Actually his name is Culpepper but he looks, speaks and acts a bit like John Boy Walton. I met him because he is newly engaged to the daughter of a client. Last week Grant called and said,
" Fishy! Our Kellen is getting married. We have approved of the young man of her choosing but we are not too thrilled with his home."
" Hi Grant. Nice to hear from you. Congratulations to your precious Kellen. What's wrong with his home?"
" Our Kellen cannot live there! It could be a nice starter home but at the moment it is a disgrace. It smells. It's filthy. It needs just about everything."
" Did I understand you to say you approve of Kellen bringing into the family a man with a disgraceful, smelly, filthy home but despite these facts he is a fine choice?
" Yes. The thing is when he came to Big University to earn his education his sister came too. Their folks bought a smallish house with the plan to enclose the single carport into a suite for Sis, then fill the other 3 bedrooms with Culpepper and his friends. The idea was to let the renters pay for the cost of the house. It has mostly worked well for their family. But, the house has been a sort of Frat House for the past seven years, the front yard has been the parking lot to residents and guests so it is a right mess."
" Wait! I am stuck on the idea this family planned to have their daughter be the only girl in a Frat House!"
" No! They would only permit her to come to BigU if Culpepper would promise to be her vigilant protector. The idea was she would have her suite on one end of the house and six "fine young men" would be on the other end. Culpepper would have control of who the other housemates would be and was charged with choosing wisely. "
" So it was these wisely chosen roommates who trashed the house into it's current state?"
" Exactly so. Truthfully any home used to house 7 college students will suffer consequences"
" True. How many live there now?"
" Culpepper has been buying this home from his parents since he graduated four years ago. He moved into the Carport Suite and had 6 renters in the other three bedrooms Now he is down to just the one boarder, often the boarders girlfriend and, there is Sterling"
" A very large, young, male, entire, Weimaraner who spluges the walls"
|plays with LOGS for toys!|
" What did you say? "
" Well apparently male dogs who are not fixed have output with movement. The lower walls of this house are just disgusting. And, they smell. This has got to be taken care of. Is there some sort of highly washable paint? We do not want our Kellen to have a decrease in her standards because of her marriage to Culpepper. The house needs painting, new flooring, replacement windows all the bathrooms and the Kitchen need to be remodeled.
The issue is this; Culpepper is confident and proud. He and his parents " fixed up the place" when they bought it from retired Professor Methuselah so they are not understanding the need for improvements. He is a bit touchy or defensive about our wealth. He declined all our offers for help in revitalizing his home from Frat House to a place you could proudly bring your new bride from a fine family. We did convince Culpepper at least the Master Suite should be freshened up a bit. He agreed so one weekend he and Kellen went forth like newlyweds on HGTV. They purchased some hideous orange and lime green bedding at Bed, Bath and Horrors then went to Wowe's for paints to match the bedding. They worked themselves into exhaustion only to produce a dreadful, garish mess of the entire suite."
" When you say "suite" is that the converted carport for Sister?"
" Yes. We stopped by with take out as planned on their big painting weekend. When we arrived Kellen was crying and Culpepper looked deflated. That room was a right big mess. I felt so sorry for them! I offered on the spot to hire a painter and just duplicate the room you designed for Kellen at our lake house. Culpepper was too tired to resist. We took advantage a bit and gave Kellen the bedroom furniture too. We were afraid Culpepper would say she could not have it but before he could dissent Kellen was hugging us and crying her thank yous."
" Wow Grant, what a wonderful gift."
" Thank you. But when you see this house you will understand it was a decision more selfish than generous.I just would not be able to sleep thinking of our Kellen living in garrish squalor. I want to give a FishyDesigns consult to these kids as an engagement present. They need a plan to avoid anymore design tragedies. The wedding is in June, this last roommate moves out in May so there will be quite a rush to get things in order for them before Kellen goes to live there. We really need to plan everything now. Their schedules are so different they are rarely off on the same days but could you plan on meeting with them on a Sunday afternoon? "
On the day, Grant was delayed, so I met with Kellen ,Culpepper and Sterling. The house is an ordinary 3/2 brick ranch with an enclosed single carport space and a shed like laundry room off the Kitchen. The original hardwood floors are in serious need of refinishing. Instead Culpepper has decided to put down a floating laminate floor to withstand the effects of Weimaraner toenails and to carpet all bedrooms. Neither are good decisions. He would like to change the conventional floor plan to an "open concept" floor plan for more ease of entertaining. Culpepper is a high school coach and middle school shop teacher. He also works with the youth at his church. It is very important to him this home be "open" to his youth ministry. This calling is his mission, his purpose and as such all elements of his life are centered on meeting or supporting this dedication. He has structured his life to advance this purpose and has chosen a mate to support him in this mission above all other things.
Kellen is a newly graduated nurse. A smart, capable, cardiac intensive care nurse. She is 22 years young, starry eyed, easy going and generous of nature. She smiles and laughs at every syllable Culpepper speaks.
His response was, " I have studied this issue and made decisions. I am a shop teacher so I understand these things as a professional. I will not be looking at any options for my Kitchen."
Did I mention the Kitchen has white melamine cabinetry , laminate countertops and vinyl flooring?
Not to mention it stinks and had Sterling "output" on all the walls and was claustrophobic for one never mind for two? While I was wondering why in the name of logic Kellen wanted to hitch her wagon to this particular future she stepped forward and in the sweetest liquid steel voice ever heard said this,
" Ms. Fishy, please help us. I cannot cook in this Kitchen and, we have appetites."
Good Night John Boy.