So I’m freaking out a little bit. My oldest daughter, Kaelin, is getting married next May. Yay! Her boyfriend, Matt, is a perfect match for her, and their kids will be adorable. Yes, I am still holding out hope that I’ll be a grandmother who can still chase the little munchkins up the stairs, instead of strapping myself into an Acorn Stairlift.
But, as excited as I am for the wedding, she has asked that we hold the event at my home. Her home. It’s a very sweet request, and I was touched by it, but then I realized that I’m no June Cleaver, and our house has seen better days.
Like the days before we somehow ended up with seven cats. Or before our last dog, Napoleon, during his final days, completely lost control of his bladder. My living room currently consists of a papasan chair and a pool table. The family room is decorated in Mediterranean red and gold — which was trending in 2007, but is now very much “out.” Long, gold curtains cover the windows bordering the fireplace. Just picture a room where Dracula’s family might roost.
Maybe time for some updates? After all, we are hosting a very special occasion.
So I hired a painter to change up the family room. Blues and grays. The painter told me these colors are hot right now. We’re scheduled to paint in two weeks. Next thing on my list was a nice recliner for the living room. Papasan chairs are very comfortable, but I can just see my elderly mother getting stuck in it, possibly breaking a hip trying to extricate herself from it. A recliner would be, at the very least, a safer alternative. I found a nice one on Target.com.
And this is where my grand update dreams began to go haywire.
I received an email alerting me that an independent delivery company would be delivering the chair on Wednesday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. That’s right, a 10-hour window. I waited. All day. No chair.
I called the delivery company. They put me on hold after telling me they’d call the warehouse. When they got back to me, they said no one picked up the phone at the warehouse and I should call back the next day, which I did. The warehouse didn’t answer the phone again, so they told me they’d escalate the issue to a manager. Two days later, I finally spoke with a manager who told me they couldn’t find my chair. You can probably imagine my blood pressure at this point. Frustrated and disappointed, I decided to cancel my order. A week later, my refund finally came through.
Next on my list of upgrades were some new window treatments to replace Count Dracula’s in the family room, as well as a couple other windows. I won’t divulge the actual business name, but I’ll tell you it’s a company promising blinds in a period of three days. I called to schedule a consultation. My appointment was set for Sunday at 2:30 p.m. On Sunday at 3:30 p.m., with no word from my consultant, I decided to call the main number and ask where she was. The representative told me my consultant was on vacation. They had scheduled her by mistake. Great. Another wasted hour spent waiting! The appointment was rescheduled for the following week.
She did show up on time, and the consultation went well. A deposit of $1,500 was required, and an exact-measurement appointment was made for the next week. A man named Juan was scheduled to show up between 4-7 p.m. Another generous window of time to spend waiting. As hour after hour dragged by, my family began complaining about dinner. Specifically, where was it? At 7 p.m. I decided to feed my family, with the risk of Juan showing up with his step stool and tape measure right when we sat down to eat. But that didn’t happen. Another no-show. Good thing I drink wine with dinner.
At 8 p.m., the phone rang.
“Hi, this is Juan. I’m just calling to let you know I’m leaving Santa Rosa right now. I should be there in an hour and 45 minutes.”
“You are NOT coming over to my house at 10 o’clock at night!” I yelled. “You were supposed to be here hours ago! I’m going to have to reschedule.”
Being the spineless wimp that I am, when I was done yelling, I told him to drive safely and have a good night. But I was livid! I called and left a heated message with the scheduling department. The next day I got a call back from the scheduling lady, who apologized profusely and promised that another guy would be at my house promptly the next day. To my surprise, he actually showed up — and 10 minutes early! The measurements were taken and I’m now waiting for an installation date, which should be next week, but who knows?
I sat down at my computer to shop for a different chair — not from Target — and decided I’d better check my bank balance first. Hmm ... It seemed a little low. That’s because “the company promising blinds in a period of three days” double-charged me for my deposit! TWO charges for $1,500!
Maybe this is the universe telling me I should stop trying so hard to make my home perfect. I guess it doesn’t really matter if the colors of my walls are trending, or that my living room looks like a page out of “Better Homes and Gardens.” What really matters is that, to Kaelin, this is where she grew up, always felt loved and accepted, danced in the living room and played baseball with her brothers and sisters in the backyard. Maybe to her, this house — our house — is already perfect.