Diabolical Homeowners

Dedicated to the previous owners of our home.

Back in 2008, when we found out that I was pregnant again, our house IMMEDIATELY shrunk. Our kitchen was already not wide enough to fit a pack-n-play and suddenly I couldn’t get my belly through it. And the wall between the nursery and the master bedroom was made of paper that thinned the moment I had pregnancy-induced insomnia.

In fact, E’s nursery was so small that when we started taking foster-to-adopt classes, it would’ve been ILLEGAL to put our foster child in the room. Seriously.

So my mom and husband decided that we needed to move.

I hate moving so I decided to stay home and close my eyes.

They looked at houses online and in person and only when a GREAT FIND appeared did I waltz my pregnant belly over to the prospective home. Nine times out of ten, I vetoed it.

I kinda get attached to MY STUFF. And being lazy.

Eventually, we found a home that didn’t have all my requirements — no unicorns, ninjas or place to put a kitchen table — but it had a kitchen that could fit twelve of my old kitchens in it and a master bedroom that shared a wall with NO OTHER BEDROOMS (except for the time we converted the master bathroom into a bedroom when I died of a GI bug).

But because I wasn’t head-over-heels and the housing market was on our side (until we put up our own home for sale), we made a low offer. Very low.

Shockingly, they accepted!  As it turned out, they accepted out of desperation because they had a new house waiting for them and no offers on their current home.

We rejoiced. And then a secret couple made a higher offer on the house. Much higher. And the former owners spent the next two months trying to get out of the contract. But we didn’t budge. We could fix EVERYTHING from the homeowner’s inspection ten times over for the difference in the amount of house we were getting and what we paid for the house. And there were no other loopholes in the contract.

We won!

But before the former owners left, they told our real estate agent: The toilet on the first floor runs. In order to stop it, you have the jiggle the handle up and down three times.

And so we did.

And I imagine the former owners picturing us counting to three and jiggling after every piss.

And laughing.

Because six months into living here, I discovered that all we have to do is make sure the handle is perpendicular to the floor.

Parallel? Toilet runs.
Perpendicular? Toilet stops running.

Diabolical. Admirable. Flick-off-icable.

Had this house not come between us, the former owners and I would’ve totally been best friends.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

16 thoughts to “Diabolical Homeowners”

  1. well if you jiggle 3 times it will end up perpendicular. it’s just the long way to the non-running toilet. the scenic route, if you will.

  2. Just be grateful that you have a great house for a low cost. We’re stuck in our house, and the owners didn’t give us any tips at all, even lies! They were not clever enough. (I would have appreciated a little joke more than the previous owner showing up at settlement with no shirt on.)

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