Oh what a day I have planned! (Note that this must be said with a certain amount of mock enthusiasm or I may lay on the floor and scream.)
I rent a small, old, house in a part of El Paso, Texas that was originally intended as housing for Chinese immigrant workers in the 1800’s. Needless to say, that means my house is not only spectacularly tiny, but also very old. Living in such an old house comes with a slough of problems… including, but not limited to, the appearance of grass growing up through the carpet in my living room because the foundations are cracked. Yes, it’s that dilapidated. Unfortunately, I can’t move because I’m poor. There’s no shame in admitting it, and in the next two years, I am attempting to find the funds to finally be able to move after having lived here for the past seven.
The reason I’m telling you this,is that I want to give this issue I’m dealing with a bit of context. As much as I dislike my current residence, I can’t move. Not yet anyways, so when a problem arises, I tend to plant my feet and take it in good humor. So what if I can’t turn on at least four light switches in my house because they’ll short out the very spotty electrical? I can live with the cracked windows that make it impossible to heat or cool the house and let sandstorms push dust in. I laugh when my cats chew on the grass that pops up through my living room carpet. When my dishwasher finally went caput, I shrugged my shoulders and started washing my dishes by hand. When my dryer went out I started to line-dry my clothes. My point is: I don’t complain about the problems in my house often because I recognize that if I did, I’d have workmen in and out of my house every day of the year. It’s an old house. I live with it.
Welcome a more recent problem: Because of the spotty electric and air conditioners/ heaters that haven’t been updated since probably the 60’s… I often deal with nearly unbearable summers and freezing cold winters. The appliances don’t always work when I want them to, and despite having part of the house rewired, they still don’t always work. I’ve learned to take it in stride–but a few weeks ago when my landlord sent out some men to replace one of my failing Air Conditioners (which I had to have repaired 6 times in the first two weeks of summer last year), I was THRILLED. New AC? Yes please!
Unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned. Because it was still in the fading chills of winter, they didn’t actually turn on the AC. It’s spring now and getting up to the high 80’s/ low 90’s in the mid afternoon, and it’s humid as hell. I need my AC. The problem with this unfortunately, is it means a lot of preparation has to go into turning it on.
First off, I need to clean my house. I’m an artist, and so you can imagine I’m also kind of a slob. Depending on the week my house is either pristine, or it may look like a tornado was let loose in it. This week, we’re all tornado. Because I have to line-dry all of my clothes (stupid dryer), I’ve had laundry hanging up all over my living room through winter so they wouldn’t turn into icicles outside. Hence, laundry is EVERYWHERE.
Second, I need to move furniture. My house is so tiny that not all of my furniture fits… so every spring / fall I have to rearrange my entire house just so the workmen can get to the AC/Heaters respectively. Now, because the access to my heaters/ACs are in two seperate rooms at opposite ends of the house, this means I need to clean and rearrange my living room, hallway, and two bedrooms. Usually I can steer the workmen away from my disastrous kitchen (which is still a mess from baking cookies over the weekend).
So, I spent an hour this morning rushing around my house cleaning said rooms. Now comes another problem. Since they replaced my AC a few weeks ago, I’ve noticed an oddity: the ceiling in my bathroom (which sits directly under the AC) has started to change color. You’ve guessed it. I think I have a leak. Now, to get that fixed, I also need to clean my computer room (because that’s where the attic access is), my bathroom (yay scrubbing bathtubs!), and my kitchen (because the pipes all lead to there!)… and all of this needs to be finished by tomorrow morning.
To top it off, because the drywall in my ceiling is now wet, they’re probably going to have to pull most of it out… and the bathroom walls.. which means I may be living in even more of a hole soon if they don’t just say “you have toxic mold!” and attempt to kick me out for safety reasons. Can I move? No. I really can’t.
I’m obviously thrilled right now at the prospect of the next 48 hours. So while the rest of you are sitting in your air conditioned houses, think of me in my hovel, scrubbing away in the humidity and heat, praying most of my house will still be intact tomorrow. I have to go wash some dishes now.