Just between close friends, is it wrong to have a crush on another man after nearly three decades of a fulfilling and happy marriage? I mean, he's young, he's cute, he's accessible, and he's prompt - what more could a girl ask for?
In fact, his very involvement in my life allows me to happily free up my husband's weekends for golf, tennis and other recreational pursuits.
"Sure you can go play nine holes; take your time. In fact, why not make it eighteen?"
I should preface this by saying that my new "boyfriend," Jason, works forGlasshouse; a company that I've written about before, but now have a bit more"hands on" experience with. Having signed up earlier this year for their concierge services, I can now report that this high-touch concept for single family homes is pretty darn fabulous! In essence, Jason is my house managerand his job is akin to any good mechanic's; but instead of a car, he services my house on a regular basis (for far less than I spend on gasoline each month) so that Cliff and I can avoid much bigger and more costly problems down the road.(And needless arguments over these minor tasks.)
Yesterday afternoon, Jason arrived for my home's quarterly check-up and brought with him filters for the furnace, a new cartridge for the refrigerator and then without a single prompt or nagging reminder from me, checked off his "to- do" list in quick order. (This may be true love.) He even put on booties before entering the house. (Now I'm certain.)
When you think about it, preventative maintenance as it pertains to our homes, makes total sense (and cents), especially when you consider how consistently we service our cars - a depreciating commodity - compared to how inconsistently we service our homes - an appreciating asset. (Get my drift?) So why would we change the oil in our vehicles on a regular basis, but never remove the lint from our dryer's vent pipe? Why wash your car once a week, but never your windows? Why rotate your tires, but never clear the gutters on your roof? I don't understand it. (But then again, I'm not a car person either.)
Perhaps it's because no one likes these nagging chores, OR we no longer see the dirt, OR because we simply don't know that houses need ongoing maintenance (who remembers to drain the pan under their refrigerator?), OR, as is often the case, we don't like to spend our hard-earned weekends on a never-ending list of repairs. (Who does?) Whatever the excuse, I've discovered that Cliff and power tools, just don't mix. Yes, my husband has many fantastic qualities, but "handy?" - uhh, not so much. (That's okay, I love you anyway, sweetheart.)
No, Jason doesn't actually wash my windows, or climb up on my roof, but he checks the toilet seals and faucets for leaks, catalogs and tracks my appliances, changes out filters on a regular basis, checks the HVAC system and hot water heater quarterly, and performs a whole host of other tasks designed to keep my home in good working order, and that's important to a gal like me who takes home ownership very seriously. But even if you're not as anal as I tend to be about my surroundings (aka: Realtor), your home still likely represents your single largest asset and investment. So taking good care of your property, isn't just a smart move, it's fiscally responsible, if for no other reason than your home probably holds a great deal of your personal net worth!
For those of you who have followed my recent remodeling journey (nightmare, odyssey, adventure . . . depending on my level of frustration in the moment) you know that Cliff and I have put our heart and souls - not to mention a great deal of capital - into a complete overhaul of our current home. Having rebuilt it from the ground floor up, we want this renovated gem to continue to not only look good, but to perform well for many years to come. Glasshouse provides the unique scaffolding to do just that. In other words, Jason brings a pro-active approach to home maintenance. What can I say? I'm smitten.
AND BTW - so is my husband, Cliff, who, not only knows about Jason, but completely approves of our ongoing relationship. (Cliff is very open-minded that way.)
Thank you Jason for your attention to my premises, and thank you Shannon for conceiving Glasshouse in the first place, which takes home care to the next level. It's much appreciated (and far cheaper than marriage counseling).
Note to Jason: Please feel free to see other people. I know we're not in an entirely exclusive relationship. (I'm very open-minded that way.)
How can I help you?
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 500 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.