Thursday, November 10, 2011

Being sneaky got the pokey thingy out of my hole

Prepping your house for sale isn’t easy under the best of circumstances.

Doing it while lodging two 27-year-old male housemates whose idea of home décor is a futon mattress on the floor can be a bit more challenging.

On Monday, the place was scoured spotless by a terrifyingly efficient housekeeping crew hired by the realtors. Within 24 hours, my housemates had thoughtfully redecorated the kitchen counters with an ornamental assortment of empty cans, coffee grounds, corn chips, and two deep fryers.

It’s not that they’re inconsiderate. It’s just that their version of tidy differs markedly from that of the average home buyer looking to hand over their life savings for a four bedroom, three bath dream home with breathtaking mountain views and a kick-ass writing office.

The boys are doing their best to help, but they aren’t quite sure how to accomplish that.

Tuesday morning found me teetering on a step-stool at the top of a staircase attempting to extricate twelve pounds of dead bugs from a glass light fixture 30 minutes before an open house event.

“Don’t fall,” one of the housemates called helpfully from his station on the sofa. “The cleaning crew will be mad if you mess up the clean floor with brains.”

I shot him a scowl before aiming one in the direction of the other housemate sipping coffee and lounging against the kitchen counter. “You guys aren’t being very supportive,” I snapped.

The coffee sipper set his mug down and walked to the bottom of the stairs. “Sorry about that.”

He grinned and clapped his hands together cheerleader style. “Go, Tawna! Nice job! Way to clean those lights! You’re doing great! Don’t swallow any dead bugs!”

Laughing with your hand on a light bulb is not a good idea.The next thing I knew, I’d snapped it off in the socket.

“Damn,” I said. “The pokey thingy broke off in the hole. Do either of you have a pair of those pinchy things?”

Now here’s the deal. I know damn well that the pokey thingy is called a bi-pin on a G8 lamp base, and I also know exactly where the pliers are in my garage.

But my feigned incompetence – coupled with my housemates' fear that my electrocution might preclude them from watching television – was all it took to spur them into action.

“Get down from there,” ordered the handiest of the two, springing off the couch. “I’ve got it.”

He took the stairs two at a time as he pulled a Leatherman tool out of his pocket. “Go flip the circuit breaker in the garage,” he ordered the other housemate.

I stood back and smiled sweetly as the two of them took charge, wielding tools and offering up the occasional manly grunt.

Do I feel guilty for taking advantage of their macho urge to rescue me with superior tool handling and home improvement knowledge? Hardly.

No more guilty than they feel about the corn flakes glued to the edge of the sink.

One way or another, we’re all making this work for us.


Penelope said...

Thanks for a morning laugh, Tawna. Love this! Especially since you were perfectly capable of fixing it yourself.

Sarah W said...

The word thingie can be a great manipulative tool.

Are you taking these two with you when you leave? Or are they part of the sale?

Matthew MacNish said...

You're so clever.

LynnRush said...

LOVE IT!! I think it's ingrained in mens' minds to take care of us. Whether they realize it or not. I kinda like that idea to tell you the truth. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh now I am jealous! The cat was let out of the bag when I moved in with my husband and had more power tools than any of his male friends.

I had renovated 3 homes by myself, so I do know what I'm doing. But help is nice. Help falls to the wayside when they think you're "independent." Damn you mom & dad for raising me that way!

Hope all goes well with the house sale. Oh-and nothing wrong with allowing the men to don their best knight in shining armor look!

Anonymous said...

Which came first? chicken or the egg

Anonymous said...

If I combine the post on your distaste of pants and this one with you at the top of the stairs on a step stool, I have a pretty good idea of why your housemates weren't helping.

And we all know how you love to handle a tool.

Anonymous said...

I am anonymous?

Deborah Small said...

LOL! Young men are so gallant. My eldest boy has not learned that trick yet, unlike my husband who just raises an eyebrow when I pull out the damsel-in-distress routine. My eldest, otoh, rolls his eyes and says, "Jeez, Mom, you're going to kill yourself or break something. Let me do that."

I offer a weak smile and gladly had over whatever the project is, and after a few moments of appropriate parental approval and admiration, I race for my office and start writing. My younger boys, however, delight in tormenting me.

I asked the 15-year-old to grab down a wine glass (I didn't want to pull out the step-stoo) and instead of handing it to me, he held it over my head and laughed when I poked him in the ribs in a futile effort to get him to lower his arm. Dear Hubby intervened at this point--perhaps recognizing the fanatical glint in my eye--and plucked the glass from said son's hand with a warning, "Quit toying with your mother." Like I'm a stuffed mouse and teen-boy the house cat. Hrmph.

Fortunately your housemates don't seem inclined to deliberately expose your weaknesses -- or like my DH, they know better than to get between a woman and her wine. :)

Take care,

Deborah Small said...

step-stool. Not step-stoo


N.M. Martinez said...

I'm sorry you're dealing with selling your home right now. Thank you for the morning laugh though! Haha! There's no harm in feigned ignorance if it gets the job done.

Prudence MacLeod said...

Sometimes being a girl is a serious advantage. If ya got it, use it. Well done, and thanks for the chuckle.

Patrick Alan said...

Were you doing this without pants?

It would explain why the housemates were at the bottom of the stairs clapping.

Patrick Alan said...

Ahh.... Weird... My anonymous posts showed up.

Anonymous said...

As of today your housemates are now reading your blog ;)

Unknown said...

I snorted wine through my nose. Thanks for the laugh.

Lisa Ahn said...

Brilliant! I love this -- thanks for the laugh!