Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Day 24 of 365: Blood and Sweat (and Compensation)

Our movers called yesterday, asking if they could move us from a 7:30 a.m. move to the second move of the day (aka 12:30). To say we're not thrilled is an understatement. As they explained it, a lot of the movers wanted that Friday off. And, instead of forcing them to work and potentially creating accidents, they let them have the day off. We've been assured that the movers are not only capable of doing two moves in one day, but want to do yea-many moves (I assume because it means more money for them). Although, truth be told, the $20,000 insurance policy on our property calms our minds a lot more than their words could ever do.

Our painters, after explaining to us why a third coat of paint is just like priming, resorted to priming the foyer and hallways to get rid of the blue. The green tint is gone and I'm feeling a lot less stressed about the situation. Now the only concern is what the invoice is going to say. I can only imagine this fiasco is costing them upwards of three times what they had originally planned on spending (and that's not factoring in time lost to have their painters at our place instead). There will be hell to pay if they try to pass the buck onto us, but we'll cross (or burn) that bridge when we get to it.

Like I've mentioned ad nauseum over the past few days, I'm a Type A personality. I'm a perfectionist. I get wound up and uptight and I prefer to be in control of the situation (really, the only time I'm okay relinquishing control is when my husband is in charge). But, really, that's not the reason why I have been as stressed about the painters and the movers as I have. At least that's not the only reason.

We closed on the house on first week of July. Since then, we have been cleaning and scrubbing, cutting up walls and running cables, drilling things into place and agonizing over wall colors. We installed speaker systems, electrical outlets, ethernet jacks, and now window treatments. We sanded and spackled and mudded with such veracity that I ended up with blisters on my fingers (cue the boy with the cockney accent: "I got bleestahs on me feengahs!"). We scrubbed out every paint splotch, smudge mark, and crayon drawing. We dug out every nail hole, we spackled every ding and dent. We unscrewed, painted, and replaced doors in practically every room. We vacuumed with a type of militant efficiency that would make the Germans proud.

Our blood and sweat have gone into making this house our own. We've spent countless late nights at the house, working until way later than we should've, listening to comedy on our ride home, lest we fall asleep at the wheel. We finish up these projects knowing full well that there will be a brand new set as soon as we move in (we plan on finishing the basement ourselves, as well as remodeling the laundry room and installing a neat shelf/hanger combo in the master bathroom that I found off of Pinterest). We've sacrificed free time and sleep and even physical wellness to do our micro-renovations.

It's hard not to look at the people we have hired to help us, point to our house, and go, "How can you not love and revere this house as much as we do?"

I remember having the same issue when it came to my wedding. I'll digress here and say that there really is a lot of overlap between first-time homeownership and wedding planning. From every store within a 30-mile radius falling over themselves to do business with you (which works -- we just spent an absurd amount of money at Lowe's because they gave us a 10% off "new homeowners" coupon + free delivery), to that feeling you get when you find The House or The Dress, to the frustration upon realizing that there's nothing inherently special about your home to the outside world. With my wedding, I was pulling out my hair when I had friends and coworkers and family shrug their shoulders and treat my wedding like it was a barbecue that they couldn't make this year. I nearly lost my mind at one potential florist, who couldn't seem to be bothered with our preliminary meeting. I wanted to shake them, point to my fiancé, and go, "How can you not love and revere my impending marriage like I do?"

Because, at the end of the day, people have their own lives. Their own homes. Their own weddings or marriages. Their own issues that they revere more than we could ever. It's why we have the adage, "If you want something done right, do it yourself." No one is going to care as much or as deeply about the project at hand as you do and will.

Which is enough for me. As I've mentioned before, I've cherished this time as a time of learning. I learned how to cut drywall and install anchors and spackle and paint entire rooms. If a mover dings up a wall, we can patch it. If the painters skimp in an area, we can paint over it. Because, while the college grad with Labor Day Weekend plans on his mind might not feel it, we certainly do. And, so help us, God, we'll inspect every inch until it meets our exact specifications.

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