By Megan Wirts
I should not be a homeowner.
There are so many things that need constant care and upkeep and so many things that can and will go wrong. Being the home owner means you are the one that has to fix the things and I’m the kind of home owner that doesn’t know how to fix any of the things! It’s similar to parenting in the whole, “I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING!!!” vein. I don’t know if anyone tried to show me important grown up stuff and I was just a distracted teenager that didn’t pay attention to things like how to properly clean an oven or change the filter on a furnace, but I didn’t know how to do either of those things until recently.
My husband and I bought our first home over 16 years ago. We were newly engaged and this was going to be where we began our life together. It was a brand new double wide on about 2 acres with a pond in the backyard. It was close to our jobs and not too far from our families. It was perfect. We thought we were doing an awesome job taking care of our house, until the heater stopped working and I thought a pilot light was something a person that flies airplanes uses to see at night time. Then it got really cold and our pipes froze and we had a small baby with no water and no heat. When we realized one of us needed to go under the house into the crawl space filled with creepy crawly things, like spiders, mice and probably a large black pit that will suck you in and steal your soul, we did what any mature couple does, we played rock-paper-scissors to the death. I won and my dear husband who is literally terrified of even the teeniest tiniest spider went into the cold dark underbelly of our home. When he reemerged covered in cobwebs and dust, we still had no idea what to do. We finally swallowed our pride and called my mom and we realized that being a grown up is filled with all kinds of things that you will just have to learn as you go.
You would think that after the pilot light confusion we would try to become the most knowledgeable home owners in the world. Wrong. We went on with our life, had another baby, I started going to college and the busyness of life ran away with us. Then one day I was doing laundry, my most loathed and hated chore of all household chores, and my house burned down. MY HOUSE BURNED DOWN BECAUSE OF DOING LAUNDRY!! Laundry is the worst. Seriously though, this is a good lesson for all of us that do laundry and hate laundry, but don’t want our houses to burn down. Clean the lint! ALL THE LINT! Don’t just clean out the lint trap in the front, you need to take that machine apart and suck and blow out all the crap that is stuck in there. Then you need clean that tube thing that connects to the outside and suck all the junk out of that. You need to clean everything!!
So our house burned down and it was messy, sad, and stressful and we made it through it. Then we had a new home built and we were like, “WE WILL TAKE CARE OF THIS HOUSE!!!”, and we really are trying. But then one day you notice that every time you walk into your house you start to sneeze, your eyes water and you mention it to your friends. So your friends asks you, “When was the last time you changed the filter on your furnace?” and you look at them like they have two heads because you are thinking, “My furnace has a filter?” That’s right friends, we did not know that our furnace had a filter. For 6 years, we lived in a house and not one time did we change the filter. I know, I know. When we pulled it out, it was covered in the thickest, clumpiest dust, pet hair and debris, including a granola bar wrapper, and we were shocked. We had no idea this was something we were supposed to do.
We have now learned that so many things in our house have filters!! The only filters I was familiar with were coffee filters, because I care more about coffee than I do the air I breathe, and the filter I lack that goes from my brain to my mouth. Just last night my husband texted me that I needed to “drain the new filter for 15 minutes in the morning”. I responded, “Ok”. Then this morning I am looking at this text and I literally have no idea what filter he is talking about or how to drain it! WHY ARE THERE SO MANY FILTERS!!!
Here’s to hoping my lack of homeowner knowledge doesn’t cause another house fire and that I figure out what this filter is I’m supposed to be draining right now.
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