I’m going to set the scene here. It’s Friday night, I’m dressed in M&M pajama pants, a gigantic bubblegum pink Purity ice cream sweatshirt, and fuzzy bunny slippers, leaning against the dryer in the laundry room next to a huge pile of wet laundry, watching Marc clean out the washing machine filter with paper towels, q-tips, and toothpicks.
The back panel of the washing machine is resting against the wall, and the water hoses are draped on the ground.
Water stopped coming into the machine about an hour ago, and no matter how many times we stopped and restarted it, it just continued to spin and buzz and shut off.
After a call to GeekSquad told us no one could come out until next Friday, Marc as usual took matters into his own hands. So here we are, picking sand and dirt out of the back of the washing machine filter because we live in the middle of nowhere and well water is full of weird shit.
I used to have a lot of ideas of what buying a house would be like. It usually involved me walking around with the Property Brothers while they told me I couldn’t afford the mansion and I needed to go with the fixer upper. I accepted this. We deserved nothing more than a tiny building with asbestos in the walls. (I don’t know if there is actually asbestos in the walls of our home but in all honesty you just never know and that shit creeps up on you when you least expect it. Like when you’re trying to knock down a wall to get that open concept American dream and BOOM RUN IT CAN KILL YOU!) Next thing you know you’re giving up your heated bathroom floors to decontaminate this thing you just spent a shit ton of money on.
I think the most annoying thing about having a house is that the minute you talk about having to fix something someone is like “that’s what you get for having a house!” Because apparently being a homeowner is fucking miserable and you’re never supposed to be happy because something is always breaking and you have to fix it yourself or spend a ton of money on something.
Well, news flash, none of the apartments we lived in ever had decent maintenance people so we fixed everything ourselves anyway. And we knew houses cost money when we bought one. I have a carefully crafted savings plan.
Anyway, Marc fixes most of the broken things. However, since we’ve gotten our house I’ve become quite resourceful. You know what is a godsend to people who own houses? YouTube. There is a video. For. EVERYTHING. The washing machine that came with the house stopped working one day and I looked up a video for how to clean the filter. I opened up the little door and a tiny rockslide fell out. Problem solved. Take that adulthood.
You know who didn’t know how to adult? The people who owned this house before us. They lived here for ten years and didn’t get the septic tank emptied ONCE. There was LITERALLY shit leaking out of it before we moved in. You’re supposed to get that handled every two years. Instead there was TEN YEARS OF POO.
The dryer was overflowing with lint (a fire nightmare, did their mother never tell them the 100 ways that anything can catch on fire? Cause I sure as hell know them all.)
The carpets were caked with dog fur and the bathroom looked like someone went crazy with orange hair dye all over the toilet and shower. Rust EVERYWHERE. Because they lived here for ten years and didn’t know what it meant to use a filter. It’s horrendous. We have TWO water filters because well water is disgusting.
Our house also has a spider dungeon. There is a scary door in the bathroom that leads to a crawl space where all the spider beasts live. And I am in no way exaggerating, they wave at you when they walk into the room and scream when you squish them. I’m also confident there is a troll down there. Marc says there isn’t, but I just know.
I feel like before you get a house though there should like be a class. Or maybe two or three classes. Like one class for how to buy a house and what the normal process is, a second one for how to fix and handle things when shit starts falling apart, or maybe just a list of the most popular YouTube videos for fixing things, and a third that’s like a marriage counseling session where someone sits down and explains to you that yes, you are basically like Laura Ingalls Wilder filling a pellet stove with wooden pellets to stay warm or die an ice death, but when the pellet stove doesn’t work right away you need to remain calm and not freak out about how terrible your life decisions are and why the hell did you decide to move to a place where you need a wood burning stove to survive. Maybe a forth class for how to say you’re sorry for what you said when you were cold.
There is a sense of accomplishment though, when you fix something yourself. Tonight, after watching Marc clean all poo looking nastiness out of the washing machine filter for a good 20 minutes, he put everything back together and cleaned everything up. We pushed the machine back up against the wall and turned it on. The moment of truth, Marc said. We stared at it like we’d built it from scratch ourselves.
The barrel spun and some things clicked and we heard the water start splashing. The sound of success. You know that episode of Boy Meets World, there Cory and Topanga move into that dump apartment and the water is brown, and Cory’s parents refuse to help him fix it, but eventually he does it himself and runs over to their house with clean water and goes crazy about how he fixed it himself. I understand that feeling thoroughly now on a weekly basis.
When you’re younger, you don’t realize that one of your most satisfying accomplishments won’t be graduating college, it will be getting that super expensive washing machine to work on your own because you can’t afford another and no one can come to fix it soon and you can’t just not wash your clothes. Because life.
The washing machine now runs through a full cycle without freaking out. Take that adulting, we kicked you’re ass. Or Marc kicked your ass, but I supervised and handed tools to him. So I get half the credit.