Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Envy of New

Last week at work, my coworkers and I got to talking about a person from another department who was in the process of building a new home in Waukesha County. The discussion ranged from all of the design decisions to the choosing of a builder, a lot, layout, etc. This is clearly not a task for everyone. I can barely choose between the two colors for wall and trim, let alone decisions like wall/door configurations, flooring material, countertops, knob styles, etc.

Starter home?
Anyway, the discussion moved to some of the designs this particular builder had. I went home and looked at some of the various collections online. These are, by my standards, gargantuan homes. They are all beautiful, but instead of names like "Signature Collection" and "Premier Collection," they should have names like "Castle Collection" or the "Out-of-Your-Price-Range Collection".

What was more interesting was the effect looking at the interior of these homes had on me. Obviously everything was new, shiny, clean and functional. There were no broken knobs, carpet stains, or dirty windows held open with a book. (We're past the book thing, thank goodness.) I began to have a great sense of WANT. The thought of having everything working and in good shape seemed kind of surreal to me. I recognized the covetousness and greed and jealousy right away, but I also know that these are unhealthy emotions.

Besides, my house, which is now 93 years old has things that these shiny new houses don't. Things like character and charm. And drafty walls, and cobwebby basements, and heaving driveway slabs, and a flat roof that leaks a little-but only when it rains stupid hard, and front steps that slant a little, and a couple porch windows that have busted opener thingys, and woodwork scratched up by cats, and certain circuits that blow the breakers when you run the hair dryer and vacuum at the same time, and a furnace that moans like an old man when it fires up, and ungrounded electrical outlets, and an un-child safe garage door opener with no remote, and, and, and...

So what thought do you think was running through my head when I was plunging my bathroom sink in an effort to get it to a decent flow rate? (And I do mean plunging until I nearly passed out. I actually woke my son up with all the noise - and most of that wasn't the plunger.) Yep, I was thinking about those new home pictures I'd been looking at online. I bet you those drains NEVER back up. I bet you those Premier Collection homeowners don't even have plungers! What the heck! It's not fair, I thought.

After that I moved to the shower and plunged that with great voracity until I was breathless and my arm felt like a big mozzarella stick, all flimsy and gooey. Seriously man. I was even plunging left handed for a while, cursing the gods of the Signature Collection for their opulent vinyl plumbing that might never, ever see the business end of a snake. Don't they know that cast iron is where it's at? They might never have the pleasure of trying to work some of the hair of a person from 93 years ago further down the pipeline in the name of a free draining shower. Heck, I'm experiencing history here! I thank Mr. Fuller and the owners before that for helping me relive part of their lives, to say nothing of part of their curly locks.

Ender home?
Now I shouldn't complain. Compared to probably 90% of the worlds population I am likely living in a castle. 1900 square feet of space to move about. Clean and warm with running water, electricity and a few major appliances that run most of the time. Hey, what am I griping about?

The Premier Collection, that's what I'm griping about. I got the 1922 version of the Premier Collection, and I would like an upgrade. Heck, I'd settle for a 50 year upgrade to 1972, I'm not that way.

And I've determined that all it will take is a boatload of money and somebody who wants a nice starter home with lots of charm and character and a slightly slow moving bathroom drain.

Blogging off...


No comments: