mo’ house, mo’ problems

so. we moved last week. we hired movers before we discovered that i was pregnant, & thank god we did because the miscarriage really took it out of me. for the last week before we moved, i was in a lot of physical pain (cramps, migraines, etc) & was basically useless as far as gathering boxes or packing. just shifting boxes around the new house & setting up light furniture did me in. there’s no way i would have been in a state for actually doing the heavy lifting.

the new house is a bit of a mixed bag, which i knew going in, but it’s been a little more challenging than i expected. it only had window A/C units–no central air. but the window unit downstairs really doesn’t do much if it’s over 90 degrees, & if it’s under 90 degrees, you don’t really need A/C. (that’s six years of kansas talking. anything under 90 is a balmy summer day here.) a shelf in the fridge broke when i was moving our cold food into it. the kitchen window was cracked & broke altogether when jared opened it one day. the toilet overflowed the other night, unable to withstand the power of a two-year-old’s poop. jared’s office is basically a construction zone, so he hasn’t been able to unpack anything in there. the shelf in my closet fell on me while i was hanging up clothes. i think the shower stall is fat-shaming me. it’s super-tiny & i can’t bend down to wash my legs without bumping the stall door open with my ass. the dryer didn’t work when we moved in & jared had to take the whole thing apart to find the giant lint ball that was blocking the exhaust hose & fix it. & our storage room is full of the former tenant’s random shit they didn’t want to move.

supposedly the landlord is addressing this stuff. he came over with his handyman on saturday to work on jared’s office. supposedly he is having a new toilet installed this afternoon. he claims that he is getting us a new fridge. to be frank, he doesn’t seem quite as responsive as our previous landperson. i think he’s used to renting to dumbass college students who don’t care if their clothes don’t dry & their toilets overflow & is not fully prepared to deal with renting to a family with actual expectations for basic functionality. like, when i told him that we wanted an exhaust fan in the kitchen because running the oven heats the kitchen up to well over 100 degrees even with the A/C running, his reply was, “don’t use the oven in the summertime.” & eat what instead? bruschetta & watermelon cubes? that actually sounds amazing. but not the most practical when you are feeding a toddler & trying to develop an adventurous palate in her.

the former landperson also flipped the script on us when we moved out. after months of crossing the street to avoid me if we happened to see each other out & about, jared pigeonholed her in the yard to tell her what day we were leaving & ask where to leave the keys. she said to “leave the house as you found it”. easier said than done with a place where you’ve been living for over four years. i knew we’d put some scratches in the floors, & there were some basic wear & tear issues. but jared spent literally hours & hours cleaning the place, going so far as to climb up on a ladder to get to any rogue dust high on the walls or ceilings.

the next day, the landlady texted me (she always texts, she never calls–like a 14-year-old), outraged because the house was “filthy”. her main complaint seemed to be that the stovetop burners were a little greasy. never mind that the rest of the house was about as spotless as a person can make a 100-year-old house, & the oven is older than i am. never mind the fact that she rented the house out from under us after i specifically told her we wanted to renew the lease, because she wanted to rent it to her friend & displace a family, & then she didn’t even tell me for a month.

i sent one text back, telling her that jared had spent hours cleaning the place, including the oven & stovetop, & that we had already returned the keys so there was nothing more we planned to do. jared had to go back to the house to get our ladder, & she was there, scrubbing out the oven with dish soap & a rag. i’ve never known a person to clean an oven this way, & jared reports that she was indeed on the verge of tears because she was basically using straight elbow grease to clean something that specialty cleansers have been developed for. it’s like trying to dry clean your own clothes at home in your living room. she told him not to expect much security deposit back, but i don’t remember paying her a security deposit, so…not a problem?

& a little extra fun: jared & ramona went out to the car yesterday to go grocery shopping & the car wouldn’t start! we had gone to IKEA the day before & bought all kinds of things: a dresser for ramona’s room, a bookcase, some storage solutions, picture frames, flatware, etc etc. apparently while loading everything into the car, jared bumped the passenger light button & we didn’t notice because it was daylight. this drained the battery. so at some point today we’re going to have to round someone up to jump it for us. it’s always something.

but one little shred of good news: i had another blood test on friday & i am officially not pregnant anymore. this was my first (hopefully only!) miscarriage & i hadn’t realized how goddamn long they take! i had some dumb idea that you bleed & then it’s over in like three days. but i am in fact still spotting a little, nearly four weeks later, & it took all that time for my HCG to drop below 5. it’s crazy that i am happy about not being pregnant anymore, but after this complete shitshow that was july (found out i was preggo on the 1st, started miscarrying on the 9th, miscarrying on my birthday on the 11th, moved on the 27th), it’s a relief to have just a little spot of normalcy. we are still working on unpacking, figuring out the new house, addressing all the problems with it, fixing the car, etc etc. it’s nice to cross “miscarriage” off the list of stressful shit currently happening in our lives.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

2 thoughts on “mo’ house, mo’ problems

  1. I hope that things settle down soon! If your landlord wasn’t doing a ton of maintenance, hopefully things will even out once he gets all the outstanding stuff out of the way. It maybe just all built up when he was renting to dumb-ass college kids? That shower stall would drive me crazy. I still hate my husband’s car because it has these fancy seats that make my ass feel big.

    1. well, i’d feel better about the maintenance if he actually seemed remotely on the ball. i told him more than a week ago that the kitchen window was broken & he hasn’t done anything about it yet. there’s a storm window in it, so it’s not letting cool air out when the A/C is on, but last night, for example, jared made a peach cobbler & some of the filling spilled during cooking & the house was filled with billowing smoke. & we couldn’t open the kitchen window because it’s broken! he just doesn’t seem as responsive as he probably thinks he is, & he’ll call me & be like, “the plumber can come by at 6pm. is that okay for you?” & i’ll be like, “um…” because, you know, i’m trying to work around a toddler schedule, & he’s like, “he’s doing us a real favor coming out after business hours.” no, he’s doing YOU a favor. if you’d done your job properly, the plumbing issue would have been resolved before we moved in.
      yesterday he & his handyman came out to finish staining the woodwork in the office, & filled the house with fumes from the stain, so we had to take ramona out because we couldn’t have her napping in that environment. so all three of us were completely exhausted by like 4pm. if i felt confident that everything was going to be fixed & resolved by a certain date, i’d find it more tolerable, but he seems like the kind of guy who just lets maintenance issues drag on & on unless they are emergencies or his own personal pet projects.

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