Last spring, hail the size of baseballs came through my town and devastated entire neighborhoods. It is gut wrenching to see the home you sacrificed everything for reduced to a statistic. The only thing worse is the endless parade of contractors in your former sanctuary showing their asses. I’ve seen more contractor booty in the last 16 weeks than I’ve seen in, well, a long time, but yesterday’s peep show tops the list.
When roofers secured shingles to my house it rained drywall inside like it was Christmas. Painters showed up several weeks later to fix what they like to call, “nail pops,” which makes it sound like a breakfast cereal with a little crunch. It looked like someone had shot up the ceiling with a machine gun. Enter Jesus and Juan.
When they came through the door Juan was already giggling and holding a fistful of his shorts to keep them from falling down around his ankles. He went up the stairs. He climbed a ladder. Each time, I had to look away as he’d giggle and yank his pants back up. How does a guy work like this? I wondered, so I asked. “Are those even your shorts? Why don’t you have a belt? ” More giggling. There was nothing to do but walk away.
From the bedroom I could hear him whispering to Jesus and I convinced myself they were probably rifling through my drawers. Am I alone here? I hate being the homeowner who stands around watching a contractor, but let’s face it, the guy is a stranger and he’s in my house. I usually hang fairly close and pretend I’m working, but I’m not working. I’m stressing out about someone I don’t know in close proximity to where I’ve hidden my checkbook, or a candy bar.
The last time I looked, Juan, the quintessential poster boy for working safely, was standing on the top of an eight-foot ladder in his socks and on tiptoes, a foot short of reaching the ceiling with a putty knife covered in Spackle. I’m glad he didn’t fall, but even more grateful that he was wearing underwear. A girl can only see so much contactor crack before she’s tainted for life.