I have a problem with windows.

Now you’re probably thinking:

a) AB is being neurotic about inanimate objects again

2) Another weird phobia? I thought the MAYO was bad enough.

But you’d be wrong.

When we bought our condo in Oak (no) Park (ing) (that’d be HiLARious if you knew what I was talking about), we were warned that our condo needed “new windows.” Now, after being told that the bedroom our son was sleeping in had high levels of lead paint, and the porch out back was being replaced as a part of a “special assessment” fee of 5 grand per unit, and that the walls of the living room were painted a color and texture best described as “cat pee on plasterboard,” learning that we needed new windows seemed almost…easy to rectify.

The windows were all, “how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” After the rest of the shitstorm, getting new windows was about as likely as being able to get central air, learn to fly, and be able to murder people with my mind.

And we moved before it turned into any problem. Considering our third floor walkup was directly under the gigantic (ancient) radiator, we spent our only winter there walking around in shorts and tank-tops, all windows open. We played “summer condo.”

We moved to our new house in um *counts on fingers* *recounts* *counts again* A LOT OF YEARS AGO. Or, back in 2006. When we did, we reveled in the lead-paint free walls. Sure, they were painted colors of green that made me want to lob things at small adorable animals, but they HAD NO LEAD PAINT. Also? Central air? After living with 4 window units that blew hot air into the already-hellishly hot condo, I nearly humped the real estate agent after learning we could get a house with CENTRAL (motherfucking) AIR.

Yeah, sure it had ugly white carpeting, that appeared to beg my children to want to upend grape juice and vomit on it, and yeah, okay, the backyard had fake flowers planted in it, and okay, the color of yellow our siding is tends to require sunglasses to look at it, but CENTRAL (motherfucking) AIR.

We bought our house in February, the inspector didn’t even note that a) the bathroom upstairs doesn’t work or 2) the windows were falling apart.

Whatever, I shrugged, imagining my Midwestern Summers spent lounging about the house in a parka and hat. CENTRAL (motherfucking) AIR, MOTHERFUCKERS!

Once spring hit, and I decided to open up the house, I realized that our windows? They could’ve been imported from the condo we’d just moved from. The condo that was built in like 1901. The windows appeared to have fallen off the back of some truck at some point during the Lincoln Administration.

Half the screens were ripped. The half that weren’t had storm windows that were rusted so tightly that I broke three fingers trying to pry them open. Most of the windows let in more air closed than they did while opened. Windows were constantly slamming shut, mere moments after they’d been opened.

The icing on the proverbial cake came when I opened the windows in my bedroom this spring, ready to air that motherfucker out. I have those light-blocking shades and the window in question, well, I didn’t open it often.

When I finally managed to draw the shade, I saw it.

Mold.

Motherfucking mold on this motherfucking window.

I bleached the fucker as quickly as you could say, “dumbass” and began wondering if this, in fact, was the reason I’d been sick since 1980.

Figuring it was time to draw a cross-breeze, after much work, that involved both sweating, breaking fingernails, and trying to navigate those stupid fucking cords, I began to draw back the blind from that window. Thank the Good Lord of Butter that I was somewhat slow on the uptake.

Because that window? The window on the FRONT of my house?

Got a nice crack in it. While other people might feel mortified that their neighbors would see that they’d improperly cared for their windows, I feel it adds a certain…something to my house. Like a creepy homeless tribe vibe.

But the mold? That’s problematic.

So I had The Daver Feldco, which is a window place out here. It’s probably a nation-wide chain, but I’m too lazy to Google it. The window guy came out on Saturday.

Window Guy: “Blah blah blah, here’s a quote if you do it today. Here’s another quote. Here’s another one.”

Aunt Becky (to herself): “I hate companies that pull that “if you sign today,” bullshit.”

As he was wrapping up, he asked The Daver if he wanted to sign today. We’d gotten a quote from a local guy and the quote from Feldco, well, it was substantially higher. Knowing Daver can’t say no to anything or anyone (see also: my Kirby vacuum), I piped in:

Aunt Becky: “We’re still looking around at other quotes.”

Window Guy: (rolls eyes)

The Daver: “Can I have a copy of the quote?”

Window Guy: “WHY? You already said you’re going with another place.”

The Daver: “…”

Aunt Becky (now annoyed): “I *said* I was gathering other quotes.”

Window Guy: “FINE. I’ll mail you a copy.”

Aunt Becky: (rolls eyes) thinks, “you just lost yourself a sale, fuckwad.”

Three days later, the local guy shows up and gives us a quote on replacing windows. He didn’t offer any special deals or bargains, he was no-nonsense. Also: probably part of the mob. But I didn’t care.

We signed the papers THAT DAY and by next Saturday? We should have new windows.

I haven’t reached such heights of orgasmic potential since I threw my serving apron on the floor and stomped off.

Oh wait. That was Jennifer Aniston in Office Space.

Same fucking difference.

