I can haz style?

By Mir
December 13, 2007

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.


  1. All Adither

    Don’t belittle having your own swanky faucet…think of it as a reward for all that your breasts had to go through in the last few weeks.

  2. Sara

    I know all about waiting to fund home improvement projects. Although my waiting is a combination of the typical cash flow issues paired with a husband who is the world’s worst procrastinator. (I guess he’d actually be the world’s BEST procrastinator, wouldn’t he?) The carpets were horrible when we moved into this home 9 years ago. And the kitchen floor was white and was definitely the spawn of Satan as we had a baby, a toddler and a black, hairy dog. (We’ve since added two children and subtracted a dog. R.I.P. Molly!) After much whining on my part, the hubs eventually got around to changing flooring in the kitchen and family rooms, but the rest of the house is so gross that I threaten to use it as punishment against my children. On any given day to any given child you might hear me threaten: “Get sassy and you’ll go lay face down on the carpet!!” Luckily for all of us, I’ve never had to follow through… (gag)

  3. Megan

    You need those faucets in the least-seen bathroom in the house (wait – do people regularly tour through Otto’s bathroom then? Just wondering…) because a) it’s the one place they will stay clean and undamaged by wild animals swinging off them in childish glee and b) when said wild animals are making you get that strange twitch in the back of your head that makes you think infanticide is a really pretty word you can retreat to the bathroom and gently stroke the faucet while you murmur “who’s mama’s favorite then? Hmmm?”

  4. dad

    You are in need of an attitude realignment. Why shouldn’t your bathroom be the center of the universe? It could be featured on the next Georgia Art Walk and be oggled at by roaming hoardes of connoiseurs of the finer things in life. Perhaps you could provide “Ode To Joy” as background music.

    Bask in thy glory!
    Just sayin.

  5. Kimberly

    I want a bathroom with a sign like that! That is the best inducement towards marriage I’ve seen yet.

  6. Paula

    Fixtures are my porn, too. I get all hot and bothered watching HGTV.

  7. Andrea

    No worries: We just had our bathroom upgraded: larger shower with real tile, new jetted tub with more real tile around it, and new tile floor. I also painted and did a faux finish. FANCY! :) Anyway, we kept the existing vanity and countertop, but while I was out buying a new faucet for the tub, I splurged and got matching faucets for the 2 sinks. It updates it a bit over on that side of the bathroom, plus I had a great coupon (thanks, Wendy!). Sooo…when I am giving the tour of our master bath, I make it a point to say “And looky over here–new matching faucets on the sinks too!” [Please ignore the Hollywood lights above that we have yet to search for a replacement and change out.}

    I don’t know what I’m saying except that you deserve it! :)

  8. Aimee

    I’m with your dad — I think Ode to Joy would make delightful background music for your cleansing and primping rituals. Come on, you know you want to!

  9. mbbored

    I’m totally with you on the things go wrong when you’re already broke. Plane tickets and presents for the holidays, and grad school application fees. Then an unexpected move, and closing in on $2000 on my dog. I guess not everybody in my family really need presents anyways, right? And the BF has me, so that should be enough of a present?

  10. The Other Leanne

    Did I ever mention that my house is 100 years old? And that every time something needs to be replaced, the new-fangled item does not fit unless I break/replace something else? It is amazing how wonderful a new faucet can make you feel; the last one I got I wanted to lay my cheek upon it and whisper to it…uh, never mind about that.

    Years ago my friend Tim the Poet was building a house. At Christmastime he asked me (A Woman)if I thought he should get his wife this fancy faucet she wanted or something frilly and personal. I told him the faucet was the equivalent of a frying pan and no. How young and foolish and inexperienced I was!

    Your new trough is tres bon. I wish I could see it in action.

  11. Kendra

    I just bought the same faucet! In oil-rubbed bronze! I’ll post when it is installed because I’m re-doing the whole bathroom myself and when it’s done I’m going to be pretty proud of myself. I do wish however that I had gotten a better deal on the faucet-I spent a small fortune!

  12. Contrary

    I have been drooling over that exact faucet. I say Otto should go on and put the other one in his bathroom. Boys deserve nice faucets too! Or, if y’all are really having trouble with it, you can send it to me. I would love it and care for it and wipe the toothpaste off of it every day.

  13. TW

    Ok, when I show up at your door, I definitely want a tour that includes the faucets.

  14. Ani

    Everyone needs a little bit of fancy. Consider it your private oasis. Retreat to it when the wildness gets too hairy. Hide your chocolate stash under the (fixed) sink and gorge on it while laughing at the hordes outside. Ok, maybe a bit too far there. :-)

    Now where can I find a house with master bathroom(S)? Cause that would just be rocking awesome.

