The Most Annoying Member of our Family

Normally the most annoying person in a family is someone who is incredibly intrusive, the holiday dinner drunk or the relative with so much drama in their life that they belong on Jerry Springer. The most annoying person in our family does none of these things but is old and high maintenance and just always has something wrong. It’s our house, or Stupid House as it commonly called. (actually we don’t use the word “stupid” but I am keeping it G-rated) Stupid House (SH) joined our family three years ago and if SH were a person it would visit the ER about every 6 months and have elective cosmetic surgery yearly. SH was a “deal” as far as deals went back in 2005, the height of the housing frenzy. It appraised for much more than we paid, and we knew there was a laundry list of items that would need to done down the line. The house had goods bones, but every other body system was in dire need of an overhaul.
Before we even moved in we had 2 floors re-carpeted and the whole house painted. The ding dongs who lived here before us thought that “flesh” was a wonderful paint color and that pulling the furniture out to paint was too much work, when you can always paint around everything. Yes, we knew where their entertainment center had been located, how they laid out the furniture in their bedrooms, and how big the artwork on the walls was. And the house was completely empty when we looked at it. That was just the beginning. Following is additional sampling of our undertaking. We have replaced:

1. The original AC (circa 1972) that did nothing in August as temps reached into the 90s

2. The furnace that died on the coldest day in January 2007, landing the entire family in the same bed with a down comforter for warmth, because of course the furnace died after business hours.

3. The hot water heater that bit the big one late one Sunday night, which led to a Monday morning of miserable showering, like Mondays don’t suck enough.

4. The wood siding that had pockets of rot and was the color of newborn poop.

5. The drafty windows that were as useful as a sheet of Saran Wrap.

6. Landscaping because a pipe blew (again, on a weekend) and it was located under the front sidewalk, which had to be dug up (I think my husband just wanted to rent a jackhammer), which in turn ruined any landscaping there was.

And now (dun, dun ,dun) we’re getting ready to put in hardwood on our middle floor, the neglected step child of our house. It has taken this long to decide on all hardwood, vs. a tile/hardwood combo. Why do we need to do this latest cosmetic procedure? Because there is original carpeting (it’s gross) and someone named Darwin laid ceramic tile right of top of linoleum in the kitchen, which has cracked in various places and on humid days pulls up on bare feet. With an almost crawling infant in the house, it’s a recipe for disaster.

The measuring gets done tomorrow and we’ll go from there. These have not been small dollar makeovers and even though they are necessary, writing checks with lots of zeros makes me physically ill. I usually end up stressed and stomp around for a few days screaming at the house and threatening to move. To where, I have no clue. My husband reminds me that brand new houses have their share of issues also, but it’s like comparing the issues between old and new to a sweet newborn and a nasty old aunt. You have to wipe both of their butts, but you don’t mind nearly as much with the newborn.


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