Sunday, November 12, 2017
Big Costly Mistake
Ever have on of those ideas that you thought was just right? An idea that is costly but you're willing to plunge right in because you're convinced that it is the perfect solution? Sure you have.
Here is my latest Big Costly Mistake. God, I hope this is the last one I have. I wasn't going to post about it because it is just to painful but being the kind of guy I am who writes about (almost) everything, here I am telling my Tale of Woe.
In our sun room and living room I have a wall of seven windows. I paid to have extra windows installed because I LOVE a lot of light. Also, our property is situated that we can see the sunset from those windows. But as with all grand ideas, there is a downside. During the late afternoon, when the sun comes through those seven windows, the sun glare is brutal.
About eight years ago I bought wooden Casablanca style blinds. Bill installed them. It was expensive and time consuming to install them but it was necessary because of that brutal late afternoon sun glare.
We've been handling that late afternoon sun glare but closing the blinds. But then when those blinds are closed, I get claustrophobic. I hate that closed in feeling. Bill doesn't mind but I do.
For a number of years I've been looking for a solution. And then this year I thought I found it.
While staying at Pat's new condo in Hamilton, Ontario, he had see through roll down screen installed on his wall of windows.
I thought "How cool is that?" Then last month when visiting my neighbor Marty, who has the excact same house that Bill and I have, she showed me her same roll down screen to block out that afternoon sun. She had the screens installed outside her windows. Note this important distinction.
After seeing her windows with the sun glare screen protection I thought "I now have the solution!" Bill caution me not to do it. But being the bullhead I am I called our local window man (who is very good by the way) to arrange to have those sun glare protection screens installed.
He came two weeks ago and took measurements. He advised to have them installed on the inside because of the weather element. I agreed.
I made a down payment of $500. He ordered the screen and came back this week to install them. As he was removing the wooden blinds I said "Aren't you leaving them up?" He looked surprised and said "You want them too? I can do that but they will stick out." So I made an Executive Decision and said "No, let's just go with the screens."
Fast forward about three hours later (as the video at the top of this post shows), he finished. He did a wonderful job. Our living area was now transformed. It was more open and definitely different. Since Bill was against this idea all along, he was downstairs in his bedroom during the hours long installation process.
I paid the balance of the bill ($550). My screen installed (no names, I hope he doesn't read this blog post) gathered up his things and left. He had already neatly packed up our blinds. He said he could "dispose" of them or I could. I suggested that I would give them to a thrift store.
After he left Bill came up to view the finished job. He didn't like it. I didn't like it. The whole character of our living space was changed and not for the better. Oh sure, we had a more "open" look and definitely could see our backyard landscaping and beyond much better but he cozy ambiance we had before was now GONE. Gone, gone, gone.
I had that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that I just threw away a LOT of money for nothing. How could I be so stupid?
I'm thinking to myself "Maybe I'll get used to this." Buy in my heart I knew I wasn't ever going to get used to the new window treatments. With that Wall of Windows now open all the time I felt totally exposed. Maybe those screen shades work in a minimalist modern condo unit like Pat lives in but Bill and I live in a more traditional house.
The more I thought about it the more I realized that blinds have much more flexibility than these roll down screens.
The first day I rolled the screens now. Oh sure, they block out the harsh sun glare rays and I could now see out instead of looking at the wooden slates of our previous window covering. But to me looking out through those screens I felt like I was looking through a fly's eyes.
Nope, wasn't working for me.
It took me about a day to admit to myself that the new window coverings weren't working. Something Bill new from the first minutes he saw the windows.
I told Bill that I would have them changed back and I would donate the roll down screens to our local Habitat for Humanity thrift store. He told me he would change them, after all it was he who put the blinds up originally.
Now I have a new appreciation for our wonderful Casablanca mood setting blinds. And I am glad I don't have to store these screens that I will never use and at least they will go in a home and be put to use. But I am still having a hard time reconciling the money that I put out for something that was totally unnecessary.
Last week I turned 76 years old. Like many of you (and you know - smile - who you are) I have made many mistakes in my life. Life decisions as well as monetary decisions, most of which I choose to forget, because the memories are just too painful.
Every time I make one of those mistakes I say to myself "Ron, don't EVER make that mistake again!" Then I think, at what age will I stop making these mistakes? Well, I've come to the conclusion that as long as I'm alive I'll make mistakes, hopefully not the same mistake. But as the old adage says "You live and learn." I just wish some of my mistakes weren't so costly.
Just for the heck of it, I brought four lottery tickets on Thursday. Two for the Powerball and two scratch off tickets. Maybe I could win some money to offset my stupid decisions. The Powerball was 90 million. I didn't win that one (of course, I never do). But guess what? I won on BOTH of my scratch off tickets! $5.00 on one and $20 on the other tickets. Hey, it's a start. Only $1,025 to go.