It all started innocently enough, as many spectacular disasters do—with an abundance of good intentions and a dearth of interest in doing research and checking references.
The Jarhead and I, having survived multiple military deployments, thirty-two income tax seasons, and five home improvement projects—including one whole house renovation–decided to go into business flipping houses.
It made perfect sense at the time. As the more creative member of the team, I would come up with the designs, choose the furnishings and fixtures, and do the accounting, while he—as the stronger, fitter, and more mechanically inclined member of the team, would be the muscle, the engineer, and the eye-candy.
As with our marriage—ill-advised as some considered it to be back in 1985—we knew it wouldn’t be easy. As with raising children, we knew there would be challenges. As with military deployments, we knew we would need to plan well and be prepared for surprises. And as with income tax returns and other home improvements, we knew there would be tears, heated exchanges, and homicidal ideations. But we also knew that with patience, dedication and—if necessary—copious amounts of alcohol, our business could be a smashing success.
And so, one month after the Jarhead retired, we bought a domain name, created an LLC, acquired a trailer, and started shopping for investment properties. There were other steps involved, as well. I’m just listing the highlights.
We didn’t issue a press release—mostly because no one reads the newspaper anymore, but also because we weren’t sure anyone would care that we were going into business, and because we didn’t want to have to admit it later if the endeavor was a colossal failure. But we told a few friends, and word got around.
Those who didn’t hate it, loved the idea. They imagined the Jarhead as a midwestern Tarek El Moussa to my shorter, plumper, and false eyelash-free Christina. Or as a taller, darker, and less excitable Chip Gaines to my shorter, plumper, blonder, and less patient Joanna. Or as a shorter, older, and handsomer Jonathon Scott to my shorter, plumper, blonder, and slightly less masculine Drew. You get the picture—with my apologies.
And just over a year later, here we are—still married—and about to embark on our second flip. There have been ups and downs, setbacks, and surprises, which I hope to cover in future posts.
And even as I joke about spectacular disasters and colossal failures, from my perspective it’s been a mostly positive and highly educational experience. Case in point: I’ve learned how to (and how NOT to) install vinyl flooring. I’ve also developed new appreciation for people who show up for appointments and meetings on time, and I’ve learned many new words for ordinary household devices.
For example, cabinets that don’t appear level when hung, are pecker-heads.
Screws that won’t turn at the speed or in the direction you want them too, are also pecker-heads.
Cordless drills with lithium batteries that won’t hold a change are quite vexing, and, therefore, are also pecker-heads.
If you type it often enough while watching someone hang kitchen cabinets, your Android keyboard will eventually recognize the word pecker-heads.
Apologies for the blue language. However, if you’re easily offended, you probably shouldn’t be here in the first place.
And for those of you who aren’t easily offended, be sure to tune in next time for Mill Street Blues II: Hunting and Blathering.