Paperwork never ends when you’re a homeowner.
You think it reaches its climax at closing – when they make you sign two pounds of paper, when carpal-tunnel syndrome sets in, when they try to wear you out so that you won’t bolt for the nearest exit when you realize exactly how much you will really pay for a $70,000 house or discover that escrow is a complete and total rip-off.
But the paperwork continues, and I’m not talking about the check you write once a month, the tax appraisals and protests, or the insurance claims after hailstorms.
I mean The List.
Our house was built in 1941. We moved in on Dec. 7, 1991. I’m not saying the house is jinxed or anything, but I lost my job the next day. Truth of the matter is: I like my house. Heck, I even like my neighbors. I think the house is in pretty good shape.
But there’s The Bride. The house is in my name, but The Bride rules the roost.
She also makes out The List.
“Water the begonias. Clean out the rain gutter. Feed The Dog. Vacuum the carpet. Sing and dance.”
I didn’t know what a begonia was until I became a homeowner. And I wonder if there’s a double indemnity clause in my life insurance policy in case I break my neck while on the roof, putting wet slop in a Minyard’s bag.
Plus, if I vacuum too soon, The Dog will get hair back on the carpet in seconds – and The Bride will think I slacked off on my chores.
“Sing and dance?” The Bride is sweet, adding a joke to break up The List (not to mention make it longer).
But let’s be fair. The Bride does more than her share of chores on The List. The flower gardens? She plants’em and cares for’em until The Dog eats’em or digs’em up. Then I get an addition to The List.
The Bridge tries to be fair, but The List can get out of control. I was spoiled by seven years as a renter. If you have a problem with the plumbing, you call the landlord. And six or seven weeks later, he gets around to fixing it. I thought that’s the way it would work as a homeowner. The garage door is stuck? OK. I’ll get to it in June.
But The Bride demands action. And she has mapped out a plan. The List goes on forever. There’s The Wednesday List, The Weekend List, even 1995 Chores And Beyond.
Personally, I would never have thought the kitchen appliances needed painting. I would never have known you could have that done. I would never have thought I would write a check to have that done.
But it was on The List.
Re-doing the bathroom and re-tiling the kitchen floor are on The List. That’s scary. My buddy Dan has been redoing his bathroom for about a year.
He’s a homeowner, too. He also has A List.