The Wicker's Gotta Go!Dawn Meehan
I begged my friend, Eric to come with me to Home Depot today. I hate that store. The huge ceilings and aisles of foreign looking stuff make me hyperventilate. It smells like guy stuff. And did you know, they don’t sell any shoes or makeup in the entire store?! But I bit the bullet and went because apparently, when you sell your house, you need to fix all those little annoying things that weren’t important enough to fix while you were living there. But for the complete strangers who are going to move in – well, it’s important to have things “just so” for them. The thing is, it’s hard to move out of ‘What Would I Like In My House’ mode and move into ‘How Can I Make It Look Nice As Quickly And Inexpensively As Possible” mode.
I replaced the ceiling fan that was above my dining room table. It was dark brown and had snazzy wicker inserts in the blades. It was lovely. But since it’s no longer 1970 and I don’t have a macrame owl, or a giant spoon and fork hung on the wall to complement it, I figured it should be replaced. Plus, two of the glass globes were broken because my kids never saw that episode of The Brady Bunch where mom always says, “Don’t play ball in the house.” Now, I have a nice little white fan/light that blends in and looks really nice. I mean the new people who get my house have a nice little white fan/light that blends in and looks really nice.
I got a couple new floor register vent thingies. That’s what they’re called. Really. Go look at the label on the shelf at Home Depot. I don’t make this stuff up. Okay, yeah, I do. I have no idea what they’re called, but you know what I’m talking about. My old ones were nasty, rust colored metal with God only knows what encrusted on them. The new ones are fresh and clean and white. I got a new glass plate thingy to hang over the bare lightbulbs in Austin’s room. His old one broke years ago. Yep, I’m right on top of these little maintenance projects.
Everytime a door broke in the house, my ex replaced it with a nice, white, six panel door, however there are still a couple old, plain, brown, original, circa 1950 doors left in the house. I got new white six panel replacements so everything looks uniform. I’m going to love the way the news doors look! I mean, the new people will like the new doors.
I need to put a fresh coat of paint on every surface of the house because I don’t think the new owners want to see my kids’ artistic drawings displayed on their walls or the dirty little footprints on the ceiling (don’t ask). So we stopped by the paint department to look around. This is how the conversation went.
The nice lady at Home Depot asked, “Can I help you?”
“Yes, I’m selling my house and I just want a buttload of your cheapest paint so my house will look nice and clean and neutral.”
Then Eric asked her, “Do you have five gallon buckets of antique white?”
She answered while walking down the aisle, “No,not antique white. But we do have five gallon buckets of paint here. It’s ceiling paint, but you can get it in any sheen and use it on the walls.” She indicated the buckets of paint stacked down the aisle.
Eric wasn’t sure about the color. “But that’s going to be really white-white,” he protested.
I interjected. “Who cares? It’s not my house, remember? I’m selling it.”
Getting back to ‘Help My Friend Sell Her House’ mode, he asked me, “Okay, where do you want to paint?”
“The kitchen/dining area, the hallways and the ceilings throughout the house.”
“How about your bedroom?” he reminded me.
“Oh gosh yes! I forgot about that. I definitely need to paint my bedroom and the family room. I was thinking maybe a nice tan. Kinda like what I just put in the bathroom, but not quite that dark. And I don’t want to use flat paint because it’s not scrubbable. I’d rather it be so glossy that the light reflects off it and blinds you. That way I can wash the potato people drawings off the wall.”
Eric raised an eyebrow. “I thought you didn’t care because it’s not your house.”
Pouting because I hate being wrong, I said dejectedly, “Oh yeah.” Then to the Home Depot lady, ” A five gallon bucket of plain ole white, please.”
It’s really hard to remember that everything I do to improve my house is for another family’s benefit now. I mean, it could help me to possibly sell my house more quickly, but in the end, it’s not for me; it’s for someone else. Someone who will probably come in and take out my new ceiling fan because it doesn’t go with their wicker dining room set. Someone who will probably paint over every wall in the house. Someone who will mark their own growth chart on the back of the door. It’s a weird feeling knowing you’re going to be leaving the house you’ve lived in for nineteen years. The only house your kids have ever known.
On the bright side, I don’t think I need to go back to the hardware store! The only thing I forgot while I was there, was a shower curtain rod to replace the one my kids somehow managed to pull down. But thankfully I can get that at Target tomorrow (along with makeup and shoes, I might add).