When I moved back home to Texas after many years in New York City, I was overcome with happiness. I do think that everyone should live in Manhattan for three years. Beyond that time frame, “There be dragons.” I just didn’t anticipate having to physically move into my mother’s house. I’d been a renter all my life. When something went wrong with my abode, I just called the landlord and poof, it was fixed. The Ancient One’s house was built in 1944. That’s older than I am, and like my physical body taking on a middle-aged hue, the house is beginning to break down.
The charm of our little bungalow is sagging like the tautness of my own skin. There are cracks where there shouldn’t be, and the paint is peeling like my facial skin after a good exfoliation. We’re three women in this house with few male-like skills like carpentry, plumbing or even general home repair. Finding an honest, reliable, qualified handyman who won’t take advantage of our pathetic helplessness is like searching through Match-dot-NOT-dot-com for the man of my dreams. So far, it’s just not happening.
Had we been able to convince The Ancient One that a retirement center would be just like a shiny new home for her with lots of roommates, we would have unloaded this house during the housing market where sellers were kings (or queens in our case). Instead, we’re just mentally adding up all the repair costs that will be deducted from our overblown sale price after TAO has passed over to the land of milk, honey, polished wood floors, and granite-topped counters in the kitchen.
I need to fall in love, PDQ, with a “handy” man who can get things done around here. One with a sense of humor, good looks, social skills, a large bank account and a flat stomach. Oops, I was talking about the house, wasn’t I? It’s easy for me to “digress,” as Sal would say, because I’d rather think of anything else besides the gigantic, ancient tree that cracked, broke, and fell in our back yard last week.
Home Sweet Home!
Well, this sure is a lot better than the local homeless shelter. Where KK sees falling trees and chipping paint, I see a warm place to fall from the fifth floor apartment where I lived in Hollywood. Bah, humbug, KK. Can we have a little positive outlook on our circumstances here? Sure, the wiring is old and the kitchen is dated, but hell, it’s better than the non-air-conditioned, 1928 ant-ridden building I left three years ago.
We did have a security code in that building which made it feel pretty safe. However, one night I got home late and forgot my security code … okay, I was drunker than seven hundred dollars but that’s beside the point. I got in because our friendly neighborhood homeless guy, Harry, gave me the code. He also reminded me that my bourbon stash was getting dangerously low.
Our house is quaint. Some may say it is darling, but some may think the crack in our driveway belies a house full of deadbeats. Our gutters are bending away from the house and causing the siding to rot but hey, I’m warm at night and I have sheets and Velveeta. I’m grateful for my shelf full of sweaters, and I don’t have to go to the laundry mat. I hate the laundry mat. I had to go to one in Hollywood where Harry always slept on one of the dryers. I was nice to him in case I ever got snot-slinging drunk again and couldn’t remember the secret code to my building. I also gave him a bag of Cheetos.
We have a fireplace in our cute, little house. Okay, it doesn’t work, but the fake logs look real. We have nice furniture and beautiful paintings on the walls. If you look closely you can see that cats have shredded the arms on the couches and chairs but we cover those with really cool shawls and throws. It’s kind of like the way KK and I are. We look pretty chic on the outside but under our expensive-looking garments our underwear is frayed and we’ve turned off the gas to our fireplaces. Well … at least I have. KK’s fireplace is still workable but nobody ever puts wood in it.
Photo courtesy of TheMidlifeGals
Originally published on TheMidlifeGals