It’s amazing how much a house can affect you so deeply. A little over a year ago, my wife and I made the decision to move out of our one-bedroom apartment and into a much larger three-bedroom house on the other end of town.
Big. Mistake. Lesson learned: do your research before committing to a house.
At first glance, the house was a dream come true in every respect, a godsend. It was an older house, but it had a huge back yard with orange trees, pomegranate trees, and plenty of room for family gatherings, which we’re huge fans of. I’d have my own office to work out of, we’d have a two car garage, and we’d have more space than we knew what to do with for an affordable price. No brainer!
So we moved in.
Everything was great at first. Sure, there were some foundation issues, cracking walls, a crooked step in the garage, but it we could live with it.
Then the ants came. Our bathroom had a hole in the wall near the ceiling, and ants were using it as an expressway to their water source: our sink. “No problem”, I thought. We bought a can of bug spray and went to town, and I even sealed up the hole and called it a day.
Then the gnats showed up. “Harmful” isn’t a word you’d associate with gnats, but “annoying-as-balls” fits the bill. These little guys get all up in your peripheral vision like they’d attended a symposium on human discontentment presented by eye-floaters.
After a basic internet search, we made a ‘ghetto gnat trap’. If I recall, it was three parts apple cider vinegar with one part water, with a few drops of dish soap. The vinegar attracts them while the soap breaks the water’s surface tension. There’s probably more to it than that. Anyway, I put it in a cup, then put aluminum foil on top and poked holes with a toothpick. Secondly, I put bleach in all of our drains every day for a week. Boom. Problem solved.
Until the roaches appeared. One day, we had some friends over, and we were all hanging out in the back yard drinking some beers. Soon after nightfall, a huge roach crawled up my leg. Naturally, I flipped shit and stomped it out. I turn on the porch light, and notice at least a dozen of these things crawling all over our wood fence! Jesus Christ. I don’t do roaches. Nope. We ran inside and locked the door. Soon after, we began seeing them inside the house. Those big bastards with wings. Tree roaches (that’s what we call them anyway, but I think they have a different name if you ask someone who gives a shit). We weren’t having any part of that, so we called a professional exterminator. Boom. A once-over through the yard, and they’re gone. High five!
Safe and sound we were until (trigger warning!) we found spiders in our yard. Not just any spiders either, a new species in the area our bug guy called “brown widows”. Much like black widows, they have a really tough web that doesn’t easily break. These guys are scary looking, let me tell you. At least they don’t like to come into the house much, but they were laying spiky eggs all over our dumpster!
Some time later, we hear scratching noises from in the attic. GHOSTS! No, not ghosts, but rats. By this point I’m tearing my hair out, thinking, “Can’t we just live in peace?” It doesn’t help that my wife’s aunt is all into numerology, so she’s telling us that by adding up the numbers in our address and then adding those numbers together she gets a four, which is apparently bad news or something. Whatever.
A bunch of contracted Mexican dudes come to our house in an unmarked white van (yeah), and start spraying insulation in our attic. For some reason, our entire house starts smelling like someone drank a bottle of insecticide and took a giant dump on the floor. They do an “exclusion”, plug up a few holes, replace some wiring, and some other things. Then they leave. Yay! No rats!
Buzzzzz! You guessed it. Bees were making a nest in our walls. You must think I’m joking. Not a bit. All of this compounded with electrical issues, foundation problems, and all the other problems we had that I don’t even have the time to write about, and we still managed to live there an entire year. We legit could have had our own TV show called House From Hell on TLC, and we probably would have ranked higher than the Duggars (or whatever shows that channel has now).
Finally, as of last weekend, we have officially moved to a new house on the other side of town near where all the rich folks live. So far, so good. We have a basketball hoop, a working garage that isn’t cracked in two pieces like tectonic plates, doors that actually shut, and a landlord that gives a shit.
Wish us better luck this year!