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rue-madame's Diaryland Diary

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Home is where the psychosis is

Yesterday we put in a bid on a 3 BR 2 BA condo (it’s actually more like 2 BR with one marginally usable additional room… don’t even get me started on real-estate-speak) in a 1915 building in a cool neighborhood. Actually, Terence put in a bid is more like it. He qualified for an appropriate mortgage all by hisself, and we determined that my last three tax returns were highly unimpressive and would probably be more of a hindrance than a help. The bank people don’t care that I’ve got a kick-ass retirement account, great credit and charm up the wazoo.

Anyway, the building has two duplicate apartments for sale—one on the ground floor, and one on the third. The one on the third floor is nicer than the one we bid on, with better light but it’s $25k more and will probably sell for more than that. We picked the cheaper one because we think we can underbid it, and make the kinds of improvements we want with the money we save. If our offer isn’t accepted, we’ll bid on the third floor one, and throw in a little extra corn.

The decision to bid on the ground floor apartment was one of the most adult we’ve made in a while. It was based on boring, grown-up things like:

- Will we recoup our kitchen/bathroom remodel costs in 2 years? (yes)

- Will we turn a profit when we sell? (probably)

- Is the place upstairs really worth $25k more than the place downstairs? (yes and no) Or did it just seem that way because it was inhabited by two tidy queens? (yes)

- If the place downstairs had been as queenly maintained, would the seller have been able to charge more? (yes)

- With the cheaper place, our payments will be smaller. Can we continue to simultaneously pay down our debt, go on nice vacations, and save for an apartment in Paris or Manhattan? (yes)

The real estate agent is supposed to get back to us today.

So…that’s happening.

I took a yoga class on Saturday, and it was good. It was hard because I haven’t practiced in over a month, but not difficult. The studio was bright, and their setup is pretty unsophisticated: no computer, no credit card machine, a color laserprinted brochure without a schedule inside. I’m debating whether or not to offer my design services in exchange for free yoga—but first, I need to take more classes to see if there’s a style or a teacher who challenges and energizes me, and second, I really need to consider if it’s worth my time to do the bartering thing again. It kinda worked in LA, but those yogis started driving me crazy with their “I think this really needs a Shiva or a mandala on it” school of flyer design. There are a few other yoga studios I’m going to investigate as well.

I called my parents to tell them about our bidding on a place, and my mother was not very interested. Among the bizarre non-sequiturs she offered during our “conversation” was, “Have you grown?”

Needing clarification, I replied, “What do you mean by that?”

“Well, are you taller?”

Huh? WTF?

I also mentioned that Yale employees get assistance from the university when they buy property and isn’t that cool for teachers?

“You should get a job there.”

“Yeah, that would be nice. If I were qualified for a position.”

“You can teach French.”

“Um, no, they hire people with Master’s and PhD’s in French, not people who happen to be fluent and used to tutor high school students for pocket change.”

“Well, I could do it.”

“Yes, you could. You have a Master’s in French.”

Every conversation always has to come back to her, and how she’s better than me in some regard that doesn’t mean anything to me, but matters intensely to her. She is, in fact, technically qualified to teach French at Yale and could even be a member of the Spanish and Italian departments if they needed instructors. Which they don’t. She is also slightly taller than me—a whopping 5’2”, so she’s definitely got the height thing over me.

I started to make a list in my head of all the things she has that I don’t, and all of the things I have that she doesn’t, and it all kept coming out like Scritti Politti lyrics (my tact, my sense of humor, my self-esteem, my diplomacy, my security, my hope and my ice cream, my bottle and my drugs…)

10:50 a.m. - 2004-03-15

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