Sunday, August 12, 2012

Calling the Downton Abbey Staff, Please!

by Leann

In the continuing saga of my move from Texas to South Carolina, we had to rent a house in a hurry because our house sold so fast. Rent it sight unseen. Our friends, a married couple in Carolina, who had done exactly what we are doing, took on the daunting task of finding the house for us. Slim pickings. Because of foreclosures and the economy, rental business is booming, it would seem. The husband and wife found us a place and I talked to both of them before deciding. Wife: "I don't know, Leann. It's really dirty". Husband: "Once it's cleaned, it'll work fine."

Well, there's dirty and then's there's DIRTY. The house is fifty years old. It's small. And I swear no one has ever cleaned the place thoroughly. Example: I cleaned the living room ceiling fan and light fixture a minimum of 12 times before I could tell it was white--not a funky shade of brownish yellow. The bathroom off the bedroom is tiny. It has bright pink ceramic tile and one of those fiberglass shower stalls. How long would you guess it would take to clean a tiny bathroom? If you guessed 6 hours you'd be right.

My friend and I have spent every day during the last week cleaning and scrubbing and spraying and groaning over each new discovery of the life some people lived in that house. An unhealthy, dirty life at the least, a strange life at best. Two of the very flimsy bedroom doors have dead bolts on them. I can only wonder why--but I'm not sure I want to know.

After working for hours with mops and paper towels and every kind of cleaner Walmart sells, we would come home and watch an episode of Downton Abbey. Wonderful show but oh, the "staff envy" I have experienced is painful. I want someone to dust and clean and make delicious meals why I worry about what to wear to dinner in my English castle. You might say I'm a dreamer ... but I'm not the only one. My dear friend has been dreaming, too. We will laugh about this one day, but right now we are simply complaining--but working hard to make an unlivable house livable.

What about you? Ever lived or stayed in a place that made your skin crawl? I'd love to hear about it.