The Place In Which We Live

I had to swallow a scream at 1 o'clock this morning. On my way to brushing and flossing and taking off 3 layers of eye make up. Emmy's crib is in our room so every night when I come home from work, I have to sneak into the room, lights off, and grope my way into our bathroom. On a good day, with full sunlight and the use of all my senses, I consistently trip at least once per 24 hour period. Maybe it's the 4 inch platforms I wear everywhere because I am 5' 2" on a good day. And my husband is 6'6." And next to him I look like Sprout and he looks like the Jolly Green Giant if I am barefoot.

But alas, there have been many occasions of tripping and stumbling and stubbing of toes. I am actually gifted and talented when it comes to recovering from the ugliest falls right before you think I'm going down. I like to think of it as my hero power. That, and freezing up anything electronic that my husband is working on.

So back to this morning. I am stepping into the bathroom when I snag my heel on a nail. A metal NAIL that sticks up from the partition that separates the bathroom tile from the bedroom carpet. A NAIL that is one of 5 NAILS that stick up at varying heights from this partition. A NAIL that we constantly press down but manages to habitually wiggle its way back up.

It hurt like a biatch. And I am sure that I have contracted some bloodborne disease from microscopic rust on this nail. And I want to yell, MOTHER OF GOODNESS!! But it is 1 in the morning. And Emmy is sound asleep with her two hands raised above her head like a football ref signalling the field goal is GOOD! And the Good Doctor is passed out after a 14 hour shift. But my heel is throbbing and I am squeezing it, trying to will the pain away, certain that if I release my hold, blood will spurt out of the gash caused by the NAIL. Finally I look down and it's red, but the skin is intact. I will not need a transfusion of Type A+ blood after all. So I hobble into bed after brushing and flossing and taking off my makeup while standing on one leg like a flamingo.

But I relay this story because it is a fine example of what fun things we've discovered in the home we're renting. We found it after an extensive search on Craigslist. The pictures were dazzling and the ad was exactly what we were looking for. Dark hardwood floors! Brand new kitchen! Remodelled bathrooms! New appliances! Home look like model! The ad read like an Asian paradise. We like stuff that's brand new and shiny. So we met the landlords, put in our application and yay! We got the house.

But over time, as we've lived here, little random things have started to surface. Like these crazy NAILS that stick up in the partition in our room and in the kitchen. Or the faucets that are installed just a little bit crooked for no reason other than the installer didn't look at them before spackling them into place. Or the hand towel rings hung where the bath towel bars should be. Or the vents that blow full blast into the smallest room in the house so that room gets Siberian winter cold when the AC is on. Or the skylight with no insulation that creates a greenhouse effect in the living room.

One night after we moved in, The Good Doctor and I just started listing random annoying things about this house, alternating. And we're STILL doing it. There's little hooks jutting out of the beams on the ceiling where you could never actually hang anything. There's a koi pond in the backyard that was just jackhammered and left in a pile of rubble. Pretty! There's plum trees that have never been pruned that have 9,000 branches, each one with 300 plums on it. That would fall onto the lawn everyday in bunches right where our dogs liked to run and chase squirrels. So squishy and fun! There's a microstep from the dining room to the family room that at least 7 relatives have tripped on because it is not a standard step height, and it's completely camoflauged so you have no idea until you have suddenly stepped down 3 inches into another room and had the breath taken out of you. But the piece de resistance is the flooring. It is very nice. And undulating. Like the wood was installed over very subtle sand dunes. Walking barefoot on our wood floors is like taking a hike.

It reminds me of what a previous landlord told The Good Doctor once. You want to live in a house built by the Irish. Not the Chinese. And he WAS Chinese. Our house is just so classically Asian. All about appearances. It looks so pritt-ee. But underneath, so many issues.

Vicky NguyenBloggity