I did, I began to question my sense of reason and rationality. The cause of my self-doubt arises from the fact I spent my time and energy addressing aesthetic issues as opposed to more pressing practical issues. Specifically, the deck. Less than two yeas ago, we had our deck cleaned, sanded, and painted with a product ostensibly designed to protect and restore badly weathered decks. That decision, it now seems, was a bad one. The considerable expense associated with it was wasted.  The deck is peeling worse than before; the boards are splitting and cracking and I’ve come to the conclusion that the deck boards need to be replaced, which will be an extremely expensive undertaking.  That’s the first thing that caused me to question my sanity. The second thing is the fact that an area of the trim and siding, a good twenty feet off the ground—damaged by wildlife (probably woodpeckers, I learned yesterday, courtesy of the Garland County Extension Service)—needs repair. That should take precedence over brick color, methinks. So, what was I thinking when I decided, instead of tackling the more pressing matters, to devote my energy to aesthetics? I suppose I was thinking of aesthetics to take my mind off the more pressing and far more expensive issues.

Perhaps a second cup of coffee will help ease my mind. It’s been a good hour since I began sipping on my first one; all that remains of that once hot, dark brew are a few drops at the bottom of my mug. I’ll remedy that right now, then turn my attention to other, more pressing matters.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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