Thursday, February 24, 2011

Will Work for Free (Toilets)

This week my Dad was at Home Depot picking up supplies for one of our many ongoing home improvements and, while there, he encountered a film crew taping (by his estimation) one of the “Crashers” programs found on the DIY Network (his guess was that it was “Yard Crashers,” but it could have been any of them really). He then made a terrible, terrible mistake – he didn’t call me. You see, if he had, I would have literally dropped everything, jumped in my jalopy, barreled down the interstate (granted my car maxes out at a top speed of about 70, but still … pedal to the metal) and ran frantically into Home Depot wildly screaming “Please pick me! Pick me!!” On second thought, maybe the fact he didn’t call me was for the best, since I’m sure such crazy antics would not have resulted in the positive results I desire. Still, I can’t help but be more than a little bummed that I missed it. After all, I spend every trip to a home improvement store shouting “Where are you Matt Muenster?” to no avail.

Now, I’ve already told you all my cockamamie schemes for winning money for the wedding, but I’ve got other expenses as well – home improvement being the biggest of all – and I need to save any way I can. Since I can’t just spend my days hoping that some television show will randomly be looking for willing participants on the very same day I visit that store, I also take a more active approach to looking for free home renovation assistance – online stalking. It began the day I found out our offer was accepted on our “new” 1986 home. I opened my internet browser, without any idea as to when we would actually close or move into this place, and went directly to and applied for “Cub Appeal,” begging them to change the baby blue and teal exterior of our home (which looks like an outside shot of any home featured on “The Golden Girls”) to something a little more pleasing on the eyes. As it turns out they are only filming in the San Francisco area right now, so the paint chosen by Sophia, Rose, Dorothy and Blanche is still in place (for now), but my online efforts became a trend – every few weeks I would find a new program looking for rooms to redo and I’d submit an application. And each time I’d beg, plead, beseech them to please, please come fix our master bathroom.

So far I haven’t had any takers, but a new round of applications begins this weekend. We’re making videos this time and I’m hoping our winning on-screen presence seals the deal. And, really, how couldn’t they pick us? In addition to being ridiculously charming, witty, fun and, of course, impossibly gorgeous people, we have what might be the world’s strangest bathroom. And so I submit for your consideration (as well as the producers of HGTV, DIY Network, and I think TLC has some shows too, right?), the mystery that is our personal lavatory.

There is so much I could say about our odd, L-shaped, totally 80s bathroom – stark white tile covers every surface, with a few “classy” floral tile accents thrown in for effect, massive windows turn the whole place into a greenhouse while you’re getting ready in the morning, 360-degree mirrors display all your flaws from every angle, and the only feature of the space that’s been updated, the vanity, was done so poorly, with mismatched woods and lousy assembly all around – but really it’s best done as a pictorial. Here’s our top 5 favorite features:

1. The shower – Where are the controls? How do I operate this thing? Oh wait, are these them in the hideous mauve bathtub? How did they get there? Convenient!
2. The shower (part 2) – Did no one think to enclose this thing? Are we just supposed to pretend like the water won’t go everywhere (including soaking everything on the adjacent towel rack)? I guess I’ll just dry myself with this waterlogged hand towel.
3. The toilet – Doesn’t everyone want their commode to be conveniently located as close as humanly possible to their wide open shower? At least it gives you a great view of the rock garden (see point 5). Plus, extra bonus, anyone looking out the window in the master bedroom can see you sitting on there too. Hello!
4. The OUTDOOR shower … to nowhere – Why shower inside when you can shower outside in the sticky, humid Florida air? Not a bad concept if it connected to the pool, which is located right on the other side of that big solid wall. But as it is you can only access it from the bathroom itself. I guess this shower is just for me to use on days when my master bath shower just won't work (and, as I stated above, it doesn't really work. That means we have two useless showers in our bathroom). Uber practical.
5. The rock garden … in the middle of the bathroom floor – Hand’s down our favorite nonsensical feature of the bathroom. A rock garden … in the middle of the bathroom floor. Just stating it again for effect – No other words really seem to describe this magnificently terrible architectural decision. It just dares me not to fall into it daily.

So, you see, my stalking is totally warranted. No need to issue a DIY restraining order. I mean, even if we had the money to fix all this we wouldn’t know where to start. I’ve got my fingers crossed, my video camera running and my computer at the ready for any new HGTV opportunities that pop up. It can’t be long now! And when Dad suggests that this weekend we should replace the beat up, hollow, brownish faux wood door to the bathroom that doesn’t shut all the way I feel totally justified in saying “no.” I mean, why bother? When the DIY networks come calling, they’ll fix it for free!

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