I spent the afternoon watching some guys install a new window in my dining room. My old window was really old… the last original window in the house (and the house is about 120 years old) and it was really a piece of junk. In the wintertime a wind blew through it even when it was closed, and people competed not to sit with their back to it. The ropes inside the frame had long ago turned to dust, and the lead counterweights had fallen down into the walls sometime before I got the house, leaving only the skeletal pulleys sitting aimlessly in the sides. This meant that until it’s last paint job, if you wanted to to stay open you had to prop it with something, or it would slide shut with a terrifying bang at 3:00am when the humidity went down a little. Conversely, if you did manage to get it open and prop it open (and this was no small feat) then if the humidity happened to go up while it was open… then open it stayed. I remember engaging with it during a rainstorm and trying to close it with a hammer… to absolutely no avail. After its last paint job it retired from the opening business entirely – leaving an ever growing collection of flies petrifying inside it. It was junk – total junk, but it was our junk, and since Joe and I both earn an “artistic” (read – unreliable) income that doesn’t allow for a whole lot of new windows, so we sealed it off with that weird plastic you shrink with a hair dryer and tried to make do it until we could afford it.
This years tax refund had a little more give in it than we were hoping for, and we ordered the new window, and me, who is usually reluctant to buy anything (I don’t like to spend money. You just never know when more is coming) I gleefully paid for it – only thinking once about how many sweaters worth of cash it was costing. I was thinking about how usually, I really hate buying anything (except yarn – and even then I am a woman of some restraint) and how the last time I was happy to buy something that wasn’t yarn it was a stove, and that’s when it hit me.
I think I must be a grown up. All of a sudden I’m the sort of person who’s happy about appliances and windows with high R-values and thrilled that there was “argon” between the panes (I don’t even know what argon is, but I’m delighted to have it) and have had conversations about “property value” and how much energy it will save us this winter. I’m happy about these things the way I used to be happy about snow days or free candy. It was cemented when I phoned a friend after the window was installed and exclaimed things like ” I got my new window and you won’t believe what it does! IT OPENS! AND CLOSES! WHENEVER YOU WANT! ISN’T THAT COOL!”
Dudes. I’m a grown up.
Did I mention it came with argon?