Tuesday, January 13, 2015

If It Weren't for Visitors, My Condo Would be in Ruins

My own personal Kryptonite.
I love having people come and stay with us. It is one of my main motivators for keeping our place halfway livable. If we never had any visitors, we'd have probably been featured on some sort of "Have you no shame?!?" reality show by now. Thankfully, we host a steady stream of family members and friends who come through Chicago on a very regular basis.

After Desmond was born and at my husband's insistence (let's just say neither of us would be what you call "domestic"), we hired a cleaning lady who comes every other week to keep our main two levels in check. The place we moved into after we were married in 2003 is what city folk call a "duplex down," meaning that one of the two levels is half-underground. I fought this cleaning-lady arrangement for years before we had Des. I thought it was ridiculous to pay someone to do things that seemed so simple (yet we never seemed to have time for). I was also worried that my great-grandmother's piano would get ruined—that the wrong cleaning solution would be used on it or something. Then I talked to a friend who is equally as neurotic as me (but has been using a cleaning lady for me) and he was like, "Oh, just tell her to leave the piano alone." DUH.

So once I got pregnant in 2011, I caved and we hired the same cleaning lady my friend uses. This is one of the best decisions I've ever made.

However, at the end of that same year we bought the condo unit above us, and in 2013 we bought the final condo unit on the top floor, with the intention of eventually converting everything into a single family home, aka "a real house." But we don't foresee having either the money or the mental fortitude to go embark upon that level of construction and life disruption for at least five years. So in the meantime, it means we have two separate two-bedroom/two-bathroom condo units above us to play around with however we'd like. The cleaning lady doesn't come to those floors at all.

I do NOT miss these days.
A cubby area on the second floor has served as my home office since Desmond was born. (Before that, my KITCHEN TABLE doubled as my home office from mid-2007 to December 2011. See picture on the right.) And the third floor has morphed into my husband's music studio/our "movie room." We bought beds and nightstands for all four of the guest rooms, but other than there there's not much furniture.

And while the third floor movie room looks pretty cool with all of the framed film posters and stills we transferred from our lower level (which has now turned into kiddieland, thanks to Desmond's three trillion toys), the second floor hasn't gotten much love in the ol' decor department.

I'm going to try and change that very soon. After learning that Jo would be coming for Walker Stalker Con in late February (and—since that post—also confirming that our Scottish friend and fellow LOST/Star Wars mega-fan Paul will also be staying here with us), I realized that I really needed to finally decorate my home office with all of the nerdy pop culture stuff I've been collecting over the years. I mean, if Jo and Paul don't appreciate it, no one ever will. This was just the excuse I needed to kick my butt into gear.

As I type this, I'm waiting for our trusty handyman to come over and spec out the costs of painting the main living areas on the second floor. Also as I type this, the signed Walking Dead poster I won in the latest Cancer Gets LOST charity auction, as well as the picture of Richard Alpert (Nestor Carbonell) I got signed at last year's Walker Stalker Con, are both at the framing shop. Before Jo and Paul arrive, I should have a good-as-new home office that displays all of my beloved "stuff."

AND I will probably have to ask our cleaning lady if I can pay her to give the guest levels some love before the big weekend arrives. Because we all know I'm not going to end up doing it myself.

Here is the "before" picture of my office cubby. Yes, I'm embarrassed.

Sad, bare walls. Chaos reigns elsewhere.

I'll post the "after" when it's done!

- e

1 comment:

Annie Logue said...

We were just saying that we need to move in order to get rid of all the junk that accumulates.