March 28, 2008

House Work

We got a little work done on our house today. When we moved in more than 7 years ago, the inspector said the first thing we should do was put down more insulation in the attic. Did we MEAN to do it? Oh yes! Did we in fact take even one step toward doing it, other than saying, "We should do that attic thing"? No!

Does it lower me in your eyes if I say that my DAD finally arranged it? He was having his attic done, and I was like, "OH, um, maybe if you mention that WE also...." and so he arranged to have the estimate done, and he asked the scary guys questions about what the options meant, and he told me which ones I should initial and which ones were silly and I should X them out, and he gave them my credit card number. So all I had to do was be home today to nod knowledgeably and smile insecurely and wring my hands anxiously while guys came into my house and talked about "got a good 40, 41 here!" and "yeah, that's over 3000 cubic feet of air going out [or possibly IN] your soffits!" and other things that seemed to mean, "Things are bad, but we can plug up the holes with money!"

They put a cool red submarine-looking thing over a doorway, and blew air around, and they all seemed very pleased with the results of their before-and-after measurements, and then they left and I was pleased to have them gone so I no longer had to hide in the MIDWAY of the house: not right where they're working, so they'd feel self-conscious and watched---but also not so far away that if they needed to ask me a question they'd have to come looking for me. Whenever one of the guys coughed or cleared his throat (which happened OFTEN), I would pop up like a hand-wringing mole, eager to be available for any insulation-related issues they might need my expert input on---and they'd look at me briefly and go back to work, and I'd act as if I'd just come out to straighten the curtains ALL SET NOW KTHX! Just going back to this other room now! In a perfectly natural manner! Like I do every day in my own house!

Well, the upside of being an anxious introvert with strangers in the house is that the Nervous Cleaning kicks in, and my kitchen looks better than it has since my mother-in-law's last visit. Plus, I had to empty a closet for them to get into the attic, so that closet is all tidy now---er, insofar as everything is out of it and all over our bedroom.

26 comments:

d e v a n said...

OMG! That's TOTALLY how I am when workers are here. Oh, the stress of those 3 hours the cable man was here. ugh!
Hovering without being too nosy, or in the way or LOOKING like you're hovering. Stress.

Glad you got your attic fixed.

d e v a n said...

Woah. First comment. First time ever.

pseudostoops said...

it is so stressful, having people working in the house. do i make small talk or not? how close is enough to monitor, without looking like i'm hovering? i suck at it.

Nowheymama said...

HA! I puttered around all Wednesday morning nervously cleaning up for a service call that was then rescheduled. So now I get to do that all over again on Monday from the hours of eight to 12.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

"Things are bad, but we can plug up the holes with money!"

and "...pop up like a hand wringing mole" were my two favorite lines.

How are you able to make a post about getting insulation so damned funny?

Someone Being Me said...

I do the same thing. It freaks me out when the pest control guy comes or a repairman. Don't even get me started on when the housekeeper comes with 5 of her workers and there is not one safe place in the house to hide because they are cleaning every room at once. It makes me twitch just thinking about it.

Jess said...

And your curtains are straight! Don't forget that!

Artemisia said...

Oh, Nervous Cleaning. I hear ya. And the curtains? My cheeks are rosy with embarrassment. I so totally do this.

Bah.

Pickles & Dimes said...

I totally do the non-hovering thing too, but at the same time, I keep an eye on them to make sure they're doing legitimate stuff and not playing poker while another guy plays lookout. ("Quick, here she comes! Start talking about coaxial cables!")

AndreAnna said...

Oh geez. We have to get new insulation too in our attic/crawlspace. Our top floor is either 30 degrees of 90 degrees.

We've had a lot of work done in and around the house and when I work from home, it's in the basement and I always feel like I have to "pop" up to make coffee or something.

Erica said...

I'm another hand-wringer slash pseudo hover-er. I HATE people being in my house when it's not a social situation.

Kristin.... said...

I am so glad my FIL is my furnace guy, and my dad is a former GE salesman and knows exactly who I need to call for what. I HATE making those calls, let alone dealing with the workers.
Kudos to you for the nervous cleaning. I just don't have the energy to care anymore!

Alice said...

i hate looking like i'm hovering, so i go the opposite direction and, like, hole up in my bedroom with a book. allowing them to do whatever they want, basically. eesh.

Melissa said...

We just had ours done 2 months ago after living here for 5 years AND putting on an addition that had NO insulations what-so-ever. And I have to laugh because, My father in law was finally the one who set it up!! On the up side our electric bill went down ALOT. Have a great weekend!

Jess in Nebraska said...

Oh my gosh, it's pathetic HOW MUCH I dread workers in the house - AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHY! It's the nervous pacing, and wanting to look like I'm REALLY busy that gets me, but I don't know what exactly I should be busy doing!

JMC said...

I act JUST LIKE THAT when people come into my house. We have to have plumbers in soon to hook up public water and sewer, not to mention fix some leaky pipes, and I'm DREADING it.

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh quietly because otherwise I'd have interrupted August's storytime with the kids. Not bad, to make ATTIC INSULATION that entertaining.

And hey, that's what dads or for.

-- Mairzy

Astarte said...

Congrats on getting the attic done!!! I know exactly what you mean about that midway thing. I never know where to be, either! You definitely can't leave, because if you do, they will inevitably need something, but if you stay, you're totally in the way. Either way, it's AWKWARD! I think everyone is probably like this, and that contractors should all carry a handout that tells us exactly what to do and where to be at all times.

mnn said...

you are so funny. so real. that would be me. and what a great dad. looking out for you. way to go dad.

desperate housewife said...

Once when I was nannying for my BIL and SIL, they had their whole bathroom redone and I was there with the contractor ALL DAY. It felt SO weird. Esp. since it was the only bathroom in the house and I had to TELL him when I needed to PEE. Profound discomfort.

d e v a n said...

D.H. - oooh, that sucks. I would have NOT PEED ALL DAY.

Julie said...

Count me in with the nervous cleaning. By the time repair guys leave my house, the laundry is usually done (after sitting in/on/around the washer and dryer for an unreasonable amount of time).

Beth A. said...

Oh, what a perfect description. I'm glad I'm not the only one who spazzes out at the thought of people working in my house (behold the Internet, where socially awkward introverts can bond together for mutual support without having to make eye contact).

On the plus side, this week's plumber visit made me clean up a bunch of empty boxes that have been hanging around the house since we moved.

Stimey said...

Workers in my house make me nervous too. If I watch them, do they think I think they're going to steal from me? If I don't watch them, what if they need my knowledgeable advice on how to fix the refrigerator? Are they judging the (non)cleanliness of my house or the behavior of my children? Should I offer them another drink? And the halfway through their work, I start worrying about whether they are the kind of worker I should tip and if so, how much?

Neurotic much?

Farrell said...

fuckin' funny as all hell.

1hot&tiredmama said...

I really had to laugh at this one. We've lived in the house for just 2 years and my husband had all the old attic insulation removed but has yet to have it replaced. My HUSBAND owns an INSULATION COMPANY! I guess it's like the carpenter's wife never having cabinets.