Monday, June 22, 2009

I Lose it and Then I REALLY Lose it

At the house closing last week our real estate agent made a crack about the president. I laughed and told him to watch it. That, apparently, cued our loan guy to also make cracks about the president. Then I forced a laugh and asked him if he wanted to lose a deal.
Normally I’m not really defensive, but living where I do, you get to hear a lot of knocks on our new president, and I can only take about ten a day before I start getting annoyed. Plus, my emotions were running high last week, like jilted Southern belle high. I’ve been uncharacteristically calm on the whole. I’ve been so calm that I didn’t sleep for most of the week. Selling and buying never go smoothly, and there was a roller coaster at the end that rode over our exposed synapses (see here.) Additionally, there are about 4,000 people who stick their hand into the transaction for their piece. I had a great agent and would recommend him to anyone, but almost everyone involved in the transaction seems to be superfluous; it all seems like such a racket.

Just to be clear:

Presidential cracks
High, yet repressed emotions
Lots of people with hands in the cookie jar

So by the time the title guy jumped in and made his oblique Obama crack, I just about lost it.

“Listen, if it weren’t for YOU PEOPLE we wouldn’t be in this economic mess in the first place and Obama wouldn’t be spending his first term cleaning up after your industry.”

And then there were some cleared throats.

And then the loan guy started in on me again.

And then I brought up that maybe the government should take over the entire real estate industry.

And there were shocked looks from the rest of the table.

And I had to take a bite of cookie to stop myself from talking.

And then the loan guy apologized.

Because really, you need to know your audience, and dude, I am not your audience.

So with my emotions on strong undertow bordering on riptide, I went back to work. A couple of friends asked me about Steve and Catheryn, who died on Strawberry Reservoir a few years ago. As soon as I finished telling them the story I started crying, and kids, I couldn’t stop. It all felt so raw and I missed them so badly. I sat at my desk trying to finish my work for the day and the tears just wouldn’t stop. I kept thinking of walking the shoreline trying to find them. I developed the awesome I’ve Been Crying puffy face with the sniffle sound effect to match. I could no longer concentrate on my pressing work with those stupid tears flowing and had to leave--because nothing says ‘I am fantastic and together’ like crying at work!

KABLAM! Wasn’t that an upper of a blog? Veiled threats, dueling political philosophies, and uncharacteristic emotional displays—the only thing this blog needs is some sort of Whedon/Twilight reference.

No, but seriously folks, you know what I need? You. You have great moving ideas, hints, and pitfalls. We’ve lived in this place for 10 years. We threw out 7 bags of garbage just from the kitchen yesterday. What do we need to know for our big move this week? If you had your last move to do over again, would you change anything?

But no crying on this blog, no one wants to see your puffy face.


That's Ms. Amy to You... said...

I feel ya. We're moving on Monday, and although we haven't been here for 10 years, we still have A LOT of stuff. I have a blog posting about this very subject: Moving Maddness. Best of luck to you.

soybeanlover said...

Don't remember much from the far too many moves made as a child, but I have heard that you have a box of toys and special things for each kid. Those are the last boxes on the truck and the first ones off.

Other than that, thanks for giving those guys the political smack down. It warms my heart to hear it.

amelia said...

I don't think I have any good moving tips beyond this: if you are going to label your boxes, double-check them so all your family and friends don't awkwardly avoid the box you intended to mark "Playstation," but instead wrote "Playboys."

(Oh, and I am going to be laughing at your Obama comments all day. I cannot believe you told the real estate guys that. Hilarious. I wish there was a camera in the room to capture it all.)

Kalli Ko said...

the obama cracks, honestly, what is this 1967?

I just remember hearing something about never assuming because it makes an ass out of u and me...yes I'm talking to you Mr. Real Estate Industry.

Geo said...

Moving advice? Throw away seventy times seven bags. Be ruthless. And order pizza. Also, get yourself a box of nice soft lotion Kleenex and be prepared for the next gut-sob.

P.S. If you ever move a behemoth of an antique piano, make yourself scarce while the muscles are at work, or you'll give yourself an ulcer.

P.P.S. I'm sending a midnight train to you.

~j. said...

"YOU PEOPLE"?? You said 'you people'? That sounds racist. You must be a racist. Racist. You're an Obama-loving racist, you racist. Racist against agents.

Moving tips:

1 - Don't let anyone's bones get broken the day after you move in to your new house with stairs.

