Remember that kid I had– oh, four years ago? Elias? Well, he doesn’t exist anymore. He has been replaced by Link the Legendary Hero. “I only have ONE NAME,” he told me, seriously. “It is WINK.”
“Blink?” I repeat, because I want to hear him say it again.
“Oh, Link,” I agree. He nods. Link is armed with bombs he fashioned out of cardboard and an evil-repelling sword (which he wrote ELIAS on– not sure what’s up with that).
I just got off the phone with Nationwide Insurance, renewing our homeowner’s policy. Casey from Portland, Oregon took my call. The Virginia offices were closed due to snow, apparently, and the calls got rerouted. “It’s only dinnertime here!” he announced happily. Casey totally out-chippered me in our conversation. I have never met anyone so thrilled to repeat confirmation numbers. Heh.
“It even cost less than they said,” I told Jason as I walked back to put the receiver in the cradle. “Some of the service fees were waived. I called. I did it. I took care of business, dude.” After getting a cold Diet Pepsi: “I’m proud of myself, in case you couldn’t tell.”
Jason laughed. “Good job, Captain.”
“Thanks, Tennille.” (I was proud of myself for that one, too. Jason didn’t get it.)
There’s so many things I didn’t know about owning a house. Houses are just one drama after another. You know how when you’re a little kid, school is going to be so awesome? You can ENVISION school. It’s going to be games, recess, eating pizza in the cafeteria, riding on the cool yellow bus you see swallowing up all the older kids each day. And then you get to school, and it’s kind of what you thought but not exactly. School involves a lot of learning. Your mom packs your lunch, so you don’t always get pizza. Recess is trying to steal a ball to play with from one of the bigger kids. That’s being a homeowner. When we rented, I just didn’t think there would be so much of a difference, and there IS. Nothing is exactly what I expected.
SURPRISE ONE: Your house will get just as dirty just as quickly, even if it’s bigger. It’s actually easier for me to keep track of a smaller area, because you can put things away quicker. Now when I clean the living room, every object goes to a different part of the house, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. There’s much more to clean, too. I thought, Hey, if we have a ton of bathrooms, we just won’t use them all and they’ll stay fresh longer. NOPE. Even if the toilet is totally unused, it will still get a ring from the hard water, there will still be cobwebs from out of nowhere, and you will not notice that your child flushed a toy in it until it’s too late.
SURPRISE TWO: When something breaks, your apartment company or landlord doesn’t take care of it. I knew that logically, but I can’t tell you how much it sucks when your washing machine is on the fritz and you realize it comes out of your own pocket.
SURPRISE THREE: Mortgage doesn’t cover all your house bills. Unlike rent, which was everything roof-over-your-head related, houses have property taxes and insurance, and– if you’re like us– HOAs. Which is thousands of extra dollars a year.
SURPRISE FOUR: The entire outdoors! Yards are maintenance. Our in-ground sprinkler sounded fun until we got the water bill, and it has to be carefully regulated. The outside lines have to be shut off in winter so the pipes don’t freeze. Gardens die FAST, and it’s expensive to even have a small one. The lawn has to be mowed every other weekend. The doors have to be sprayed so bugs don’t get in. Something is always needing to be cut, watered, weeded, or pruned. I just assumed that it took a decent amount of time for a yard to fall into disarray. Like, if you neglected it for YEARS, you’d have a run-down looking property. It only takes about three weeks, seriously.
Totally derailing onto a new train of thought:
Michelle is coming down, with Chris, with my parents, except my parents are coming on a different day, THIS WEEKEND. Yes, I purposely planned for that to be the least coherent sentence ever. Michelle and Chris are arriving on Saturday, my folks are arriving on Sunday, and they’re all staying till Monday. So, of course, today was the day Addie ate a red popsicle and carried it all over the house; bright crimson dye melted into every fabric surface. Of course.
I didn’t see Addie drizzling popsicle everywhere because I was troubleshooting Ali’s theme. It didn’t work out of the box like it was supposed to (through no fault of hers). After hours of scratching my head, I finally realized the test domain I was running it on and her domain had different versions of WordPress. You know how when you have the answer, it’s SO obvious? Yeah. We upgraded and it went pretty smoothly after that. Ali is a total doll and a dream client. She has patience for days. She’s all, “Well, the sidebar is working, and that’s something! Yay!” Heh. She didn’t stress at all that the rest of the site was broken. So, go over and tell her she rocks and that all of Jason’s hard work looks good! (He was graphic guy on this, and I just implemented code.)
I can’t believe that you guys did my meme. That’s so AWESOME. Now I have to make my grand finale follow-up meme. It’s right around National Delurking Week (although I don’t know who makes those rules). What you should do is either answer the whole thing, or even just your favorite question, in the comments. I promise this will be great.
BECCA’S FAKE GRAND FINALE COMMENT IT UP MEME!
1. If you could find one childhood toy in the back of your closet, what would it be?
2. Do you have more dreams or nightmares?
3. What film character do you most relate to?
4. If you opened a restaurant chain, it would be called what and serve what?
5. What superstition do you believe in?
6. If you had to be named something else, what would it be?
7. Jock slash cheerleader or nerd slash geek? Which are you closer to, which are you attracted to?
8. What’s the LAST thing you notice about the opposite sex?
9. What’s the LAST thing you did before you sat down at your computer?
10. What’s your favorite sound?
11. Would you rather travel by boat or train?
12. Would you rather have a fast car or a big house?
13. If you could only have one: love or money?
14. What’s your favorite commercial?
15. What is your best quality?
I’m officially retiring from the meme racket. Enjoy my magnum opus, and I can’t wait to hear from all of you. Hee.