…what do you see?
The Hollies, 1965
Sunday morning in the Raff home.
Me: I can’t find the new razor blades I ordered on line. I am pretty sure they came last week.
Barb: Where did you look?
Sunday evening, bed time.
Barb: Why did you order razor blades on line?
Me: I tried a sampler set and they were pretty good. And they are a lot cheaper than the ones I can buy at the drug store, so I can save some money.
Barb: Could they have been in a little brown box on the bathroom counter?
Me: Yea, maybe.
Barb: Oops. I think maybe when I was cleaning last week I threw that box out.
Me: I guess I didn’t save any money then!
So we lost a little cash there. But believe me, Barb more than made up for it earlier in the day. The scene was a north suburban Starbucks after the Bear game, a sit-down with our builder and architect. The construction plans are in to the village for permits, but we had some tweaking to do. Our foursome claimed a large table, spread out a new, clean, copy of the plans, sipped our drinks out of the plain red holiday cups, and got to work. First came the easy part, changing the location of a few light fixtures, moving a ceiling fan, shrinking one window by a few inches and enlarging two others by the same amount. At this stage, changes like that come with the mere flick of the architect’s marking pen. He didn’t agree with every one of our changes, but as we all know, this is going to be OUR house!
Then came the paper work. And paper work at this stage of the game means discussing money. The current issue was the cost of windows. The builder had obtained 3 quotes, all of which were significantly higher than the allowance in the original specifications we signed. Part of the discrepancy was explainable by those pernicious muntins we had added in. They don’t come cheap and were not part of our original discussions, so we understood the added price tag. The rest of the increase in cost seemed more nebulous to us. And Barb was not afraid to say so. It took patience, persistence, and all her power of persuasion, but eventually the builder relented on the rest of the add-on cost and offered a credit to cover it. He may not have been convinced that we were right, but he was convinced he didn’t want to do further battle with Barb over it! Believe me, Barb saved us the cost of a lifetime of razor blades! No need for me to skimp on shaving and grow a Movember beard.
The meeting didn’t end until I had handed over our second payment, but I was prepared for that. It is amazing how much money we have put out, and not even a hole in the ground to show for it. But we are confident (fingers crossed, knock on wood) that things will be progressing smoothly before the Chicago winter hits. Look for a bulldozer, coming soon, to a neighborhood near you!
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