The Joys of Home Ownership

Tonight the city is full of morgues
And all the toilets are overflowin’
There’s shopping malls coming out of the walls
As we walk out among the manure
— Beck, “Pay No Mind”

Maybe not all the toilets are overflowin’, but one of ours certainly was the other day. I am definitely not Mr. Fix-It, and my attempt to clear a simple toilet clog certainly proved it. The result was a second-floor bathroom flooded with icky brownish toilet water that took two and a half rolls of paper towels to sop up and an aftermath of frenzied cleaning that led to the entire second floor of our home reeking of multiple disinfectants.

One of the things I miss about having an apartment was that you could just call somebody to come over and fix stupid stuff like this, and it would happen. Here, we’re on our own. So, things either don’t get done, like the patched spot in one of the bedrooms that’s needed to be painted for the last two and a half years, or they get done really half-assed, like the toilet the other day. I have only myself to blame for them, too.

There was one project where we did wind up having to call someone to come and help us out: changing a light bulb in the aforementioned bathroom. I’m sure there’s a corny joke in there somewhere: how many stupid homeowners does it take . . . ? For the life of us, we couldn’t figure out how to open the lighting fixture in order to change the bulb. We wound up replacing the burned-out bulb with one of those energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs that are supposed to last for many years, so by the time that burns out, we will have surely forgotten how to open the lighting fixture again.

And don’t get me started on yard maintenance. After one summer of attempting to weed our flower beds in front of and alongside the house, that fall we wound up paying a landscaper to come, rip them out, and replace them with stones and some easier to maintain shrubbery. The only problem now is that after two years, some of the shrubs are starting to get much larger than they are supposed to be. I’m afraid if we try to trim them and wind up being a little to overzealous in the task, we’ll wind up killing them. Yes, we are very lazy people with the opposite of green thumbs.

We are coming up on the third anniversary of being homeowners, and somehow the place hasn’t completely fallen apart yet. I’m not sure how that’s the case.


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