Thursday, December 10, 2009

Daisy's second favorite TV show these days is an excruciating series called Extreme Home Makeover. Every episode of this show features the same formula:

1) Introduce a family that has experienced some horrifying tragedy involving their woefully inadequate house.
2) Watch the family cry and cry and cry
3) Blow up their old house. Literally.
4) Build them a new house in a week with the "help" of their favorite celebrity, who are home construction experts like Usher or Ashley Tisdale.
5) Show the new home to the family and watch them cry and cry and cry.

To those people in the U.S. who find that home ownership is beyond their fiscal means, I say you just haven't cried hard enough.

Inspired by this insipid series, today I also participated in building a house for the less privileged. My workplace organized a volunteer day to help Habitat for Humanity build some low-income housing. So do you know what I learned today? I learned that much like in baseball, there's no crying in home construction. Building a house consists not of tears, but of washing windows.

Apparently our volunteer day came at the end of this project, when most of the hammering and sawing had already been completed. When we arrived this morning, the volunteer organizers took one look at my scrawny computer programmer arms and promptly assigned me to window cleaning duty. Well, "cleaning" might not be the right word. What do you call it when you take clumps of grime from one spot and spread it evenly around on a surface. That's what I did for most of the day. I also moved some of that grime to non-window surfaces like the floor and the recently painted windowsills!

Unlike Ashley Tisdale, I did not get to wear a cute hard hat. :(

Regardless, to the low-income people of Oakland, California, I encourage you to enjoy your lovely and evenly-grimed windows in your new homes. Your tears will be thanks enough.

3 comments:

The 4th Sister said...

I have always thought Habitat was one of the better non profit charities...I have always wanted to help with that and have never done it...I have also wanted to volunteer to help serve food on Thanksgiving and Christmas to the needy But I can only donate to that because I would end up crying all of the way through the meal...Good for you 'window washer Mike'...You know being a good window washer is all about having the right tools....you probably did not have the right tools...

lostworld said...

Had Daisy seen you at work, I doubt she'd be tempted to watch the TV series anymore ;-)

Mike said...

4th Sis, I've never been particularly good at washing windows, but I'll agree that I could have done a bit better with clean rags. Newspaper works pretty well in general though.

Lostword, oh, I don't think there's anything I could do to diminish Daisy's enjoyment of that idiotic show.