On Friday, Eduardo came over to finish up the last item I needed in the kitchen – my GFCI outlet on my long counter. Long ago, it appears that there never used to be cabinetry in that area. I think there was just a countertop there. So on the bottom of the wall is an outlet which is behind the installed cabinets and not accessible for every day use. The previous owners installed a new outlet on top of the counter but did it illegally. They took a long wire, attached a plug to one end which they plugged into the socket, cut a notch out of the backsplash of the countertop and wired the other end into an outlet kit that gets attached to the wall. It is completely illegal to wire an outlet kit on the outside of the wall.
As part of the kitchen renovation, I wanted to correct this illegal wiring. My step-father cut a piece out of the cabinet back to expose the outlet and then installed the cabinets. I awaited an opening in Eduardo’s schedule. So we discuss where we are going to install the outlet and we work on marking out the hole and cutting it. This actually required discussion because of the electrical panel and telephone outlet in the wall above the countertop. We wanted to avoid any wires leading to these – in particular the main electrical feed into the condo. We make our hole and what do we run into? The freaking main feed wire of the control panel. They had run it up the next stud and then across the wall to the panel. ARGH!!! We discuss a variety of ways of making the original hole work but the location of the wire makes it impossible. With the hole in the wall, it is now possible to feel what was and wasn’t in the wall so we make another hole some 3 inches to the right. It takes about 10 seconds to string the wire from the original outlet (way faster than the previous outlet we moved) and then I install the box while he works on splicing the wires in the original junction box. He then installs the GFCI and we look over the instructions on how to test it. Once we determine that it is working, we then put the junction box cover on the original junction box (this was an absolute pain and took the two of us).
So why am I laying this out in some detail? There is actually a point to all this. How can it be that we can work for 2 hours together in complete harmony making decisions then mistakes, correcting mistakes and taking turns working on something that needed two people and be completely incapable of of being able to discuss a single personal problem that cropped up in our relationship. In fact, it was far harder to do the initial electrical work for the kitchen than this was and we still managed to do it (with problems, setbacks and mistakes) in complete harmony. So why is it that we can’t discuss a single problem in our relationship without it devolving into a completely frustrating experience that has one of us (and maybe both of us) wishing they had never met the other? Kelly aside, I had always felt that this was one of the number one failures of our relationship. Nothing every got resolved because we were incapable of having a fruitful discussion on any problem that cropped up.
It makes no sense but there it is….