Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chin Up, Son

Good lord it's been a time. This week we are two builder meetings down - one to go. This was after one truly splendid (note: this is a rare moment where I am not being sarcastic) in-office meeting with a company who's website was so fantastic, shiny, and functional that I assumed his bid would blow us out of the water. And it still may, but boy if you get what you pay for then based on that first meeting, we may just go the extra mile.

First of all, and this is of the utmost importance, the gentleman let me speak (gasp!). When he began to ask me direct and specific questions about the project I was stunned to silence. I have waited exactly one year to meet a builder who wanted to hear from ME. In fact, I prepared a speech several times in front of the bathroom mirror prior to builder meetings, using the hairbrush as a microphone. But my shock in his interest literally knocked that speech right out of my head.

I became a bumbling mess muttering things like "metal" and "porches" then something about "insane asylum interior doors." The poor man squinted and tried following along, doodling notes and leaning forward in an effort to decipher my gibberish. Finally he asked me to "slow down and start from the beginning. Tell me about the house you have planned."

To those of you who have never gone through this experience, please note that this is a rare query from a builder (in my now vast experience). Having one begin a meeting asking for YOUR hopes, dreams, and opinion is as likely an event as seeing a unicorn in the forest. It just doesn't happen.

So there I was, drooling on self, convulsing in shock and trying to snap-to in order to grasp the fleeting moment. Before I knew it, I had shared everything. The plan for the house, the drawings, the soil test, the explanation of this. Of that. Of the other. It was a beautiful time in my life. And just when I was prepared to hand over my credit cards, wedding ring, and any other valuables in order to instantly obtain his services, he asked about my cows and explained that years ago he helped write a book about organic dairies. Suffice it to say, at this point I was a sniveling lump on the floor, so grateful I hadn't canceled the appointment (which I originally intended to do). It was then that he began the arbitrary spiel to explain his company and services so I put my hand over his mouth and told him to "SHUSH," since he had me at "Tell me......."

Today this builder's engineer came out to walk the land and get a sense for the property site. George instantly became another semi-permanent character in my slowly developing book called "NOT Losing It 101: How to build a house and keep your sense of humor." But George is another story for another time. Just know that there is much to come. None of it is pretty. Little of it is amusing. And all of it will end up right here with the rest of the ugly truths I've been sharing. Today's moral has a little something to do with lights at ends of tunnels. Not that we're seeing them, but sensing they exist.

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