Looking at this photo now makes me cry. This was our house, and we lived here and loved it for almost four years.
Now we live in a retro slice of hell – sans hairdryers, clothes dryers, an oven or a shower. It’s a “before” picture, and there will soon be an “after,” but in the meantime, tears galore. Also, I am allergic to the carpet. And it is powder blue.
Here’s what happened . . .
At 2 a.m. on New Year’s Day, we came home from a party to an email from our landlord: he’d sold our house — which was not listed for sale, to which we had the first right to buy — and we had until Jan. 31 to move.
There was much crying and wringing of hands and dramatic flinging of self onto the sofa and the bed. There was copious cursing of the landlord. I still think about toilet-papering his house — perhaps with eggs on top for good measure.
We didn’t want to move.
But we didn’t want to buy our house, either.
We were stuck, and happily so.
But the world has always had a tendency to force my hand and push me into bravery.
And now it is February 12, and we’ve moved.
There are posts to come about the days between Jan. 1 and Feb. 12, and all of our stressed-out house hunting, and then the hijinks that come into play if you want to buy a “project” house in the crazy-competitive Arcadia area of Phoenix, which we did, and the drug-dealer-like communicating that goes on to make such deals happen. There will be the story of how we found our house through a Facebook post and a friend from Kindergarten, and how freaking GRATEFUL I was, and then the desperate agreeing to insane clauses, and the paying of enormous sums in cash only, and the strange and obnoxious rules of appraisals — all of which have landed us in a “before” picture, without a working shower, or a hair-dryer, and with 55-year-old blue carpet, to boot — with hordes of people lined up to buy the house behind us, if we’re crazy enough to let it go.
(I’m tempted, people, I’m tempted.)
There will be no “before” pictures until we have an “after.” And renovation can’t start until August 1.
Yesterday, my client and friend George called to see how things were going. I whined and carried on.
“Jaimee,” he said, “Don’t be one of those wives that’s a pain in the ass.
“I feel like this can be a fun part of your marriage — making do, planning the new house together.
“It’s an adventure,” he said.
We hung up, and I knew that he was right.
So I went to my friend Puddinn’s house to take a shower and wash our clothes. I called a housekeeping service to come and scour the insides of the cabinets and drawers. The electrician is coming. Tonight, we’re going to tear out the carpet.
And for now, I’m back here, because I’ve got feelings, people, and, like this carpet, they are going to need to come out.