My brother and his wife are planning on buying a house in the spring. An older house. They are admittedly a little apprehensive about home maintenance and remodeling.
Since My Guy and I bought a beat-down old house, we are now basically Poochie and Mrs. Poochie's home-ownership role models. Like AA sponsors, but with more dried paint in our hair.
Mrs. Poochie is looking for the silver lining, or at least some humor to justify the sweat and dirt of fixing up an older house. Her questions made me remember some of our best home-improvement adventures. And by "best," I mean "funny in retrospect."
Case in point?
Poochie helped us paint the exterior of our house. He and My Guy determined that they were better painters with steadier hands if they drank beer. I generally stayed on the opposite side of the house and painted trim while standing on the ground. I just couldn't watch them climb the big rented ladder, and I didn't want to think about the beer.
Several months afterward, I learned that at one point, Poochie got stuck on the steep roof. And My Guy had to go inside the house, throw him a rope through a skylight, and belay him down the side of the house. Like our house is the Alps.
My mom, Mrs. Poochie and I all had the same cringing response to this tale. My dad, on the other hand, thought it made perfect sense. Dudes.
Our more recent home-improvement debacle involved remodeling the entire second floor of our house. Even though we had the bathroom and floors done professionally, it still took forever to get the space habitable. Finally, late on a Sunday afternoon, after eons of work, we finally moved our furniture up our narrow little staircase into our new, luxurious master bedroom.
Well, we moved all of our furniture except for our queen-sized box spring.
I guess in 1939, building staircases to accommodate big ol' furniture wasn't a top priority. So, while we could cram the mattress up there, the box spring just wasn't happening. We got it jammed into the doorway of the stairwell ... and then it became clear that it wasn't getting any further.
At first, I kept thinking that we just needed more brute strength. But really, there was no way around it: no queen-sized box spring is going to fit through a stairway the size of a straw.
We were exhausted. All we wanted was to set up our bedroom a mere 14 months after moving into our house.
Now, our pal Google will tell you that it's possible to cut a box spring in half. You may scoff at this suggestion, and figure that such butchery would spell uncomfortable sleep from there on out. You might even go so far as to say that folks who attempt such tomfoolery are white trash who didn't plan well and buy a 2-piece box spring in the first place.
Ehh. I can't argue on the white trash bit, but I can tell you that you can cut your boxed spring in half, fold it like a burrito, carry it up your narrow-ass stairs, and then reassemble it. And no sleeper and no chiropractor is any wiser. Shit works. Even if you can't look as your husband saws your bed in half, it will all work out. Slap a dust ruffle on there, and no one will ever know.
If you need a tutorial, YouTube is a gold mine. I highly recommend the video where the wife / girlfriend person gets her arm caught in the boxed-spring burrito. It's hilarious. We watched it several times for the entertainment value alone.
See? Having a house is kind of like having kids. Much dumber people that you have done it. You'll be fine.