Much like “The Song That Never Ends” from Lamp Chop’s Sing-Along, you were exposed to a home renovation project that lasted for eternity—and it was just as blood-boiling. Why did your dad choose to buy a dinky, blue-slatted one-story on a dirt lot, if all he ever wanted was a 3,000-square-foot McMansion? Oh, sure, Dad; $85,000 was a steal. In 1980.
The first stage—tearing down the porch and remodeling the kitchen—came when you were in diapers, trying to negotiate an uneasy truce with the “puppy” your parents adopted during a garage sale. The renovation lasted for years, since your folks both worked full-time and this was their idea of a weekend project. And since the house was still too small, you had to move into the attic when your baby brother came along. But look at you now! You can climb anything like a monkey. Who said making toddlers go up a 10-foot vertical ladder to get to their room was a bad idea? You only fell, like, a handful of times. Kids nowadays don’t even know what it’s like to get the wind knocked out of them. Weak sauce!
The next stage—digging and pouring the foundation—came when you were a tween. You got used to seeing your dad crawl into holes in the floor wearing coveralls, got used to his hearty exclamations at feeling another rat skitter across his legs. But you weren’t ready to be recruited to the cause; to be put to work shifting dirt and pulling out rocks so everything could be “properly compacted.” How could you have known that child labor laws would have protected you at that age? Ignorance is not always bliss, friends.
Stage three you prefer to forget. Tearing down your attic and building a second story was painful in more ways than one. You missed the muggy heat and dry smell that comforted you all through the years. Now, you had to sleep on ground level, and your puppy (grown up to 113 pounds) ended every night on top of you. (She couldn’t climb the ladder, but nothing stopped her when you were asleep…) You awoke gasping for breath, flailing blindly at a massive canine that just wanted to cuddle you until you died of love. But that was nothing compared to the Night of the Thunderstorm. Buckets of rain drenched you and your beloved possessions, and you were dragged up to the roofless second story frame to help haul a 60-foot polyurethane tarp into place. Why bother? Everyone was already wet and miserable.
Throughout high school, you were known as the student under a special kind of home life duress. They felt sorry for you in a whole different way, and your friends never wanted to visit, because they (rightly) figured bugs could get inside the thinly Tyvek-ed walls. It stung. Almost as much as the spider bites.
But finally, the light dawned on a “For Sale” sign. Your dad had finished his magnum opus, and just as quickly, he and mom decided to flip it and move to Malibu with the profits. You were left living there, surrounded by piles of drywall and 2×4 and plywood and fiberglass insulation and paint and trim. (Dad took all the tools and scaffolding.) This was a conditional arrangement—you were the house-sitter until someone bought it.
Well, escrow just closed, and that nice realtor reminded you that you have to “vacate” in 48 hours. What are you going to do with all these leftover building supplies? You went to Home Depot over the years and saw the receipts. That stuff is expensive! And you don’t have time or the permit for a yard sale…
Light dawns again: of course, you can get a unit at StorBox! They have all sizes, and they even offer a truck and dollys to help you move in! Who knows? Maybe you’ll meet a few handsome contractors to lend a hand. You survived 20 years of remodeling. You can do this.