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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Scenes from a New Old House


SCENE ONE


WIFE: So, I guess at some point we should get the ladder out and check out our new attic, huh? I mean, since we own it, and all.

HUSBAND: Uh, yeah, I guess you're right.

WIFE: You know, I'm kinda scared to go up there.

HUSBAND: Yeah?

WIFE: Yeah, I mean, you know, what if there are like, dead bodies hidden up there, or something? (Giggles).

HUSBAND: Um, actually, to tell the truth, I'm kind of scared to go up there, too.

WIFE: Well, I mean, the home inspector did go up there. And he said everything was fine up there. No mention of dead people. I'm sure he would have mentioned that.

HUSBAND: What if Aragog is up there?

Silence.

WIFE: Look at all this stuff we need to unpack! We can look at the attic tomorrow.



SCENE TWO

MOTHER: Hey kid, I'm going down to the basement now to do some laundry. Don't try to come down after me without telling me, because these stairs are really steep and kind of old and rickety and there is no hand rail and there is nothing but cold hard concrete at the bottom, so if you want to come down the stairs I need to hold your hand while you climb down, okay?

CHILD: (Singing eerily from the next room)

Mommy, oh Mommy, be very careful
Going down in the scary basement!
Do not fall down the stairs.
Do not fall. Fall. FALL!

MOTHER: Uh, thanks. I think. I'll be careful. (Under her breath) Sheesh, kid, I was already afraid of the attic.



SCENE THREE: CHISTMAS EVE DINNER

WIFE: So, what do you want to do about dinner? We've been eating out too much during the move, I think. I'm afraid we're spending too much money.

HUSBAND: I know. That's why I brought this frozen toasted ravioli and frozen potatoes and some tomato sauce and this cookie sheet, and these canned vegetables. I thought maybe you could make us dinner tonight.

WIFE: Well, the thing is, I'm not sure I feel like making dinner. I'm really tired. I spent all morning unpacking. I finished the tree and I finally put up the Christmas lights in the window, but they keep falling down, and they're driving me nuts. I tried masking tape. I tried packing tape. I tried duct tape. I tried those new clippy things we got at the hardware store. Nothing works. The lights hate me.



And did I mention that I have been cleaning this damned kitchen for the last six hours straight? I spent three hours cleaning the refrigerator alone. And I used half a bottle of Murphy's Oil Soap already on these cabinets! Do you see how clean these cabinets are now?



Do you remember how incredibly dirty they were before?



I swear, I don't think anyone had cleaned these cabinets out thoroughly in the last forty years! I had no idea they were this dirty inside when we first looked at the house. I had no way of knowing, because the sellers had all of their food in the cabinets still. Can you believe they had food in these cabinets?

HUSBAND: Um, so . . . dinner?

WIFE: Do you see this blender the sellers left behind in one of the cabinets?



They used it and then they put it in the cabinet without even cleaning it! It has chocolate shake or something all over it. (Verging on utter hysteria) They put it in the cabinet WITHOUT CLEANING IT, even though most of the parts say they are dishwasher safe, and THEY HAD A DISHWASHER. HOW HARD IS IT TO LOAD A DISHWASHER?!?!

HUSBAND: Um, so, do you want me to make dinner?

WIFE: I just can't believe it! I can't believe anyone would leave a house this way when they knew someone else would be moving in to it! It looked so clean when we looked at it a month ago! Their real estate agent must have made them clean it up for the showings by threatening them at gunpoint!

HUSBAND: Because I mean, I can totally make dinner-- I don't have a problem with that at all. I can start right now. The stove looks really clean. You did a great job cleaning it--

WIFE: I used three different kinds of cleaner on that stove! Three kinds!

HUSBAND: So, I'll just make some dinner now then.

WIFE: No! No! Wait, don't make dinner. You've been moving heavy boxes all day. I'll make dinner. Although, toasted ravioli is not exactly what I envisioned as our Christmas Eve dinner . . .

HUSBAND: Well, I mean, we could eat out. I'm sure someplace is open.

WIFE: No! We are spending too much money eating out! I will make dinner!

HUSBAND: Okay . . .

WIFE: So, did you bring some aluminum foil, or some vegetable oil, or some cooking spray or something so the ravioli and the potatoes won't stick to the baking sheet? Because this is an aluminum baking sheet. It's not the nonstick one. And last time you made ravioli on this baking sheet without using any cooking spray, the ravioli burned and stuck to the pan.

