The Big Daddy and I have been homeowners for the last twenty-two years. Same crib, same layout, same home owning chores.
By outward appearances we seem responsible. From the front and side we've got curb appeal, and anyone who watches HGTV or peruses Pinterest knows that's where you make your first impression. That's what counts in the home-owning biz.
Behind the curtain, though, the wizadry falls far short of the hydrangeas out front.
We have a never ending and growing list of things that need to be done. Many of these are of the wishlist variety like refinishing the floors, replacing the furniture, updating the fireplace and gutting the kitchen. We hope to accomplish some of this after the last semester of college tuition is paid in January of 2016, and though it's far too early to order the dumpster for the driveway I think about it.
All. The. Time.
Until then there is a host of non-wishlist, boring maintenance repairs that we talk about frequently but fail to act upon. We wring our hands over the "what ifs" of time and money and never move from our indecisive asses to get anything accomplished.
Currently the handle on the kitchen faucet shows signs of needing to be replaced, but what kind should we get? And since we're going to gut the kitchen in two plus years, maybe, just maybe, it really doesn't need a replacement just yet. No? Tack on the faucet on the bathroom shower upstairs and the sink in the basement and now we're talking big bucks and a trip to Lowe's and Home Depot for comparison shopping. Once inside we will get side-tracked by automatically flushing toilets, custom sinks and towel warmers. Longing for a Lotto win that we never play, we will leave with nothing and stop for ice cream on the way home because that cleanses the palate of the cost of home maintenance.
The outside of the house is in need of a paint job. The Big Daddy wants to side it to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. I want to leave it as is and replace the shingles that are split and cracked. We are at an impasse and then there is the anxiety over color that paralyzes us. For three years we have talked about the outside. For months there has been a flyer from a paint company on the kitchen counter. FREE QUOTE!!!! COLOR CONSULT!!! It's as if the Universe was dropping the answer in my lap, and I move that answer everyday when I wipe the ugly Formica counters off and put it back in its Home of Limbo.
Tomorrow, I tell myself. Tomorrow I'll call them for that free quote.
The roof on the screened porch has rotted in one corner from a leak (because the gutters need to be replaced) and former roofer extraordinaire Big Daddy says "I can fix that" but it is going on two years and I am losing faith in my roofer turned Bill Nye. And the screened porch isn't so screened with two big holes from a squirrel that came in one end and out the other for a frantic peek inside.
A few weeks ago when we went on a garden tour we came home with GRAND plans for the backyard. A vegetable garden oasis edged with perennials. Adirondack chairs in the corner to sit and have a glass of wine and watch the birds. A backyard that had all the curb appeal of the front with no grass to mow and veggies to sustain us through the growing months. An apple tree? Yes, that, and we'll pick some and slice them and have them with our cheese and crackers in our vintage chairs.
We will be that thin, attractive and vibrant couple throwing our gray hair back and laughing with twinkling eyes like those couples in a Cialis ad because they'll be hot sex after sitting in the pretty, new yard.
But wait a minute.
We did have a plan for a backyard oasis from a landscape architect that we paid for and on further digging I unearthed it. It was dated 2006.
We looked at it with our bespectacled eyes and threw our heads back and laughed. Eight years ago we started this plan? Our chubbiness jiggled in on the joke and then I folded it and put it back in the drawer. HOW MUCH IS THAT GOING TO COST US we pondered as we gazed upon our Sanford & Sons backyard and wrung our wrinkly hands.
Every day we roll the dice of indecision and then sit in wait for the adrenaline to kick in when the faucets reach their tipping point or the air conditioner heaves its final blast of cool air in the middle of July.
It's the fiery spontaneity in our homeowning marriage that comes from being long-standing Suitors of Calamity. The cure eventually pulls into the driveway and emerges from a truck carrying a clipboard and tool chest.
"Sign here," he says tsk, tsking as we look at the total and take our medicine. "Probably could have saved you some money if you hadn't waited to this point."
Yeah, yeah, yeah. If only we could figure out when the moment is right.