Monday, January 08, 2007

Buying Ugly Betty

The house hunt rages. I may have actually found a house to buy. I call her, "Ugly Betty". As any of you know who watch TV shows, Ugly Betty isn't ugly after all, she is just not a fashionista. She is smart and kind and wonderful. It is just that not everyone can see that through her "unfashionable appearance". But beneath the Guadalajara dayglo poncho and simulated aquamarine stone tooth-braces, Betty is solid gold.

So here is the story of "my" Ugly Betty. She is the ugliest home on the block. There is a part of this rural town that wooded and almost agricultural (in a small New England way.) This area borders on a fairly pristine suburb. There is a road that has a stretch of houses whose back yards abut a densely wooded area. Most of these homes have gone to great pains to distinguish themselves in some way. Then there is Ugly Betty. She sits on almost an acre of land, over half of which is densely wooded. She is a tan colonial house with faded brown shutters. She looks like a brown tie shoe in a sea of dancing pumps.

No one has ever landscaped her, though she has two large and elegant silver maples in her side yard. She has no gardens. She needs gardens, and windowboxes and burgundy shutters, and a split log fence tumbling over with roses.

Her hardwood floors are naturally blonde -- either maple or birch, but they need to be sanded and poly'd. Her structure is sound, and during the day she is flooded with stunning cascades of light. She has large bedrooms, one of which is painted a ghastly chartreuse green and has alarming flamingo pink lace curtains.

Her cellar is dry, and she is well insulated. The electric is updated. Most windows are new. The kitchen is large enough to have a table and chairs, and the upstairs bathroom is so huge it could be a bedroom. She has three bedrooms upstairs, a kitchen, dining room, half-bath, office and livingroom downstairs.

The backdoor comes into a sort of mudroom. It needs to be overhauled. But that is a small job. It is just a mess.

Our Ugly Betty has been on the market for a while, mostly (I think) because people cannot see past the lack of cosmetics. She calls to me. I can see her with vines and roses, new trim, sanded floors and freshly painted walls. I can imagine my art on the walls. I can see myself walking in woods that are my own. I imagine her smiling as I deck her out in oriental rugs.

I don't want a big and shiny new house. I don't want that much debt at this point in my life, and I want something smaller and more eccentric. It wouldn't be my house unless it had a few quirks. I'm thinking Betty may need me about as much as I seem to need her. It could be a great friendship.


Anonymous Evelyn said...

The house sounds beautiful through your eyes!
I hope you'll succeed in buying "Ugly Betty", and then transforming her, little by little, into your vision.
My own little house in Georgia is an "Ugly Betty" right now, I'm afraid. I've lived here for almost 7 years now. Soon after we moved here, my son began having his adolescent troubles (including addiction -- but he's doing well now!), then my marriage broke up. Now, I'm slowly putting Humpty Dumpty (that would be me) back together. Soon, I feel it in my bones, I'll be ready to start fixing my "Ugly Betty" up. I know nothing of gardening, but I have a wonderful friend who keeps telling me she'd LOVE to teach me, and help me get a garden started.
Meanwhile, thank you for your blog. You brighten my days!

10:40 PM  
Blogger Jayne said...

Sound just lovely, and so YOU, Mata. Being able to see the possibilities is a sure sign.

6:27 AM  
Anonymous toujoursdan said...

Congratulations. How exciting to be starting a new chapter in life. It sounds like you can make Ugly Betty into your vision!

9:51 AM  
Blogger Dancing on the ceiling said...

The way you've described this house makes me want to rush out and find such a great house for myself! Good luck with it and keep us informed of what you do with it (pictures please!)

8:40 PM  

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