In the old days, I thought dating was tough. Forget that. Try finding a reliable contractor!
When I dated, I worried, “Am I cute? Do I look fat? What should I wear? Should I let him kiss me?” But man, oh, man, that was a cakewalk compared to dealing with contractors, “subs,” and suppliers.
Talk about true heartbreak. Not to mention heartburn.
Decisions were simple when dating: If a boy was late or lied, I dumped him.
But if a contractor is late or lies, I’m forced to smile wanly and offer him a cup of coffee and a piece of cake I specially baked for him.
If a boy I dated forgot to bring a book or a what-not he was supposed to supply, I’d read him the riot act.
If a subcontractor repeatedly fails to deliver the goods. I gently remind him — for the umpteenth time — of the promised delivery date for the appointed task. and sweetly say, “Hey, man, I really need you to get this done already. Pretty please. And would you like another piece of pound cake? I just baked it.”
Just Try Finding a Contractor
We moved into our new house in July. We naively thought getting our house painted plus a few upgrades would happen 1-2-3. No, naïve isn’t the right word. We weren’t naïve. We were idiots.
I’ve already written about the Great California Invasion of 2021 in which hordes of cash-rich homeowners, fleeing the high taxes and wildfires of the Golden State, have flooded into Reno, NV snatching up all the local craftsmen to renovate their new dwellings, leaving Handsome Hubby and me at the back of the home renovation line.
For months, we waited “patiently” for our scheduled due date — and like all expectant “parents,” we excitedly debated colors and such.
Bring on the Joy?
Our big day came. We pushed furniture into corners and flung the door open, eager to greet our contractor. The appointed hour — 8 a.m. — came. It went. Traffic? A car accident? A family emergency? Another hour passed. Then another. And another. Where were our contractor and his crew?
We went through half a fresh-baked coffee cake by ourselves. Finally, crumbs … and hearts … crumbling, HH called. “Oh, I guess I forgot to let you know. I’m running behind on a couple of jobs,” said our contractor. “I wouldn’t make it out this week. Maybe not next week either.”
Good thing HH was suffering from coffee cake dry mouth syndrome. The words he was trying to scream out were not pretty.
But what could he say? What could we do? Try finding a new contractor? Go to the end of another contractor’s queue? We had heard the ugly whispered rumors from other newbies in town. Contractors were scheduling clients for 2023! We couldn’t risk that kind of delay!
I’m Too Old for This Drama!
So, now, we sit and wait, fume and fret.
And speaking of waiting, here’s a “fun” update: our contractor forgot to line up the painter!
He knew we needed a painter. In fact, he insisted the painter come before the hardwood floors and carpet were installed. Then, he forgot to schedule the painter. So now, not only is the painter NOT coming before the flooring, he’s coming … drum roll please … Christmas week!
And why is the painter even available then? Because, of course, NOBODY wants their home painted over the holidays! The painter’s next available time slot? Late summer 2022!
Meanwhile, Handsome Hubby already knows what he’s getting our contractor for Christmas — coal for his stocking. Can you imagine? My alternate energy/renewable energy champion HH is actually going to buy a lump of coal! That’s how red hot mad he is!
As for our holiday plans? Can’t you guess? A week-long feast of bickering and, of course, eating the left-over crumbs of coffee cake left behind by the contractor, his crew, and the painter!
And yes, please take note, we truly take comfort in knowing this is not an illness, unemployment, nor political upheaval. We are grateful that we have the resources to do all this fixing up and fussing, but still, we wonder and worry. Will this project ever be finished? Will we ever achieve domestic and working-from-home Zen?