Open Letter to Ed Bascome at Epcon

Hey Ed, I had the pleasure of touring one of your 55+ communities. You seem to have a good niche market there as I learned that you have communities in twenty-eight states. I was looking for a friend as my husband is never leaving our current house.

The guy who was showing me the house was a real man splainer. While looking at the living room I asked him about these tiny walls that were no more than nine inches deep that came out from the longest wall in the room. Man Splainer told me they were “wing walls.”

Looking at them I could tell they were purely decorative, and not load bearing so I had a follow up question of, “Why would anyone want those wing walls.” Man Splainer did not have an answer, he wasn’t a decorator so I forgave him. I asked if someone buying a new build house could have those tiny, useless, wing walls left out.

Man Splainer practically prostrated himself at the wing wall and told me, “Under no circumstances could you get this model house without the wing walls, because Ed, the President insists they are built into this model.”

“Really? So you have to build these little walls, drywall and mud then, paint them, then lay a floor that goes around the walls, which is a lot more trouble that laying a floor along a straight wall. If someone doesn’t want them you wouldn’t just not put them in and save yourself the time and money it takes to have them?”

“No, absolutely not. Ed insists.”

Since I was having so much fun with Man Splainer I continued. “So, once someone buys this house and they own it, can they redecorate the inside anyway they want?”

“Yes, the only rules about redecorating are about the outside.”

“So, a new homeowner who might have a big, long sofa, which they may want to place against this wall, who owns those wing walls now, must pay someone to come take them out, patch the floor that was underneath them trying to match the floor that goes throughout the rest of the house, repair the wall they were attached and repaint, just so they can put their big furniture against this wall?”

Man Splainer, was so embarrassed to have to say, “Yes, that is what would have to happen.”

Ed, you are being blamed for this ridiculous policy. This entire conversation reminded me of Jack Nicholson in the movie Five Easy Pieces. Jack was in a diner, where he wanted some plain wheat toast with his omelette, instead of the roll it came with. The waitress said no substitutions. So Jack ordered a toasted Chicken salad Sandwich on wheat with his omelette, hold, the Mayo, lettuce and chicken salad, just so he could get the toast.

Ed, don’t be the waitress. Let customers hold the wing walls.

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