This August, Mike and I decided to rent a house in the Hamptons. Well, not the Hamptons exactly. It’s in Quogue, the next town over from the Hamptons, which (as someone on Instagram so kindly reminded me) is a place the Housewives of NY refuse to set foot in.
Fine by me. Ramona and Luann are probably the last people I’d want to spend my summer with anyway.
We got really lucky with the house. It seems if you wait until the end of July to make a decision, the renters get nervous and desperate, so we were able to get something for way less than we were expecting. That’s my real estate tip for the day.
The house has a big lawn, a pool and is even situated on the bay, in case we want to build a boat from leaves and twigs and set sail.
I say, “build a boat” because the first thing Mike did when we got to the house was research renting a boat. Turns out, it’s just as expensive as you would expect. It’s either “build a boat” or our new strategy— befriend somebody who already owns a boat.
NOTE: If you have a boat, live in Quogue and notice a family of four smiling creepily at you from the shore, that’s just us saying, “Hi! You look pretty. Wanna be friends?”
One of the main purposes of renting a house, is to have a place for friends and family to come visit. The only weekend Grammy was available was this past weekend, so she stayed with us from Thursday (the first day we were out there) through Saturday afternoon.
Grammy showed up at our beautiful summer house, deemed it unlivable and proceeded to clean the entire place from top to bottom, as if a missed crumb or window smudge carried enough germs to kill her grandchildren.
It was both frustrating and appreciated.
Grammy even insisted on buying cheap plush carpets to replace the “filthy” woven rugs that were already there— despite repeated pleading from both myself and Mike that she needed to do NO SUCH THING.
“I won’t let my grandchild crawl on those carpets! They’re FILTHY!”
Okay, fine, Grammy, you win.
On the plus side, Grammy’s trip to get carpets allowed us two seconds to relax in the house on our own.
Or so we thought.
We put Harlow down for a nap and almost on cue, the loudest sound you have ever heard emanated throughout the house.
Now, we live in the city so I am not familiar with modern day gardening techniques in the ‘burbs, but to my untrained ear, this sounded like someone was destroying the entire block with power tools.
A quick look out the window confirmed it.
A MAN WAS HACKING DOWN A FENCE WITH A CHAINSAW.
On our first full day at our new summer house.
I took a picture or else no one would have believed it.
“Excuse me!!!! Sir!!! Will you be hacking down that fence for very long???”
He didn’t hear me. He was weilding a chainsaw, after all.
Then my mom got back with carpets, laid them on the floor and informed me the house was a lot nicer now.
“Mom, they are hacking down the fence next door! Let’s get our priorities in order!”
Grammy said she was sure they would put a new fence up by the end of the day. Then she removed Harlow from the bare wood floor and placed her on the plush new carpet.
“There.” She said as if everything was now right in the world.
The house has a hot tub and since the first day was kind of chilly, we relaxed in there instead of the pool.
By “relaxed”, I mean “tried not to get splashed as Mazzy thrashed around like an elephant trapped in a puddle”, making the hot tub as far away from “relaxing” as possible.
Lately, Mazzy has been very into being a ‘damsel in distress’, so she kept yelling “Be a crab and get me!” and Mike and I would make our hands into little claws and then nip her legs as she swam by, much to her delight.
We thought nothing of it until a few hours later, when Nonna (my stepmother) paid us a visit.
Mazzy ran up to her excitedly and yelled…
“NONNA! I GOT CRABS IN THE HOT TUB!!!!”
Yes, she used those words exactly.
Another incident that was both hilarious and horrific was an unfortunate interaction with a bee.
We were in the pool and a bee landed on Mazzy’s goggles WHILE THEY WERE ON HER EYES. Understandably, she started screaming. To be fair, we all started screaming. The bee jumped back and forth between the folds of Harlow’s swimsuit (who I was holding), Mazzy’s face and my cleavage. I tried my best to hold everyone above water while simultaneously swatting the bee.
Finally, it flew away.
Mazzy was obviously shaken (as was I) and Grammy tried to make her feel better by saying, “The bee is just as scared of you, as you are of him. To the bee, you look like a monster!”
Ten minutes later, Mazzy had still not calmed down. So I said, “Mazzy, are you upset because you’re still scared of the bee?”
And she said, “No! I’m upset because the bee thinks I look like a monster!!!”
Good going, Grammy.
My mother is one of those people who is amazing with kids. She comes up with games they want to play, conversations they want to partake in, and just in case that’s not enough to win over her grandchildren, she showers them with endless gifts.
For someone who is not as good with kids (like myself), it’s a bit exhausting. Mainly because I feel guilty that I am not doing enough to interact with my own children and guilty that we invited my mom out to the house and she is doing nothing but cleaning, watching the kids and buying carpets. She even volunteered to babysit Friday night so Mike and I could go out for our anniversary.
She’s amazing and I know we don’t give her the appreciation she deserves.
On Saturday, after Grammy left, Mike and I had our summer house to ourselves for the first time. We gave Mazzy the iPad, put Harlow on the carpet to play and relaxed on the couch while the kids fended for themselves.
We surveyed our surroundings, nodded approvingly and knew we made the right decision to get the house.
And then Mike spoke the twelve words Grammy would have loved to hear.
“You know, this place really is a lot nicer with these carpets.”