Thursday, September 20, 2007


I showed the apartment fifteen minutes ago to a muscle-bound, hazel-eyed fireman and his girlfriend, impromptu. They were looking at a co-op down the street and happened into our courtyard, which Delores* thought was quite charming. It is. They saw our sign posted in the vestibule and called Bryan’s cell, who in turn called me at home. So I let Derek* and Delores in. They’d already gotten the scoop from our neighbor Lydia*, resident toothless-flip-flops-in-winter-wearing-motor-mouth, about our place and learned right away that we’re all insane. (If you’re thinking about buying our apartment, that last bit is a joke! We’re really quite sane! HAHAHA!)

Delores walked in and said, “We’ll take it!” And Derek cringed. When I joked that the cat comes with the apartment, Delores said, alarmed, “You’re leaving your cat behind?” And I told her I was joking. Unless she really wants her. All in all, I could tell they weren’t going to make an offer. After four showings, I can tell these things.

One Aussie actor who came by last week told us he’s “very interested,” and is going to talk to his lawyer and his bank. We haven’t heard back from him. We’re showing again tonight and then again on the weekend. So far, selling it ourselves is a good thing. It's personable and we have many yahoo groups between us to blast, plus Craigslist and the New York Times, which we'll get to soon. But I did call an agent to appraise the place, he came by yesterday, because more than a few neighbors and friends seem to think we’re asking waaaay too little. It’s not as if we didn’t research how much apartments are selling for. But, like parenting, anything that you do in life the least bit publicly invites a certain kind of person into your life, the kind of well-meaning meddler who could live your life better than you, and thank God they exist, otherwise, how would the world go on? I wish I had this kind of self-deluded arrogance. Wait a—no I don’t. I worked hard in therapy to be hyper-self-aware and neurotic. But then, I must be like these others to some extent, or else it wouldn’t piss me off so badly when someone tells me in so many words that I’m a retarded asshole.

ANYWAY! Bluggghh. Shaking it off. Because Bryan and I are self-doubters when it comes to big decisions, we twisted ourselves and each other up into big goopy pretzels worrying ourselves silly that we under-asked by oh, seventy-five-thousand dollars, what the fuck kind of idiots are we, and so forth. So I called in a professional. I was pretty up front with him, telling him that we want to try and sell the place on our own, but in the spring, if we don’t sell, we’d like to list with his fine company. Nice guy. Family man. Turns out we are in exactly the right price range, our absolute cap asking price being ten grand higher. So take THAT, you busy-bodies. This took a whopping buttload of angst off our shoulders. But my heart was already lodged and swollen between my jaw and my windpipe, so the relief I was expecting at this good news, well, it didn’t come.

And Hamish is…ugh, did he catch our stress like a cold? Is it his new preschool? Some developmental milestone? Because I am at my wits end with this kid and Bryan lovingly reminded me that we can go through it all again, probably worse, with Stella in a couple years. We didn’t so much as experience “the terrible twos,” but right now we’re in the throes of “the throttle him threes.”

At the diner yesterday, he spit his food out onto his shirt, crawled onto the floor and lounged there, spilled water all over the table and refused to eat anything. I seethed at him through gritted teeth and threw my money on the table. Twelve wasted dollars. Later, riding his plastic fire truck around the block, he refused to stop when I asked him to, when he was a couple rowhouses in front of me. I called his name. He kept going. I shouted at him. He turned the corner, out of my view. I picked up Stella and her toy stroller, screaming his name. We raced, really loped, around the corner, where I saw Hamish still racing down the hill toward the next corner. I could not believe my eyes. Who was this kid? Hamish has not flouted this fundamental stop-when-I-tell-you-to rule for two years, since he ran toward the street hooting with laughter as a mere toddler.

Finally a stranger, a nice man walking the opposite direction, calmly put his hand up to my son, said something I couldn’t glean, and Hamish stopped. I ran up, apologizing to my fellow pedestrians for shouting bloody murder through the streets, thanked this hero of a civilian, and gave Hamish hell for ignoring me and breaking this rule. Visions of moped-riding delivery boys flattening my son sloshed in my brain while we marched right back home, Hamish sobbing, me seething, wondering, what the fuck happened to my son, scared shitless that I’m suddenly raising a hoodlum. Then today, he sobbed when I dropped him off at preschool, like he hasn’t done for a couple years. Something weird is going on. I know it's time to surrender to the powerlessness of it all, but ugh. It's a suckfest.


bryan & elise said...

OY the stress! And it's just kinda that low-level, all encompassing, ever present stress that permeates everything. Like - Wow! what a beautiful day it is outside, I'm so glad the kids are in a great mood! Oh yeah, we're selling our apartment, which means that 1. we need to sell, 2. we need to pack, 3. we need to find the house we'll be happy to live in for the next many years, 4. we need to find appropriate day care, 5. i need to get a job, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Which leads automatically to the "what if we don't" questions. And even though we have that faith that all of these things will happen, the questions and the stress don't go away!


and Hamish! Lovely and loveable Hamish. To pick now out of all times to try out your independence. But of course he's picking now. What better time? Anxiety in the house is running high, why should he be spared?


At least in all this, we had our moment of VINDICATION yesterday! Sweet acknowledgment that we do know how to wipe our own heinies and that others don't know better than us. Oh yeah! I'm nearly 40 years old and I manage to lead a life without needing you or your meddling ways and, IMHO, I do it quite well, but thank you for assuming you know better!

Cari said...

For what it's worth, I had almost daily panic attacks while we were selling our house. It's a pretty awful process, especially in New York. The house blog looks great, though. I'm sure you'll have a good offer soon.

Larissa Phillips said...

I love your blog Elise!