I may have a window party. You’re all invited – IF you promise to admire the new grass growing on my lawn. (no, that’s not a euphemism for “admire my vagina.”).

I’m totally NOT inviting the douche from Feldco.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

22 Responses to And How Was The Play, Mrs. Lincoln?

  • amy says:

    The windows in this house are fairly new, but they all suck balls. And our bay window is slowly falling out of the house, so much so that the windows won’t open because they catch on the frame. I would whore myself out for new windows.

  • Grace says:

    Yay! Window party! I totally promise to admire them greatly when I come visit you.

    That’s one of the many things I love about my house. It was built in 1903, but all the windows? NEW! I love my beautiful, easy to open and clean windows.

  • Pbpdesigns says:

    Our windows were installed back when the house was built. Mid 1940s. Military housing people. And I no sooner opened one the other day than the cat claimed it for his spot. Heard a sound as I turned around and spun back just in time to keep it from slamming back down on his poor little head! Landlord has been promising to replace them since he bought the house 2 years ago but so far nothing. Well, he DID replace the ones in my bedroom and the living room this past winter. But he picked the coldest day of the year to do it and it was not pleasant.

  • FnJerzeeGrrl says:

    MOLD – eeeewwww. Could definitely be why you have been sick since the Ford administration. Spray tea tree oil and napalm all over that shit! AAAAnd I feel your pain. My house was built during the Depression (capital D, not the kind that’s a cute storm cloud). My windows legit rattle when the wind blows.

  • Denise
    Twitter: acctodenise
    says:

    My daughters arm went right through one of our original almost 40 year old windows so I am not a fan of windows right now. Thank goodness you ate getting new ones.

  • Amy W says:

    I’m a non-moldy shade of green with envy. The existing windows in the house I just bought are circa 1960 when this house was built. Aluminum frames with glass so flimsy that you could knock it out with a pillow pet. Since I exhausted our savings with 20% down, closing costs, an updated bath, landscaping, drainage &sprinkler system… My new windows may be circa 2020. :-(
    I’m loving your new windows from TX!!!

  • I had 100 year old windows in one part of my house (since replaced). Some helpful person told me I should have restored them to stay original to the house. But, I replied, there has to be MORE than putty left to them. Like, there needs to be real wood. No regrets here! Congrats on screens and raising windows!

  • Liz says:

    My windows are all circa 1930 from when the house was build, and they’re those small glass panes in wood frames. I should replace them. I can’t open them at all, but since I too adore my centeral AC, it isn’t an issue. Also I’d rather redo the electricity.

  • Just Me says:

    Yay! Sharing your excitement from here in northern Indiana. I could only afford to replace 1/3 of my windows last winter, but well worth the years of payments I am making on them. It’s nice to be able to sleep at night without shivering, and to be able to open them in the summer.

    So happy window days! :)

  • evildoer says:

    Bahahahaha! Yep, I grew up in ChOak Park. Hemingway titled it “the land of broad lawns and narrow minds.”

    I couldn’t afford to live there now, even if I wanted to.

  • chrisinphx says:

    Bwahahaha, I remember the posts when you moved into the Condo. God damn, that was what, like 2 kids and 3 dogs ago or something?

  • Erin T says:

    Hate opening the house in the spring for the big Air Out. It ends up being more work for us than it needs to be.

    Oh, and being from the Chicagoland area myself – I TOTALLY get your Oak (no) Park (ing) reference!!! LOL!

  • Kristin
    Twitter: dragondream
    says:

    I am so jealous of your new windows. We totally need new windows for our entire house.

  • Becky says:

    Congrats on your new windows! I know how exciting that can be. I used to live in a building in NY that sounds suspiciously like it came from the same era your windows did – and accordingly had windows that let more air in closed than open. We didn’t have the good fortune of living above a ghetto radiator, so we spent our time from mid September – mid April bundled up like god damn Eskimos. They would never shut all the way. When we moved into a new duplex and saw the new windows, I about wept. Forget the beautiful wood floors and brand new kitchen – I was all about those windows.

  • Jolie says:

    Jan 31 is when we had our new windows installed – yes, it is a day I won’t soon forget! When we put new siding on the house however many years ago, the banging knocked pretty much all of the guts out of the old windows that were original to the house. So some wouldn’t open at all, some would slam shut, some would go up crooked then you spent forever trying to get it to close….since Jan 31 I’ve pretty much went around gleefully opening and closing the windows at will. It’s going to be a wonderful moment when they leave and you can be all WOOOOO HOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  • katrina says:

    So jealous of your new windows!! Our house, out in the country, was built in 1898 (no shit!)…..and part of it was remodeled with new windows in 1985 (when we bought it). But the 2 older bedrooms and the living room still have the old, very narrow wooden windows that you have to prop open. We were never concerned about locking them. A few years ago we were burglarized and the stupid fool kicked in the window.

  • Marta
    Twitter: marta28
    says:

    I feel like it should have been a euphemism for admiring your vagina, because that would be a mother fucking party.

