Update: Thanks to Sarah for the most recent Photoshop, that I shall call Neighbors From Hell. You need to click for the big size to get the full effect.
All the things that were "no big deal" or "easily fixed" when we first looked at the house loomed like distorted nightmares after we had the keys in hand. I don't recall the shower leaking, but there it was yesterday, leaking away, every drip-drip-drip
sounding more like fix-fix-fix
I remember thinking it was quaint how they kept the original 1950's bathroom decor. I could live with a fifties look for a bit, I thought. Kind of nice to have one room that maintains the history of the home. But upon closer inspection last night, my allegiance to the house's history waivered. Suddenly the blue tiles and archaic bathtub lost their charm; they were scowling at me, daring me to talk bad about them. The small hole on the side of the bathtub now seemed the size of infinity. Oh, god. My bathtub is the portal to hell! Don't go near that hole, kids! Look for the light, Carol!
I ran screaming from the room, stopping briefly to slam the cover of the bowl down, because I swear that yawning toilet was mocking me.
Ok, calm. Made a little note on the notepad I was carrying around: gut bathroom, start over. Exorcise as well.
The transition of the house from charming abode to live, gargantuan, soul-eating monster continued as walked through the house, seeing it for the first time as owners.
The three walls worth of floor to ceiling windows in the sun room (aka office) that we once thought would allow us to view both sunset and sunrise as we sipped coffee and dreamily stared at nature? They have become looming panes of sudden death. Every time someone takes a step anywhere in the house, these flimsy windows rattle something fierce. And now, standing there wondering what the hell I saw in this room in the first place, the rattling windows stared back, like opaque ghosts shaking their chains at me.
Notepad: new windows in sun room. Call priest for holy water.
The kitchen is no better. While the appliances are all brand new (take one moment of pure glee for the crushed ice dispenser on the fridge), the fridge itself is off balance. I imagine my ice cubes will all turn out like uneven glaciers. I'm not fond of the light fixture. Ok, not bad, not bad. No monsters in this room. Ah, but then I see it. Winking up at me from the floor, one lone tile that is surrounded by pink grout. Pink. Grout. The rest of the tiles are safely enconsed in normal, grayish white grout. But this one, evil tile ended not like the others. I think it's not happy about that. The floor is now a cyclops with pink eye.
Notepad: Gray grout. Crossbow.
In Nat's bedroom, the walls are wrapped in a hideous wallpaper that shows old fashioned maps of North and South America and some other places, all in gold and blue and surrounded by dotted lines marking navigation routes and it's tiled in the same way that the hamsters doing that hamster dance are tiled. Yes, like a 1990's web page. Continents and divides dance before my eyes and suddenly a pirate appears, emerging from one of those dotted lines, shivering me timbers for sure.
Notepad: Wallpaper stripper. Hire a pirate killer.
And so it goes. In every room, another monster or spirit or gnome lurks and every time I see something I actually like - for instance, the light fixture in our bedroom - I half expect Gollum to cry out preciousssssss
and fight me for it.
The biggest monster of all is the giant ceramic pig that sits by the front door. Sort of like the pig in Amityville Horror which, given the locale, could have just walked over to my place from Amityville, so it's really not far fetched to think that it was Jody, red eyes and all. Except my pig has a huge slit in his back and wants me to deposit money every ten minutes. And when I do drop a hundred dollar bill or a Visa or Mastercard into that slot, Jody makes a loud flushing sound.
Ok, so it is my
house, haunted, possessed or not. Mine
. I can slay these monsters, I know it. I can exorcise the spirts and demons and caulk right over that black hole to hell. I may have to sell a kidney or offer my kids up as house slaves to the locals each weekend, but I am going to do this.
This house is not match for me. Right now, with it's evil piggy bank and winking kitchen tile, it thinks it can outdo me. But I am well experienced in the ways of these kinds of goblins. A few magic spells, a dozen or so margaritas and an offer of my soul to the loan officer at the bank ought to work.