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Thursday, January 19, 2012

This Old House...

...can suck my dick.

When my wife were young and stupid, and childless, and when she wasn't my wife, we'd go traipsing around quaint neighborhoods and looked at lots of charming old houses, because that's what we liked.

In the end, we bought a house that was more old than it was charming. We made it charming inside, by painting its walls all kinds of fucked up circus colors, and by adding our tchotchkies and our touches and our random piles of shit.

We have such charming random piles of shit.

1928 was a long time ago. It was before the stock market crash. It was before color television and before women going to work and women going to war. 1928 was before the "Wizard of Oz"-- that's how long ago 1928 was. Do you believe there was a time before that movie?

Our house was built in 1928 and, thus, it is eighty-four years old. When you're young and stupid, the idea of living inside a thing built before your parents were built doesn't seem absurd at all. Having lived in this house for some time, it does now. Noam Chomsky is eighty-four years old, and I wouldn't want to live inside him. I can't stand the fucking guy. Shirley Temple, I just learned, was also born in 1928. Somehow, living inside her sounds better, but only marginally.

At first, the old home was fun-- it gave us things to do. Old lady wallpaper? Let's strip it and paint! Nasty linoleum floor the color of a three-year-old's vomit? Let's rip the bejesus out of the floor and replace it! Old windows-- caked in decades and decades of lead paint? Let's....


See, 'cuz window replacement people don't like dealing with lead paint. And a new law was passed recently that says that they don't have to-- that the onus is on the homeowner to get an environmental hazard specialist into the home to either remove or encapsulate all the lead paint and provide the window people with a certificate of non-PB-ness before they can proceed with the work.

Can you say:


Because, with two month-old children bleating their tiny genitals off in the next room, I sure as Christ can't!

These days, it seems that everywhere I look in this old house of ours there is something to be replaced, fixed, updated, re-done, dealt with. The windows are the obvious priority. Last year, before this fucking regulation was passed, we replaced half the windows in the house. The downstairs, mostly new windows, is toasty warm. Our bedroom and the rest of the upstairs, mostly old windows, is like living inside Shirley Temple's Kelvinator. After two horrifying nights spent shivering in our bedroom with the twins, we moved "OPERATION NEW LIFE" downstairs. The twins sleep in a pack-n-play in the dining room, the parents sleep on the sofa in the living room.

That's right, we're crashing on the couch in our own goddamn house, and we have been for over a month. And we will continue to do so until the windows are all replaced.

There's water damage on the wall in the nursery. There's water damage in the wall in the 1st floor bathroom. The roof's probably falling in because it was clearly installed by a guy with a sixth grade education. When you're feeding and changing and clothing and burping and wiping two little children, projects are no longer fun, old houses are no longer charming. You finally get why young couples buy pristine, 4.5-year-old homes in developments where the biggest dilemma they have is choosing the white, the off-white, the bone, or the creme one.

I get it now.

You win.

I can't take it anymore.

If I have to spend another month on this sofa, it's not going to be pretty.

Don't get me wrong, I love this house. We're not going to go live in a gated community because we've got "a few holes in the floor, the odd door missing" (to quote Basil Fawlty), but you can love something that makes absolutely no sense. It's nice to know that, even though we went and got married and had kids and got a mortgage and two dogs and two cars and some more gray hairs, that I'm still basically just as fucking stupid as I was before.

I was worried there for a second-- weren't you?

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