As I get closer and closer to moving back into my house, life gets busier and busier. By this time next month, I should be back in my newly-restored house. Move-in day can’t come soon enough! I haven’t gotten around to writing much recently despite my resolution to do so every day. That’s not because there’s nothing to write about, but dealing with numerous, often annoying, things going on lately just zaps my energy. For example . . .
I need furniture. I don’t need a lot right away, but I do need something to sit on during the day and sleep on during the night. I’ve been spending my weekends running around to furniture stores and man, there’s a lot of ugly furniture out there! This past weekend I was fed up with comparison shopping. I’m going over to IKEA right now and picking out a bunch of stuff I like, I decided. My contractor would pick it up in a few days and keep it in storage for me until move-in day. Or so I thought. IKEA refused to hold anything for me, not even until Monday. I explained about the fire, my contractor, and the logistics of getting furniture for move-in day. No go. Buy it and take it on the same day, no exceptions, no sympathy, no flexibility. Fine, I said, you just lost a couple thousand dollars and I left. It was a good exit, but it still left me without furniture. I stopped by another furniture store on the way home. The people there were sympathetic and helpful. No problem holding the furniture, they said. I took a dozen photos or so of furniture, but most of it was not in my preferred style. I returned home; mission not accomplished.
On Monday I received an e-mail from my landlord. He knows this is my last month in the house and decided he could make some demands. He informed me he would be putting a lock box on my front door, so people could start viewing the house now as per our lease agreement. He wrote: “I understand that it would be tremendous inconvenience for you getting out of work to accommodate a showing but also I need to start showing the home.” Excuse me?? Why would I take off work to show his house? Can you say chutzpah?! Back in May when I was checking the house out, I asked him several times whether people would be viewing the house (and if so, I would have gone elsewhere, I had enough stress given my situation) and he insisted no one would be. He also mentions in his e-mail that he can wait until I move out if I pay a fee of $2760. Oh right, let me just check my purse for some spare change. I was furious, but I replied in a restrained way and included my insurance man in the response. Please advise, I asked him. I was on the way to the dentist (another aggravation – all my stress causes me to grind my teeth a lot, so I have some cracked teeth now), and by the time I left, the insurance man had already contacted the Temporary Accommodations group to inquire about the lease conditions. Everyone was suitably outraged at the landlord’s demand. “We have left a message about our legal position on his voicemail.” Since I haven’t heard back from the landlord, I’m thinking, mission accomplished.
On Tuesday the Property Damage department of my mortgage company called me. Three times. They still haven’t gotten the correct documents from my contractor, the woman whines. Without those, they won’t release the second check. Wait a minute, I said, a few weeks ago my contractor called your office to confirm everything and last week I got a message on my voicemail that everything was in and a check would arrive in the next 3-5 days. Silence, then excuses. I don’t see any record of that. He faxed the wrong document. Her tone implies that my contractor just doesn’t understand these things. There are no notes about confirming his fax. Was the message on the voicemail a human voice or a robotic one, she asks. Like it makes a difference, I wondered? We go around like this for a few minutes and the woman decides she’ll talk to my contractor directly. I quickly text him a heads up. The contractor texts me back that he spoke to the woman and she has only part of his previous fax. My contractor is ready to drive there and give it to them in person, probably along with some choice words. It’s all so annoying, I text. “Can you say idiots?!” he texts back. A couple of hours later, he lets me know the woman called to confirm the correct documents were with her and the check should arrive in 3-5 days. Did she use a human voice or a robotic one, I wonder.
Is it really only Wednesday? I drive over to my house after work to pick up the mail. The house looks different somehow, but it takes me a moment to realize why. My driveway is oddly vacant. The giant dumpster is no longer there. For nearly five months there has been one of these dumpsters (three or four total) parked in front of my house to collect the remains. I park in the driveway for the first time since May and go into the house. There’s a faint scent of primer on the walls. Painting should commence in a day or so. And despite the aggravations and stress of the week, I begin to feel just a little bit more cheerful.