  15. Tootsie

    We have the opposite problem when it comes to finances and home repair (or just repairs). As soon as we get a little extra cash and start dreaming about what to do with it or should we just save it? Something tremendously expensive breaks. Never fails. And it always exceeds the extra money amount. I hates me some repairs.

  16. Flea

    Mine is always car repairs when we have the least money. Not so easy to live without a car.

    Our last house had horrendous carpets, like someone had rebuilt an engine in the living room. When we painted the living room I “accidentally” spilled paint on the carpet. Darn. We wound up just ripping up the carpet and staining the cement under it for about 60 bucks. And 6 months working every night after everyone was in bed. But it was pretty and I did it myself! We lived that way for about years before tiling, but I learned that a hard floor is much easier to clean. I’d have done the stain again if we didn’t now live with an upstairs and plywood sub-flooring up there.

  17. kidzmama

    First off, the faucet is gorgeous. A keeper for sure. I really think Otto deserves his as well. If he doesn’t install it soon you should wrap it up and put it under the tree.

    Second, your dad is awesome, “just sayin'”.

  18. carrien

    If you take them back now and then try to get the same thing again later when you can afford it there are very good odds that it will be A. discontinued b. on back order and therefore exorbitantly full price expensive or c. impossible to find. That my experience anyway. (All vicarious, DH renovates other people’s houses, we don’t even own a house because he likes that a land lord has to maintain our place of residence, and not him.)

    I do know about this cool trick that’s relatively inexpensive to make counter tops pretty though. There’s this concrete treatment, don’t laugh concrete is actually quite pretty and can be made to look like stone for way less, but you apply it to your existing counter top in layers and you can color it and grind it and make it all pretty for a fraction of the price of a new installation and its as durable as, well, concrete.

    Good luck

  19. Premenopaws

    You have a washer and dryer in your kitchen? That must be a southern thing.

  20. chris

    When we first bought our house I routinely brought people down to the basement to look at my new furnace and copper pipes.

    Ok, I lie. I still do it.

  21. Crisanne

    Who’s payin’ for that house? You and Otto or your guests?? Give yourselves something nice this time, the guests can wait.
    That’s my 2 cents, not that you asked!

  22. Procrastamom

    Mmmmm, I too want to make out with your new faucets. Is there a line? And I wouldn’t feel bad about parading people through your bathroom. That’s exactly what I did when we got new bedside lamps for the master bedroom. “This is the ugly living room, ugly kitchen, even uglier hallway…but have you seen my new lamps? Gorgeous!”

  23. Ree

    I want to make out with your faucets too. Dibs after Procrastamom. Wait, will that make your faucets sleazy?

  24. andi


    hee hee hee, love it!!

  25. jennielynn

    Early in my first marriage, a wise woman said to me, “Decorate your bedroom first. It is your oasis as a couple and should be the most important room in your house. People rarely agree with your decorative choices anyway. They’re too busy thinking what they’d do differently.”

    Looking back, I think that was excellent advice. Keep the faucet. Don’t you want your bathrooms to have matching plumbing? Huh, huh, doncha?

  26. Another Dawn

    Appliances and cars KNOW if you come into a small bit of money. Every time I get a raise or a bonus, something breaks. And I swear I can hear appliances giggling between themselves…

  27. ScottsdaleGirl


    I wanted to lick that picture….I am SO going to Lowe’s this weekend.

  28. Carolyn

    WOW! I’m jealous, that’s a fancy faucet. (say “fancy faucet” 10 times real fast)

  29. Jaime

    that ia a beautiful faucet!!

  30. Flea

    ScottsdaleGirl – are you going to Lowes just to lick the faucet or are you going to buy one? I’m envisioning you standing in the fixture aisle at Lowes, on tip toe, licking the faucet, eyes closed. Creepy. :)

  31. D

    Oh … those faucets. Yeah – drool. And I don’t drool over bathroom hardware. When we bought our house I gave tours to folks interested in “the tour” – from our wonderful kitchen up to our Australian Water Closet. I figure that it’s our most expensive purchase, so folks are getting a tour. As for the UPS guy – nah, he’s not cursing … Legos are light, but plentiful. It’s those books he’s cursing about. :-)

  32. Cele

    Wow, those are awesome faucets. Sad he could find three – because really he needs nice stuff too.

  33. Jennifer

    You haven’t been perusing the lolcats recently, have you?

    Questioncat … is questioning.

  34. Kristi

    Love that faucet. Keep for yourself.

  35. C~

    Ohhhhhh, I’m coveting your faucets…in a completely platonic and non-Biblical sort of way, of course. Still…

  36. Bronie

    love the faucet! and tours are definitely up for discussion; charge for them and buy another new-fangled faucet. just a thought.

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