  • Mark Klein says:

    I had some issues w my window people too. Are windows so fn hard? After this attached cordial e-mail, I got JACK Sh@t back in the way of any response. I even came right out and let them know if they just resonded, they could have another 10K when i replace the remaining windows. They took my hard earned cash, and simply said ‘thanks – F-U too.
    I love to let people know I get great service. I also love to warn people when they need to avoid specific retailers/contractors. Gator Windows. Stay the hell away…

    Good day Harold,

    We had the pleasure of having your dedicated crew replace many of the windows in our home back on June 8th, and we have just received the invoice in the mail.

    Please process the full amount owing, $11,845 on Invoice # 21493 upon my Visa Card
    # xxxxxx

    Now that the work is complete, I thought I would take a few moments to provide you with some honest feedback regarding the service we received.

    The time you took in our home to clearly explain the product, making extremely helpful suggestions we would have otherwise not considered (the proper swing of the windows, the features worth purchasing etc) made us very comfortable spending this sum of money. The extra steps you took in trying to source a tinted insert was also some nice value-add.

    The crew were really great. Helpful, knowledgeable, and your lead installer made sure he examined almost each step of the process, thereby ensuring the quality throughout most of the installation. They were punctual, friendly, and cleaned up most of the refuse from a very messy project.

    The fit and finish on the product is really fantastic, especially the custom-cut window trim – really professionally installed. Given that I had to paint it all, I sure noticed the seamless joints.

    However, there a few things I wanted to mention, that while not marring the overall experience, certainly tainted it somewhat.

    1. This is a sizeable amnt of money to part with, and I think it would have been a good idea to touch base with us (after the job) to ask how things went. We didn’t get any call at all, and quite frankly, given the care and attention paid to us from the beginning, the absence of the follow-up seemed odd, and somewhat disconcerting.

    2. It would have been a nice touch to have a crew member Windex-down the exterior glass of all the handprints and dirt smudges, which would have prevented me from ascending a 20 ft ladder myself the following day with a curious 3 year old at my heels.

    3. Your lead installer mentioned (of his own volition) that he is in the neighborhood often, and that he would pop back and cap the old ornamental centre vent above the garage door in white, to match the newly installed windows. I anticipated there was no charge, but even if there was, that sure was a nice gesture, and one I really appreciated. Unfortunately, its been 3 months, and we never heard from him again. If you make a promise, you should keep it. If its problematic to accomplish, don’t bring it up.

    4. When I was out cleaning the dirt and grime off the exterior glass, I was on the roof above the garage and noticed an unacceptable amount of grime on the newly installed window in the bathroom. Upon further inspection, I found the grime to be the insulating foam. Try as I might (and I spent a good amount of time trying) I could not remove most it, and it taints the look of a brand new window, and you can see it from the street. It was on the glass, remains on the casing, and Its even on the brickwork. Quite frankly, this is a simple cleanup when the product is fresh, if one takes the time to examine the installation when it is happening. Someone didn’t.

    Harold, don’t misunderstand me here, I am aware of how many things can go wrong with this kind of work, and you and your team pretty well got it all perfect. However I trust you can see my point here – there is room for improvement, and there is some reason to be somewhat disappointed.

    We have to replace the balance of the windows next year, and I trust you understand why I took the time to pen this detailed letter.

    Best wishes to you, your team, and family over the cooler months ahead.

    Respectfully,

  • Michael Rochelle
    Twitter: mikeyllo
    says:

    Good luck with the new windows. I can’t wait until you have the window warming party!!! However, I’m not coming unless you invite the Felco guy so that we can at least rub the new windows and the old MOLD in his face!!! LOL.

  • Nicki says:

    What a pain in the ass!!!! Our first house was 50 years old when we bought it. One day, I noticed mold on the wall in my bedroom. On top of the wallpaper that was probably put on the wall with cement when the house was built. I scrubbed it with bleach and it went away…but kept coming back. I pealed back the wallpaper and holymotherfuckingshit, it was like a Grateful Dead concert for mold!! I ended up taking all the wallpaper down (remember, it was adhered to the wall with cement 50+ years ago) and scrubbing all the walls with bleach and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (bleach destroys Magic Erasers so I don’t recommend it) then priming with Kilz then repainting…then having to move out because there was still mold in the house. Good luck!!!

  • Well, it could be worse. You could have had mold, cracks and bugs.
    My first apartment came with ancient windows and when my mother visited and decided to open the kitchen window for the first time this flood of sliverfish rolled over the sill and disappeared into the wood again on the underside.
    Grossest thing ever.

    So, congrats on the new windows and ffs spray for bugs. No one ever, ever, ever wants to see what I saw unless they are in the pest control business.

  • CycleNinja says:

    The condo I moved into 8 years ago was in the process of getting new windows through the association, and the seller agreed to pick up the expense rather than foist it off on me. That was a win.

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