How Low Is My Bar?

Today, God willing, I will be writing my last rent check ever. Here are the Top 4 Low Bar Things I’m excited about after we move into our house later this month.

1. When something is wrong, it’s mine to fix. Or not.

When I make the decision not to call a plumber to route out the main sewage line, I can kick myself in the face the next time water starts backing up. When the heat doesn’t seem to be blowing hot air, I can call either an HVAC professional, or a former coke dealer who tells me to put on another sweater. It’s my choice! If I half-ass repairing my doorknobs because I’m too lazy to get a screw that’s not stripped, it’s my ass that’s half.

2. R-rated laundry

During all but two years of my adult life, I have shared laundry facilities. I’ve washed my goods in apartment complexes, in laundromats, or with roommates. Several loyal readers of this blog will recall the almost-year that we shared two to four machines (depending on repairs) with an entire city block.

Dante wrote about the stress of having to change over laundry when the machines aren’t all yours. It’s his 3rd level of hell. Where they put courteous, community-minded people. You have to live eternity in 35-, then 60-minute increments. Because you have to rush to change over the laundry before someone else needs the machine. Forever.

Is it so wrong to want the freedom to leave a load of laundry in the machine? Just while I run errands? Is it so wrong to want to dash to the washing machine without putting a winter jacket? —>

belly laundry

But really? My biggest source of excitement about the upcoming move? Doing laundry in no pants.

3. We will control all the doors.

We currently live in a side-by-side duplex. We have a shared front door to a foyer, and each unit has a door. Until recently, I was in the habit of leaving my keys in the house if I was hanging in the yard, or popping in to see neighbors. But then the Really Scared Tenant moved in. I know she has no choice in her fear. I met her mother, whose first (of many, many, many) sentences to me was:

I was so glad to see there was a young family living next door, I saw that as a good sign; you know I looked at the crime map for this neighborhood, and saw that robberies do happen, but for some reason don’t happen on this block, and that made me feel a little bit better–I wonder why that is.

She took a breath to put up a fake home security sign in the front yard, and continued:

Do the lights all work on the exterior of the building? How do you know when garbage day is? How is the payment handled? Are the cars parked on the street okay?

I can see how this kind of thing might rub off on someone you raise. But what that means for me is I now have to carry keys. Because at 10:30 in the morning, I could return from the back yard to the front to a deadbolted front door. Which would only make me smashy, because this is the door, and the lock:

glass doorsBurglar-Proof-Deadbolt

I’m no burgle expert. But I’m thinking reaching through a broken window pane will turn that knob. Not only is the security insecure, it’s irritating.

In short, if I am locked out, I want it to be my own dang fault.

4. We will no longer be lumped in with the idiots of the world.

Listen, people are idiots. It’s true. I just started a blog post about a mess of ways in which I am an idiot.

But if you for one second imply that I am an idiot about basic home care, you are insulting generations of my family on all sides. My parents raised their house like it was my sibling. All of my grandparents could live off the grid without blinking. I’m talking woodworking, electrical, plumbing, sewing, growing shit, logging, ironworking, barn raising, chicken killing, etc. etc.

Then last week our current landlord asked the Swedelock, “Do you guys put wipes or paper towels down the drain?”

Blink. Blink.

I get it. Most tenants do shove bacon grease and whole deer carcasses down the disposal. Most do flush empty make up containers or whatever. Because people are idiots, remember? But c’mon, dude. This? This after a year of things like explaining to you how your radiator heating works?

We can’t wait to be pantless non-idiots reveling in our unlocked home, surrounded by our very own fix-it projects. That’s as high as our bar gets.

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4 Responses to How Low Is My Bar?

  1. Lauren Supplee says:

    OMG The laundry bit is HYSTERICAL! (and I love the picture!)

    • alanajoyski says:

      I had to edit a whole bunch of laundry stuff out. I should write an entire ode to the laundry days of yore. Including the excitement of European machines. I don’t want to jinx it, though. We still need to clean the machines at our new house (like the exhaust is 100% blocked, for example). If it turns out the machines don’t work, my head will explode, and you’ll hear about it here.

  2. acujeanne says:

    This is the best thing I ever read. And having your own washer and dryer is THE BOMB. I felt like a kid in a candy store when we moved in to our place.

    • alanajoyski says:

      I will a accept your compliment, even though I know your educational history, and can assume you’ve read actual literature. Just hearing you say “THe BOMB” in my head made my morning.

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