We Paid Him

by Michelle Panik

Three hundred and eighty-five dollars, cash, for work we knew how to do but didn't want to do. A baseboard has to be flush on the floor, flush against the wall, and its edges squared-off. Then there’s the matter of nails, nail-hole filler, and paint. And of course the back pain, sore knees, and the fact that baseboards never sit flush against any damn surface. My husband and I had tried; we had worked all Saturday and Sunday, but when it was Sunday night and we’d only finished two bedrooms, we quit and turned on the Seahawks game, deciding to call a handyman tomorrow. Our marriage and our home were new, but it wasn’t that we were expecting perfection in our baseboards; it was just that although we both worked too much we always watched the Seahawks together, and weren’t going to start making concessions, six months after our wedding.


Michelle Panik, author of Heat Wave, lives in sunny San Diego with her husband.