Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, there was a girl who fell in love with a boy.  The married and bought their first house.  It was charming and clean with a gorgeous yard, for the previous owner had been a master gardener.  The boy and the girl finished the basement of their new house, and over time, painted rooms, installed new windows, a new roof, new appliances, and ceramic tile in the bathrooms.  There were two things the boy and the girl still wanted to do to their house:  replace the driveway and remove the old, ugly, outdated vinyl flooring and carpet from under the kitchen table and install ceramic tile.

One day the boy said to the girl, “God has blessed us well.  I am receiving a bonus for my work this year for a job well done.  Let us use the money to buy the floor we have always wanted for our kitchen.”

“Oh, my dear!  Are you certain?  You wouldn’t want to spend the money on something else?” she asked.

“No, my darling.  This is what we should do,” he replied.

So they set off to look for the flooring of their dreams.

They found the flooring of their dreams at one of the big box stores.  It was a durable ceramic tile, with a marble gray swirl.  It would perfectly tie in the gray walls and oak cabinets already adorning their kitchen.  The big box store sent out a measurer.  He gave the big box store the measurements.  The boy and the girl went back to the big box store with their hard earned money and bought the tile of their dreams.  The girl scheduled the tile to be installed during her vacation, so the boy wouldn’t have to take time off.

The night before the big install, the boy, the girl, and their two sons removed the furniture from the kitchen. They rearranged the living room and garage to hold all the kitchen and dining room furniture.  That night, they all went to bed dreaming of dancing on their new floor.

Early the next morning, the installer came to begin work.  He cut out the carpet and pad and carried it out to his white truck.  He moved the stove to the garage.  And then, he tried to move the refrigerator, but alas, the water line to the automatic ice maker would not shut off properly.  He tried and tried again to shut off the water, but it refused to stop flowing.  In fact, it got worse.  It started to leak.

He told the girl, “I’m sorry, but I cannot get this to shut off.  I cannot move your refrigerator. I am not a licensed plumber, so I am not allowed to do it.  Call my friend, Brian.  He is a plumber.  He can cut that line and install a new one for you.  Then I can come back tomorrow and lay your tile.”

“Before you go,” replied the girl, “I need to ask you a question.  After you install the tile, will we be able to get the dishwasher out?  We have been unlucky with dishwashers in the past.  This is number three for us,” she said, pointing to the sleek, silver dishwasher hiding under the cabinet.

“That’s a good question,” answered the installer.  “Let me measure.”

The installer laid across the floor and measured the space underneath the dishwasher.  He measured the height of the backer board and the tile.  He accounted for the cement. “Mmmm,” he said.  “It’s going to be tight.  I cannot guarantee it.  But I cannot take your dishwasher out anyway.  I cannot put it back in.  I am not a plumber.  If I do, and it leaks, you could sue the big box store.  They would be unhappy with me.”

“Oh,”replied the girl.  “We will have to figure something out.”

The girl was saddened by this turn of events, but what was she to do?  She called Brian, who came that very afternoon.  And $223 later had fixed the problem, and of course, found another one that he scheduled to return and fix the following day.

The next morning, the installer came back.  The girl said to him, “Have you thought about the dishwasher problem?  Do you have a solution?”

“Let me measure again.”

The installer measured again.  He said to the girl, “I don’t know that we can get it back in. And if we take the legs off, you run the risk of scratching up your floor.”

The girl was deeply saddened by this turn of events.  She sent the installer home and told the boy about the situation.  The boy was angry.  He and the girl drove over to the big box store.  The boy spoke to the person in charge.

Now the girl is sitting at home.  Her house is torn apart.  There is a bare wood floor in her dining room.  Her living room is full of her kitchen and dining room things.  Her garage is filled with ceramic tile.  She doesn’t know if it will be laid.  She doesn’t know how things will work out.  She doesn’t know if she will ever shop at that big box store again.  But she does know she loves her boy.  And no matter what happens with the floor, she and the boy (and their two sons) will live happily ever after.




7 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time

  1. I so love that you do have a “happily ever after” ending although the task itself is not finished. This is the issue with remodeling. Something else always surfaces to make a “simple” task so complicated. Good luck with “finishing”!

  2. Oh Erin, this is such a sad, sad tale! I love the way you laid it out, but I kept waiting for the bottom to drop out, and sadly it did. At least the boy and the girl will live happily ever after no matter what the outcome of the flooring. Sending a virtual hug. Do you have Andy’s up there? Turtle sundaes are only $2.30 today only. I think you deserve one.

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