HUSBAND: Um, no . . . I can get some at the store . . .

WIFE: It's Christmas Eve! It's after five! The stores are closed! (Pause). Did you bring a can opener for the vegetables?

HUSBAND: Um, I forgot.

WIFE stares murderously at HUSBAND for several silent seconds.

WIFE: So, we are having a one-course Christmas Eve dinner of burned ravoli stuck to a pan?

(Pause.)


HUSBAND: I'll be right back.

WIFE: Okay! I'll just get to making YOUR burned Christmas Eve dinner in the kitchen I spent all day cleaning for YOU, then!

Unreasonably distraught WIFE bangs random things around in kitchen while poor, beleaguered innocently forgetful HUSBAND scurries out the door. Minutes pass. Husband returns.

HUSBAND: Look! I got some Pam!

WIFE: Where on earth did you get that?

HUSBAND: I borrowed it from the neighbors. They were outside. They said we could just put it in their mailbox when we're finished with it.

WIFE: That is amazing! You saved Christmas Eve dinner! I'm sorry I was so terrible to you before. I'm just so tired, after all the cleaning, and painting, and fixing, and moving. I was at the end of my rope. We still can't open the cans, but really, who needs vegetables with dinner, anyway?

WIFE prepares baking sheet, pulls ravioli box out from freezer, pauses.

So, uh, dear, just out of curiosity, what were the neighbors doing outside anyway? I mean, it's dark, and it's like, 40 degrees out there. And it's Christmas Eve.

HUSBAND: They were in their hot tub. They have a hot tub in the backyard.

WIFE: You mean, you called our brand-new, just-met-us-yesterday next-door neighbors out of their hot tub, in 40 degree weather, just to ASK THEM FOR SOME PAM?

HUSBAND: Uh . . . well, you see, it was very dark outside, and I just heard them talking in the backyard, and I didn't realize at first that they were actually sitting in a hot tub . . . But they were really nice!

WIFE: OH MY GOD. Now we will be known throughout the neighborhood as the obnoxious new neighbors who call people out of their hot tubs at night in 40 degree weather just to ask them for Pam! Oh. My. God. I am totally mortified. I am totally, totally mortified. Excuse me while I die now.

WIFE dies.



(Okay, so I didn't really die. I had a child to make Christmas happen for in the morning, after all. Happy Belated Holidays!)

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ah...moving. It's so much fun, isn't it? I hope you had a wonderful Christmas in your new old house.

Andrea said...

Oh yay! You've moved.

Hey, whenever you think the house you're moving into is gross and unclean, just remember the times now when it rains and you don't have to stop blogging. And you don't have infestations of ants or mice or any other creatures anymore. And no landlord. Home ownership, baby! Yeah!

Jaelithe said...

Just so everyone knows, I am totally jazzed to be in my new house. But going on about how totally jazzed I am would not be nearly as funny as going on about my neurotic reactions to moving ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're moved in, since I know how much of a headache that's been. However, you should definitely share more house pictures!

-N (now with 100% more psuedonymity)

Anonymous said...

I hired a cleaning person when we moved last time and seriously I will never clean my own home upon moving in or out again. The money is so worth it. I hate cleaning a ton and it is way worse with little kids running underfoot.

Think about the good part of your move. You now do not have to worry about the rain making your power go out

Anonymous said...

Wow. Sounds like your hubby should have brought the booze from the old house instead of the canned veggies.

Congrats on the new place!

Dana said...

Congrats on the new digs. I LOVE that you guys asked the neighbors for Pam on Christmas Eve. A riot.

Claudia said...

Oh man, this was hilarious. Really funny, Jaelithe.

p.s. I found your blog -- for some reason when I've been trying to come here the whole upper part -- oh forget it, I'm too tired to explain, I just needed to scroll down. Glad to have found you again!

lildb said...

The pictures of the new pad look SO nice. I'm psyched for you, sweetie. :)

Reba said...

After hearing your stories, I am so not looking forward to moving this summer.

Anonymous said...

Moving SUCKS. The last time we moved the former owners left toxic paints... ick ick. Plus we had to use a cardboard box for a table for like a month, so I feel ya! (This is MrsFortune btw, blogger is being wonky and won't let me sign in).