Friday, March 16, 2007
Risky Business
I've been told before my idea of fun rates right up there with chinese water torture. A day spent getting all nasty sweaty cleaning the dusty, overfilled basement thrills my soul. Pulling papers out of file cabinets, going through each one, then making new folder labels. Yep, I'm a barrel of fun... To apply for girlfriend status, dial 1-800....

Oblivious to the fact that we have 99 gajillion things to do, we're leaving in 8 days on a cruise, with someone coming to stay in our home. Appointments out the whazoo (I love that 'word' and the fact that it's not in the dictionary YET does not disqualify it because they routinely add much-used slang on a yearly basis and I've used it enough it lately it should qualify as a 2008 addition.) My ADHD and OCD combined and I decided to destroy our home. Actually just the top floor.

This house is 40 years old. Wood floors are in every room, except for the ceramic tile kitchen. That's even better for wearing out the pads of your feet, according to my podiatrist, who I'm on a first name basis with, since I was foolish enough to go either barefoot or clad with $9.99 slings from Payless much of last summer. The wood is beautiful oak, with a luster that comes from 40 years of kids, dogs, etc sliding across them. We're keeping it on the main floor because when you walk into our house, it just screams 'welcome'. Welcome, make yourself at home. Feel free to clean or straighten something while you're here. Lord knows, there's plenty of that to go around, so we can be generous and share.

I know some of you are screaming, "cover up wood floors?" There's a rage out there, to put wood floors in homes, particularly in master bedrooms. Trust me, save your money. Mine are beautiful. They're also loud, they're also hard, they're also cold. They spit up dust bunnies at a rate that is driving me out of my everlovin' mind. We should have taken out stock in Swiffer. Our DIL fell down the entire flight of stairs at Christmas because there's no traction on them, and our old dog cannot make it upstairs anymore. When he tries, he looks like I imagine I would if I were dumb enough to put on two pairs of ice skates. We're only planning to be here a few more years before the next bunch of hooligans move in and take over. When you combine an engineer and an OCD lady, you get a couple who makes reservations for a vacation three years from now, now. When we do just about anything, it's planned out on graph paper, in a file with a nicely typed, color coded label. So we're getting the house ready to sell. In three years. Which makes you understand why we had to install the carpet this week, before our trip. There's a rush, people.

We're putting carpet in the entire upstairs, except for the floating laminate in the two bathrooms. When we placed the order, they told us it was "in stock". I found out "in stock" means it's in a mill, somewhere in North Carolina, will take three weeks to reach our state, then it goes from the warehouse to the store, then several days to schedule the installers.

If you die and don't go to heaven, you may wake up to find, instead of the fiery furnace you heard about in Sunday School, a roll of carpet and padding, and you're the eternal installer. On a daily basis you'll go to the homes of women who have purchased vast amounts of heavy furniture, then decorated each room with all sorts of baskets and charming little tables that have to be moved. Before you can do your job.

Darrell and his helper showed up yesterday morning. The carpet company told me to pick the two rooms where they should start, and clear them out as much as possible. I did that. Ends up Darrell would have chosen otherwise. After they spent two hours moving our stuff from room A to room B, when I'd already moved it all to rooms C and D, where they wanted to carpet first, they went to work. I spent the day listening to them hammering so hard, so loud that all the knick knacks on the main floor were flying off the walls. It sounded a lot like Rap Music to me. I hate Rap Music. They got three rooms done, at opposite ends of the house. That lovely little blue nest of mine, at bedtime it looked like a filled rent-a-storage spot. My lucky husband gets to trim and sand all 20 of the removed doors, since they're now too tall. Sleeping upstairs, last night, with no doors on closets, or bedrooms, or bathrooms and piles of stuff everywhere, conjured up thoughts of when parents send you to really cheap summer camp. Your bunk happens to be in the room where they stored all their junk, until two days ago when they realized they overbooked. That's what our place looks like about now. We have the junk, just not the scary bugs and creepy spider webs. I expect those are two floors below, in the basement workout room.

Darrell and his helper are back today to finish the job. I was impressed they even showed up again. We spent the first hour trying to get all the heavy furniture out of the master bedroom, down the hall into some other room that wasn't full, so they could carpet in there. I'll let your imagination make the list of things you pray they don't see, while they're moving every bedside book, accessory, etc. Usually you're dead a few days when strangers go through your stuff at this degree. You can only shove so much stuff in chest of drawers, and if they're very observant, well.... keeping in mind I feel violated when the security people go through my luggage and see a bra any color but white. For being so open, I am a bit private at times.

Right now it looks worse than the day we moved in. If I had to deal with this day in and day out, I might lie about foreknowledge of stock stuff, so I could be locked up in some nice minimum security facility, where I'd teach my fellow inmates how to eat more nutritiously, or how to knit ponchos. Maybe Martha was having carpet installed in one or more of her many homes, a few years back? Maybe she had it planned out, all along? If so, I completely get her train of thinking.

Since the house is pretty much a disaster, everything is exposed, I'm going through the no-door closets, tossing out unused clothes, clearing out toys, etc. It looks so bad, there's nowhere to go but up. By day's end, we should have five beautifully carpeted bedrooms, and a hall and flight of stairs. Tomorrow morning, some nice man named Ron will be showing up to pull out two of the potties, destroy the bathroom floors which are currently a puky peach, and that minty green we were all so crazy about back in the 60's, and yes it makes lovely t-shirts now, but not so much on the floor. Hopefully he'll have them back to working order quickly. We're currently on good standing with our neighbors; if I have to go over every two or so hours this weekend, to visit their little girl's room, they may get a wee bit sick of me, or monitor my liquid intake.

I'm all atwitter, knowing 24 hours from now everything will be back where it belongs, better than before. Waking up tomorrow morning, surveying my surroundings, everything in it's place. Sticking one leg out from under the covers, onto the softly padded floor. Making my way down the hall, then the stairs without hearing a symphony of creaks and groans from old, dry wood. The silence will be music to my ears. What was that Tom Cruise movie? Risky Business, where he stripped down to undies and a shirt, slid across the floor singing his heart out. Don, close the blinds and give me a microphone. No slidin' down the hall anymore, but I can sure do a little soft-shoe. Like I said, I'm a party waiting to happen!


  posted at 12:36 PM

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