Living Retired — ‘Condominium Condumdron’
Living Retired — ‘Condominium Conundrum’
By Gary Chalk.
It hasn’t been busy around our house the last few weeks. That’s because Jan and I have not been home very much. Instead, we have been spending time visiting someone else’s home. We don’t know these people at all. We just know that we like their house — a whole lot.
Our planned homelessness began when Jan walked into my office and threw her hands up in the air, “Gary your office is an absolute disaster! There is stuff laying around everywhere! It reminds me of a photograph I saw of Einstein’s messy office.”
“Well Jan at least my hair isn’t a mess like Einstein’s.”
“Come on Gary. Don’t be a smart aleck. I don’t know how on earth you can work in here!”
“Jan I don’t work — I write a humour column.”
Before you could say ‘1-800-Got Junk?’ Jan said we needed an intervention. From my experience, an intervention is when a consultant tells you they are going to correct what you are doing by telling you what to do. Just saying.
“Gary, what we are going to do is get some large cardboard boxes from the grocery store. I will make labels for them — one set titled ‘Keep’ and the other ‘Dump.’
A plan that involves having to go through my desk drawers and toss out valuable stolen bank pens, Post-it Notes in every colour ever sold, and all my DayTimers dating back to when I retired in 2013 doesn’t scream ‘Home Sweet Home’ to me.
“Jan I have a suggestion. Lets start to look at condos. We would have to downsize which will force us to choose what to keep and what needs to be thrown out. Besides, you would have a ball decorating a new place. What do you think?”
So last week we visited a condominium open house in ‘a gorgeous setting for you to call home in this areas most desirable community where you can lead the lifestyle you have been dreaming about’ — which is realtor talk for ‘OPEN UP YOUR WALLET!’
Afterwards we sat in the car discussing the merits of the condo.
“Jan. I can really see ourselves living in this place. I really do. It’s got absolutely everything we need. What’s not to like?”
“Well Gary for starters it doesn’t have very much kitchen counter space and there aren’t enough cupboards and no pantry, and I don’t like the backsplash — and that’s just the kitchen!”
“But Jan we wouldn’t spend all our time in the kitchen.”
“You’re right Gary. There is no formal dining room. The walk-in closet in the master bedroom is too small for my clothes. There isn’t enough room to even turn around in the ground floor laundry. There isn’t a closet to hang coats at the front door. And the backyard is too small for our patio furniture!”
“Like I said Jan. What’s not to like!!!”
A few days later we visited another condo that was for sale. This place was near empty. “Gary, for some strange reason I get the feeling that the couple who lived here got divorced. Call it women’s intuition.”
“Jan, call me cynical but maybe they had the good fortune of a massive spring flood in their basement. Everything was rendered useless and they hit the jackpot collecting on their replacement value insurance. So, they moved lock stock and barrel to The Bahamas!”
Jan gave me that weird look and rolled her eyes. Then she pulled paint chips from her purse and held them up against the kitchen backsplash.
Back at our home any dreams of living in a condo were quickly dashed by Jan — sabotaged is a better word. “Gary, before we can ever consider moving to a condominium we would have to go through our place from top to bottom and purge.”
OMG! The ‘P’ word. When I hear purge I want to puke.
“Once we are done purging we would organize a garage sale and put prices on everything. Whatever doesn’t sell we would separate into individual trips for you to take to the Habitat For Humanity ReStore, the thrift store, the used bookstore, and finally the dump.
On second thought there is no place like home. I like my mess.