Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Failure of the Day: We’re Sorry, My Nerves Are Experiencing Unexpectedly High Call Volume; Please Hold

After putting it off for literally years, Chris and I saw a financial advisor on Saturday. We call him the Money Grown-Up. He told us that in fact we could afford to buy a condo, pretty much now. He explained all the various details and tax implications and mortgage options and millions of other details about numbers that hopefully Chris paid attention to because really, I was mostly spending all my energy trying to keep a reasonable expression on my face. Owning our own place is kind of a big deal to me, is the thing. On Sunday we started shopping.

The first thing you learn is that you are unforgivable wealthy. A half million dollars! That’s what these things cost, and you just bat the concept around like a kitten with a yarn ball. A half million dollars. To start.

The second thing you learn is that you are a deadbeat. You look at places that are priced higher than you can afford and know that you’re going to haggle them down to what you want. But in the early stages, the whole time you’re talking to the agents, you’re keeping the terrible secret that you can’t pay the asking price. Because you’re a deadbeat. Your shoes cost $11 from a store that was going out of business, and they can totally tell.

Meanwhile you’re a lost little lamb. The nice Money Grown-Up says you don’t need a realtor to buy a condo, any moron can negotiate a good deal in this market, so you walk into the places alone with your pants around your ankles and your wallet open, and the people showing the properties start talking REALLY FAST.

On Sunday night I sit straight up in bed covered in sweat just like they do in movies. “We have to get rid of all our books!” I shout to Chris, who is happily killing digital zombies. “We’ll never get enough square footage for all our bookcases!” Chris lets the zombies run free for a while and comes to soothe my frantic head. “It’s just shopping,” he says. “It’s fun. It exciting. And we like our books.”

I take a fistful of benadryl and manage to get to sleep. That’s the first day.


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