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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

Mother's Day: The Bertinator Day Drinks Coffee


In January of this year, I was unemployed for approximately 10-days. This was by choice as I’d left one job and given myself time to breathe before starting the other job. During that time, I watched a few episodes of Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix and it turned me into a crazy person. Really. I’ve literally organized almost every part of our home. If you have watched this show or read Kondo’s book, you know she tells you not to buy things to organize things. This makes sense until you realize you have a bunch of crap in your backyard because your shed is 8x8 and the prior homeowner didn’t have a lawnmower or a snowblower and you have both and can’t fit them in the shed so you’re covering the lawnmower in your yard with a tarp. And frankly, not shoveling brings me joy so there is no way the snowblower is going. So you buy a 10x12 shed. Then you think, “What is all this crap in my basement?” And realize it’s bringing the cat joy because she likes to hunker down atop it. So you get a dumpster and thank the old, queen split box spring and the shower curtain on behalf of your cat and toss it into the dumpster. That’s only the beginning though. You thank the paint and the well-meaning, prior homeowner who left cans of paint and stain behind for you. This seemed nice at the time and then you painted over almost every single color she’d had in the house and yet still had her old cans of paint. And now you have your new cans of paint. So you stir cat litter into the old and get rid of those too. Thank you, dirty green paint color. Thank you exterior stain we never used because thank you siding. Then there is this openness to the basement and you need shelves to put the Rubbermaid totes that have seemed to have gathered in the strangest of places because your basement isn’t what you’d called “organized” so you’re not sure where you’d put them until you are but shelving! Must buy shelving!

And now that the dirty green paint has been tossed you look at it and wonder why it’s still adorning the walls of the staircase and the upstairs hallway. So you request an estimate on a Thursday estimate because stairs + ladders = potential disaster. And he comes out the next morning, gives you a great estimate and says he can do it for you on SATURDAY! Hired. He bangs it out in 4-hours and does a great job so you ask him about removing the mid-1980s wallpaper in your bedroom and painting it. He does that too and this is great because it turns out to be 2 layers of wallpaper. Blessedly, the green curtain and its brass curtain rod no longer match so you toss that into the rented dumpster with a quick thanks.

What I am trying to say is…

  1. 10 days of unemployment wound up being expensive so I'm really grateful it was only fake unemployment and not the real thing;

  2. It also wound up being a ball buster as we’re still organizing and creating sacred space;

  3. Not all contractors are created equal. Do your research and get multiple quotes. Right now, someone reading this is thinking “no shit” but allow me to elaborate…

When the wallpaper was removed from our bedroom, it revealed water damage that the painter was concerned about and recommended we have looked at. Andrea says she told me the same but I had to be “mansplained” by the painter to actually take action.Which I suppose is true because I got right to work getting estimates. The first guy who came over told Andrea that our bedroom skylight was FALLING OUT!!!!!!! And needed to be replaced. He also identified 2 areas as to how water may be getting in and then produced an estimate for $4,400 which stated that he was not responsible for interior skylight finish. Uh. So how much would that be? Who was going to do that? This sounded like bullshit AND a lot of money so we called a guy that Andrea’s mom used to replace her ENTIRE roof and do her siding. He came over and got on a ladder in the rain and got on the roof, took pics, and identified the same areas of repair. He then said this would cost approximately $650 and our skylight was NOT falling out and did NOT need to be replaced. But the flashing around it could use some help.Of course, this is amazing great news and it kinda makes me want to punch the first guy in the balls.I mean...What the literal fuck.

4. You may slowly and steadily improve your home and bring it up a few, incremental decades only to have your mom marvel at what you’ve done to the place – new furnishings too! Only to realize she’s looking at the “before” pics on Facebook – the pics that were posted when the prior owner was trying to sell the place six years ago. Pics that, quite frankly, were so meh prompted Andrea to deem this house a dump and say that she didn’t want to see it. She relented, and we toured it the Thursday prior to the open house. The rest is history. But let’s go back to my mom. The best part was when she asked why I’d posted the pics on FB today? I explained that I’d simply tagged Andrea in an old album so we could take a look at what we’ve done. I think I’m going to start a Go Fund Me to fly my mom out and give her a tour. I’d pay for it myself, but I’ve spent too much money BRINGING MY HOUSE OUT OF THE GD 1980s that I’m broke. So who’s in? No one? Okay - I guess once we plow through a few more upgrades, which are currently in progress or are being scheduled, we’ll have to post side by side pics. Before. After. But based on my mom’s reaction, I’m a little afraid… will people be like, “Change it back! It looked better before!”

The Bertinator learned to text a year or so ago. Thank God because this stuff was gold…. Like the former hue of our kitchen walls. Enjoy.


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