Frequently, we’re asked, “How much work have you done on the house?”
Well . . . uhh . . . how much time do you have?
Usually we opt for some variation of “Well, the renovation’s been more extensive than we planned, so we had to strip it down to the studs and replace everything except some walls.”
“The kitchen too?”
“Yes.” (why does everyone ask about the kitchen? is this instinctive? do we have to worry first about the place where food is?)
“When do you plan to move in?”
Now, these people don’t deserve a roundhouse kick to the face . . . per se . . . they’ve just tripped one of Emily’s crazy triggers (for the moment, it’s a sensitive subject and it’s up there with rich white people from rich white neighborhoods casually saying, “Race was never an issue growing up”).
As an alternative to such violent outbursts, I continue to masquerade as a pseudo-pacifist by detailing our renovations here: room by room.
And for clarity’s sake, I won’t actually kick you in the head if you ask when we’re moving in, and here’s a timeline of our hang-ups during the project that made me want to kick you in the head, for no fault of your own:
September, 2012: buy the house. YAAAAY. take pictures. bring the dog over. tell our friends. dog pees on carpet because she has no idea she’s inside a house where that’s not allowed.
October: I got a cold, which I would have for around five months. we moved out of our apartment into my old bedroom. most vehicles used to help us move broke. when i wrote about it, josh was greeted the next day at work by people saying, “You can’t borrow my car!”
November: hurricane sandy tried to take our house. specifically, she blew up our breaker box, put a foot or so of water in the basement, and could have burned the house down. since the days were getting shorter, we were stuck, without natural light, without electricity, unable to work on the house because both of us worked while the sun was shining. oh, and josh’s and my dad’s cars broke down and we had no money and i had a small personal crisis. things at work were spiraling quickly downward, and i was sicker than I wanted to let on.
December: still no power. people who were reading my blog for house stories, not to know about my disease, were sorely disappointed.
January: I quit my job and slowly came back alive. we got a great new electric box with help from a family friend, but the dumpster company refused to cooperate because it was snowing. so we were stuck.
February: after a month of our pleading, the dumpster company delivers (so does the house). demolition ensues. we get rid of all the trash in the basement. work goes swimmingly, surprisingly, for a few months.
And that is how we’re still not living in our house. Because the universe saw fit to prevent us from doing pretty much any work at all between November and February.
Hang-ups yet to be conquered:
Once I sniff out internet that will let me upload pictures, we’ll get cracking on some before & durings. Because, no, there are still no afters.