Friday, April 8, 2011

Guts and Guile

Yeah, so, things could be better over here.

Honestly, it just feels like one thing after another lately. I can't seem to catch even the smallest break. It makes me a little bit paranoid, makes me begin to suspect some universal plot to keep me from getting too comfortable. I'm reading a memoir right now in which the author suggests that we all have a certain number of allotted days in which everything is fine, no problems to report, all is hunky and dory until the next consuming problem comes our way. And, although what I do have on my plate right now is nowhere near a "crisis" in the true sense that, say, people living in the aftermath of a major earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown are dealing with, I sort of long for a day, hopefully in the not-distant future, when I can get a breather.

Basically, I've discovered that in the scheme of things I have going on -- taking care of a toddler, freelancing and just generally keeping up with the business of life -- selling my house is just one thing too many. Now yes, it would help if we weren't listing the house ourselves, if we had an agent to help us with some of the dirty work, but that would also require funds we don't have since this house, purchased in an up market and being sold in a down, was the worst real estate investment ever.

Anyway, we were thrilled to have a contract on the house after just two weeks on the market, and all was going along fine until the most anal home inspector in the history of this planet arrived last Saturday to ruin our lives. He basically told them that our house was about to burn down due to two circuits of old wiring (which we've since learned can be removed for a minimal fee), that our garage needs to be rebuilt, and that we need a new furnace and hot water heater. So they came back to us and asked for $35k (not insignificant in this particular real estate deal) so they could have all of those things. If anyone finds the kind of real estate deal where you pay for an old house but get a bunch of gifts from the sellers that result in a virtual new house handed to you, please let me know. In the meantime, these first-time home buyers will continue to search in vain for their dream-world house with unicorns and fairies dancing in the backyard.

Still, I feel some regret, because I'm not sure I handled the negotiation as well as I could. I can be really unrelenting in a negotiation that involves something personal for me, and I fear I came on too strong out of the gate in light of their obviously unrealistic request. But truthfully the agent (theirs, whom we would still be the ones to pay) did nothing to filter her buyers' request, educate them on why it was outrageous or keep the deal moving along. So I'm pretty sure these people would have tortured us until the deal was done -- and maybe even after.

We are so ready to move on, and I keep thinking back to what went through my mind as we trying to have H -- that we only needed one (in that case, one good egg), that you think it will never happen and then suddenly it does, etc. I'm trying to remember that just because it feels like you're stuck in limbo doesn't mean getting unstuck isn't right around the corner.

On top of all of that, I am still recovering mentally from a really awful incident with my mother. At some point I will probably bore you with all of the sordid details, but for now, suffice it to say that until she learns to respect the boundaries I can rightfully set as an adult, I can no longer carry on the facade of a relationship with her. I made this clear when responding to the half-assed, insincere, blame-the-victim apology she emailed to me last weekend.

Add to that the fact that my foot remains broken (since last July), and I just feel a little downtrodden.

Overall, what I really need to do is stop whining and focus on all that is good. I am healthy. H is healthy. Hubby is healthy. I am not running to the bathroom 10 times a day. What more could I need?

I need to grit my teeth and get through this house-sale thing with more, in the immortal words of the late, beloved Elizabeth Taylor, guts and guile. I've used them before; I can use them again.

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