The Southern Way
Today my new bedroom furniture arrives. Regular readers will recall I ended up ordering enough for at least two and possibly three bedrooms. After the furniture arrives and I get it arranged the way I want it, my move will be complete.
I’m grateful for a team of contractors who worked together to get me into the house as fast as they could. My success can be attributed to what I call the Southern Way. Allow me to explain.
Without going into the particulars, I picked my real estate agent because I’d done something nice for her daughter. I’m not saying she owed me. It wasn’t like that at all. But she did have a deep appreciation for what I’d done for her little girl, and for that reason, I felt I could trust her.
When I needed some painting done at the old house, my realtor said her husband was a painter. He was busy, so it took him a while to get to me, but he did a great job and the price was right. After I bought the new place and saw it needed new paint throughout, I didn’t even get estimates from anyone else. He worked on Saturdays and Sundays three weekends in a row to help me get into the new place sooner rather than later. I paid him more than he said it would cost and gave him a bottle of wine.
After I got the home inspection report on the new place, my realtor said she knew a handyman who could probably fix everything on it. We talked, and I added a bunch of other little things to the list–including a few that had to be done at a particular time. He ended up coming out to the house half a dozen times. And every time he came, I added more to the list. Now we have a relationship and I can call him any time.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wanted a handyman–preferably a live-in guy in his late twenties with washboard abs, movie star looks, and a deep affection for balding older men. That’s not what I ended up with, which is probably for the best, considering his wife and all. Nonetheless, he’s mine now. I’ve already had to call him about something. I think I’m just going to give him a key.
Team two worked under the direction of Miss Tiffany, a designer with a local flooring company who I’ve worked with for more than fifteen years. Oh what the hell. It’s Dalton Carpet One and they were great. Tiffany had all the measurements on file for my old house. I’d email her saying I was ready to put carpet in the bedrooms and a few hours later, she’d email me back a quote.
The thing I love most about Tiffany is the way she gets me. She knows I want the best quality I can get for the lowest possible price. When I come in, she’ll have two or three samples for me to pick from and will explain why she likes each one. After I make my selections, she rides herd on the installation process. I’ve learned to let her know if there are any problems at all, and she takes care of them…pronto.
The flooring contractors–three different groups–were great. The tile guys needed new thingamabobs to hook up the toilet because the tile was thicker than the linoleum it replaced, leaving the new house sans potties over the weekend. But otherwise, everything worked out without a hitch
A special shout-out to the adorable dude who installed my new AT&T Uverse cable and internet access. I saw the truck pull up and let out a low whistle when he got out. My inner romance novelist kicked in. I started playing out scenes in my mind. And such a nice guy. He ran into some problems and ended up staying at the house for four hours. We got to know each other pretty well.
I mentioned my appreciation for having someone under 30 to explain how everything worked. He said he was pretty sure he was older than me. I kid you not. I laughed in a casual yet earnest manner and said, no way. Turns out, he’s 48–just six years younger then me. Cute AND he doesn’t think I look my age. Be still my beating heart.
He’s an ex-marine, single, and freaking gorgeous. Did I mention how nice he was? Before I go on, you need to know that my gaydar has always been defective. I didn’t even know about me until I was 21. So my uncertainty about this guy was more about me than him. It wasn’t that I thought he was gay so much as hoped maybe he was. So when he asked me what I did, I told him I was a gay romance novelist–emphasis on gay, if you know what I mean.
Not only is my gaydar defective, but I also have a tendency to miss it when someone hits on me out of context–which means really anywhere outside of a gay bar or pride function. No, I had no idea he was hitting on me. Why didn’t you tell me then instead of an hour down the road? If I had a man for every time that happened…
The AT&T Uverse installer took my announcement well, which is to say without reaction or comment. Defective though it may be, my gaydar went online long enough for me to ascertain that this nice man was definitely probably not gay. Did I mention he told me exactly where he lives? Not the address–the location, which is better than the address because I could see the intersection in my mind and knew which house he meant.
Maybe I’ll do some Christmas caroling this year. You know, don some gay apparel and go door to door spreading yuletide cheer. It’s the least I can do to show my appreciation to everyone for getting me into…
My Glass House