On Being Prepared

I am not cut out for home ownership. There I said it. (er, wrote it.) Perhaps I should be ashamed at 36 to feel this way, but I don’t. At all. You can tell me how foolish it is to spend money on rent without building equity and I get the argument in cars, but HOUSES? No thank you. I liked renting. I liked not being responsible for yard work and maintenance and when shit hits the fan you call someone to deal with (and pay for) it. Sure, you may still have to live in the disaster of shit going wrong (hello kitchen that flooded, TWICE) but at the end of the day it is not yours nor is it your responsibility to fix it. I think this self awareness IS maturity (despite my parents’ guilt trip lectures.)

Flash forward to falling in love with someone who owns a house. Moving into someone else’s space is not ideal, but that is a post for another day. It is not my house, but I still feel an obligation to care for it in a way I never have before. Jesse has lived in his house for almost 15 years and it is beautiful and we share similar tastes in a lot of it and I am so proud of all the work he has done. Yet it remains a constant work in progress. He is capable of fixing and re-doing a lot of things but does not have the time to do so, and because he can do it he doesn’t like to pay others to do it. Which leads us to the only full bathroom in the house, which has been ripped apart for more than a year now. The shower is in rough shape (oh iron rich water how I hate you so) and continues to grow worse. Please note we have had the new vanity cabinet, new bathtub, and all of the new tile sitting in the house for months and months. Well the current shower has two knobs on the faucet that are broken and the third one came completely off the stem yesterday when I tried to turn off the hot water.

This was… not good. I was alone and there was water streaming at me that I could not shut off. I was naked and vulnerable and I panicked. I am unprepared to deal with a house on a holding tank with limited waste water storage when water is uncontrollably pouring at me. I was able to shut off the main water line to the house and dry off before composing myself and finding a wrench to get the faucet turned off. When I got home last night I had a long talk with Jesse about my need to feel prepared and what I was supposed to do in that situation and his response was that I should have called him. Um, I DID THAT. (He didn’t answer.) I did get praise for shutting off the main water, but I would have preferred to be prepared to know where it was ahead of time before I was in the basement dripping wet with a towel searching. I asked if there was a shutoff to the water in the shower (like the valves at the sink or the toilet) and unfortunately there is not.

I spent a long time last night with Jesse going through some scenarios of house disasters (flood, fire, garage door, etc.) because I like to feel prepared. I am sure I will still continue to panic in the moment but I like to know that I do know what to do. Please keep your fingers crossed we don’t have to shower with a wrench for much longer.

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4 Comments

Filed under Domesticated, Of Course This Is About Me This Is My Blog

4 responses to “On Being Prepared

  1. Courtney

    I’m with you on feeling prepared. When we bought our house, I learned how to shut off the water main and all that kind of stuff in case of an emergency. And I totally get the appeal of renting forever, although buying a house was the right decision for us. It can be stressful sometimes.

    We also have a master bath that isn’t ripped apart, but has been out of commission for years. Maybe one day we’ll get around to renovating it. My usual tactic is to start the work myself, which forces M to jump in out of fear of me screwing something up.

    • Hah, I would love to see J’s face if I tried to start the work myself. I think the biggest hang-up is figuring out a temporary shower solution as the shower will be out of commission for a couple weeks between tear out and reconstruction (my ideas to join a health club or put a kiddie pool above the drain in the basement were both shot down.) Right now my focus is getting him to fix one of the two broken snowblowers in the garage as it is NOVEMBER in WI and he didn’t listen to me all summer.

  2. NPW

    I felt this same way for so long, but I’m finally ready (and kind of weirdly excited?) to face all the disasters. I wouldn’t have bit the bullet if I didn’t have Jay to do it with, but it’s time. Also, because I have shit luck, I am 100% positive that all the disasters that CAN happen surely WILL happen, and probably within the first month of moving in.

    • Yeah, I would have no interest in doing it alone. (I still can’t stop looking at pictures of your cute house and look forward to all your updates!) J also lives a jinxed life where every appliance he buys and every project he tries to tackle goes to shit. Total bummer, but definitely helps keep my expectations in perspective.

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