I have a new listing for you. It’s a two story, two bedroom, one full bath in a nice neighborhood, close to schools and shopping. Right now, it’s a fixer-upper, but I’m working on the necessary upgrades to make the place turn-key ready…even though there’s no key that I know of.
The current tenants have been in the home for some 20-odd years, and while they haven’t outgrown the property, it’s time for a change. Frankly, they’re looking a little tired. Their hair is falling out in places. One of them has teeth marks on her leg from when our dog Buster Joe was in his chewing phase.
Wait…did I mention that I was talking about a dollhouse? It’s an adorable 3-foot-tall residence my husband Harold assembled from a kit back when I could still guilt him into such nonsense. In my defense, it looked like a fun project. The box showed a dolly mansion surrounded by artificial shrubs, but the house came unassembled, and when I say unassembled, I mean that there were no standing walls, no pre-fab windows and 200 roofing tiles that had to be attached one at a time with a hot glue gun.
The directions did not mention the amount of sweating and swearing required to complete the project, but for weeks on end, tools flew across the concrete and Harold would emerge red-faced from the basement with blisters on his hot-glued hands. The house turned out beautifully, though, and Harold’s fingerprints grew back a short time later, so I wrote the house off as a success.
Once our girls moved from baby dolls to boy bands, the dollhouse was retired to the attic, where it remained draped in plastic until last week when I came up with the brilliant idea of resurrecting it for my granddaughters.
I expected a big-smiles big reveal, but when I removed the plastic I realized that I have a long remodel ahead of me. To Harold’s credit, his glue held beautifully. It was my personal contribution that faded, although I don’t think it was all that good to begin with. After Harold finished construction, I was in charge of the decorating, and I don’t know if I was sleep-deprived or working through some kind of passive-aggressive feelings toward my children, but the paint looks like it was applied during TV commercial breaks after a long day of child wrestling…which maybe it was.
The linens were cropped with pinking shears. The floors are tiles of cast-off linoleum. No wonder the original tenants lost heart.
This time things will be different. The remodel will be fun. I’ll pick out paint chips and matching drapery material, maybe add a few decorative updates. Nothing fancy, you understand. No crown molding, no tiny granite countertops, no stainless steel appliances. The house doesn’t have walk-in closets, but then the family who lived there before had only one change of clothes.
I found websites that offer furnishings for dollhouses and you can buy just about anything–canopy beds, drop-leaf tables, crystal chandeliers–but that may be going a little too far. I’d hate for the dollhouse to be better decorated than the house its owner is living in. Tiny Queen Anne chairs next to a well-loved corduroy recliner? Why torture myself?
Anyway, time to get to work. I figure I have at least five years before my granddaughters will be ready to use the dollhouse, which should work out just right, even if I just work during TV commercials. Which I might.