Yeah, I am that good.It’s not like I trespass accidentally. Oh, no. It is very intentional. I trespass when I see new houses being built. I lift up the yellow “No Trespassing” tape like it’s a dare. I brazenly walk in where no woman without construction boots and a tattoo has walked before. And then I ask the workers if I can have a “quick look around” and they always say yes. It helps to smile a lot, like you won the jackpot of their niceness. And it helps to pretend you don’t understand Spanish when they say they are calling the police.
I walk around the new house and study the floorplan. I get a little drunk on sawdust fumes. I marvel that they put the fireplace over there, blocking the view. Sometimes I take notes.Today was different. I semi-knocked on the door (because, come on, I was actually already opening it … it was only a fake courtesy knock) and lo and behold:
The owner.“Can I help you?” he said sweetly.
“Yes!” I said, pretending not to be surprised (why the hell was the owner at home in his own house when there were important things missing—things like windows and electricity and floors?). “My name is MOV, and I live close by. I would love a tour of your beautiful house!”I have to admit that it was a reach to call it a “beautiful house.” It was more like a “beautiful stack of 2 by 4's.”
“Sure!” he gushed. “I am the owner AND the architect and I would love to give you a tour!”Twenty minutes later, he was giving me his business card. “MOV, my wife and I will be done with this project in April, so if you are planning any work on your house, give me a call!”
As I drove home, I flashed back to that neighborhood party we went to at Christmas time. A charming man I had never met started telling me and The Husband all about his latest project: a gorgeous house on our very street. He was an architect. We got his card.Several months before that when I was coordinating our PTA’s local home tour, I hopped out of my car and knocked on a stranger’s door because her house (from the outside) seemed a perfect candidate for our tour. Guess what? Not only was she the owner, but she was the architect and her husband was the builder.
Bingo.Just now I walk in my house, up to the study, and I sit down at my desk. I fan out three business cards of architects whose work I love.
And (coincidentally?) The Husband and I are currently discussing adding on a family room and new master bedroom to the back of our house.Most people might use Google to find a good local architect. Trespassing, going to parties, and accosting strangers in their own home seems to work for me.