I am sincerely afraid to open my Discover bill this month. Oh, it’s true that I never spend much on anything. But a little here, a little there… it adds up, particularly when getting ready for Christmas. And a 1,000 mile car trip with two kids. And when finding such awesome deals at Amazon that I cannot possibly let them pass by.
At this point I am pretty sure that my UPS man curses my name every time he pulls up at my house. (But, hey, it’s not MY fault that when you order a tub of Legos from Amazon, they send each brick individually, for a total of 750 boxes on the doorstep.)
This is, of course, why the bathroom pipes staged a coup; because it’s a truism that you never find yourself in the middle of an unexpected home repair when you have some extra money lying around. It’s as if the appliances sense that you’re low on cash, and suddenly BOOM! everything breaks. I have been stopping on every trip through the kitchen to whisper sweet nothings to the washer and dryer, so great is my fear at this point.
Anyway, as I had mentioned before, there were multiple plumbing issues that we knew about when we bought the house. Negotiating a house deal is game of chicken that grown-ups play with their wallets; after the home inspection, you go ahead and present a laundry list of items you want fixed OR ELSE, and then the sellers have to decide whether or not you’re bluffing and whether or not they feel comfortable telling you what you can do with your list of demands.
The people we bought this house from told us what we could do with our list, and we were bluffing so we said “Thank you, sir. May I please have another?” And that is how we came to own a house needing a thousand small, annoying repairs.
Otto is an amazingly handy guy, so when the time comes (read: if I ever SELL THAT OTHER HOUSE I STILL OWN), we’ll be able to do most of the work ourselves. (And by “ourselves” I mean that I will cheer Otto on and bring him snacks.) But at this point, finances being what they are, we’re waiting on most of the changes we’d like to make.
(For example: I’m pretty sure a pack of warthogs used to live here, based upon the state of the carpet.)
ANYWAY, when the plumbing under my bathroom sink let loose, we figured AS LONG AS we were going to have to deal with that, we should probably get new faucets for the master bathrooms (yes, we have his and hers bathrooms, which is ridiculous BUT, I’m convinced, a key component of marriage preservation) as both of them have always dripped. Also, they’re old and ugly.
We’d replaced all the faucets in my old house before I moved, so I thought I had some idea of what faucets should cost. Yes, they’re pricey little items, but we’d found deals before and could again, right? Right.
Except that all of the faucets in my old house are those one-piece jobbies, and all of the faucets in THIS house are “widespread” or “three-hole” or “INSANELY EXPENSIVE” style. Surprise! Lucky us!
Otto went out to our local home improvement store and called me from there to tell me about some cool faucets he found, and after some back and forth he brought them home. They are beautiful. I want to make out with them a little. (Okay, understand that WE DID NOT PAY the original price or even close to the sale price listed here, but here they are.) He brought them home and we whispered sweet nothings to them but also had a Serious Discussion about whether or not we could afford these beautiful faucets right now.
Well, in the process of fixing my sink, my existing faucet ended up completely busted (which came as a shock to no one). We had to let the plumber install one of the new faucets, which he did, and now my bathroom has that old-tyme rustic feel. You know, if in olden days people had pump spouts to go along with their painted-over wallpaper and cheap imitation marble countertops.
Anyway, I’m trying to enjoy my new faucet. It really IS very cool—I feel so FANCY, with the water coming out in a little horizontal stream like that—but I’m feeling pangs of guilt. And last night Otto said maybe he can fix the faucet in his bathroom, in which case we could return the other faucet. (I, of course, am already thinking that if he can fix his faucet, maybe we could put the other new one in a bathroom that visitors to our house may actually use. He really did get a good deal on them.)
I just cannot understand WHY, in a house needing SO MUCH updating, we end up with a fancy faucet in the room LEAST LIKELY to be seen by other humans. It’s like my secret style oasis! My private little bastion of good design! I can throw myself a tiny party every time I wash my face and brush my teeth, celebrating my refined taste!
Would it be wrong to parade guests to the house through my bathroom, just until we get to some other repairs around here? “And this is the living room, and the kitchen, and NOW LET’S GO LOOK AT MY FAUCET!”
I mean, given limited resources and the choice between doing away with 30-year-old linoleum in the guest bathroom or getting a really swanky faucet in the bathroom with a sign on it that says “MINE! MINE! ALL MINE! GO FART SOMEWHERE ELSE!” we obviously made the wise choice.