2 - Don't let that same person break more bones on the same stairs the very next day (or else you'll lose it at the ER when you think they're going to throw you in jail on mothers day).

3 - Bring your boys over here so that you can get some stuff done. Today? Tomorrow? (Because I'm going to NY on Thursday.)

jeri said...

We made a short move last year and here are the things I felt like I did right:

- Get free boxes from grocery stores

- Getting out of the old house takes longer than you think. There's this mystery sub-layer of junk, stuff and dirt that just never goes away.

- Borrow a shop vac to clean up the film of papers, clips, scraps and dust bunnies that will remain in every room (a regular vac won't cut it)

- If your neighbors offer to help you out, let them. Buy pizzas if you have guilt. But don't try to do it all yourself

- Keep a "going to DI" pile at all times and just clear stuff out as you go

- Keep your kids at the new house instead of the old the day you move. Instead of seeing their possessions go OUT (which is stressful) they'll see them come INTO the new house, which is cool

- Set up your kids' beds in the new house first so they have a few familiar things to help them pass the first night

- No matter who offers to do it for you, unpack your OWN kitchen and put stuff where it is natural for YOU to have it.

- It's enough to get the boxes INSIDE the room where the contents belong. Just get out of the old house first. You have more time to put things away and arrange later.

It's tons of work but it DOES get done and the next week you'll feel so awesome! Congrats and I can't wait to see your new place.

Cafe Johnsonia said...

Where are you when I can't think of anything to say to retort the Obama cracks? (I'm usually too stunned to say anything. That, or it's family I actually like, and you know...)

Moving. Oh, moving. Last year at this time I was packing myself.

Get a notebook and assign each room a number. Say Kitchen 100's, Living Room #1 200's, Master Bedroom 300's, etc. Label each box with a number and then write the corresponding number in the notebook along with the detailed box contents. I swear to you that it's worth the extra time on the other end. I didn't lose anything that way.

If you need some boxes, I got LOTS of boxes.

And if you need some homemade ice cream to make things all better, you know who to call.

(Don't let your husband pack. They just don't understand this kind of thing. You know?)

FoxyJ said...

Make a box with things like tools, paper plates/utensils, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning stuff, and other things you'll need right away. Label it and protect it with your life. Put it in your car or something. Then you won't spend the first few days in your new house trying to find toilet paper or something to eat off.

Also be ruthless in what you throw away and bribe your moving helpers with stuff like Costco muffins or pizza.

Unpack your own kitchen. ALso, this time my mom actually wrapped my entire spice rack in several layers of paper and carefully put it in a box; that was awesome because then I didn't have to put it all back together.

Oh, one more thing my husband does: When you take apart bed frames, tables, etc, put all the little screws and things in a baggie and tape it somewhere to the furniture. THen you know where it is when you put it back together (if you're moving across town you may not need to take so many things apart). YOu can do this with picture hardware as well.

Definitely put the kids' rooms together soon so they don't freak out so much.

Mrs. Organic said...

I'm with Johnson - although I skip the notebook and write it right on the box. A Sharpie is your best friend!

And that Buffy vs. Edward link was great. Truly great.

brinestone said...

Tell everyone you know that you're moving and could use help. 80% won't show, even some of the ones who say they definitely will show.

Have about ten extra empty boxes after you think you've got about a box or two of last-minute stuff left to pack. You'll be surprised that you can fill all of them.

Order in or eat out, and use paper plates for the last week before moving. The very best thing I did last time I moved was to pack up my kitchen in stages all week, instead of doing it all the day before the move. The kitchen ALWAYS takes longer than you think it will.

Get your moving truck as early as possible. The best time to work is early in the morning before it gets hot.

Also, I've got about six or seven good-sized boxes you can have if you want them. Just email your address to brinestone at hotmail dot com and I'll drop them by next time I'm in the area (unless, you know, you're weirded out by random strangers leaving boxes on your porch).

Sue said...

Ugh, moving is awful.

- Put your essential kitchen stuff all in one box - a few plates, a few cups, a few bowls, a little silverware - so that you won't be rummaging around through seventeen different boxes just so you can eat breakfast the next morning. Same thing with essential bathroom stuff
- Agree that you should label, label, label your boxes with the names of the rooms where they'll go and what's inside. It will make your life seventeen times easier.
- Make sure people put the boxes in the right rooms in the new house.
- Agree that you should set up the kids rooms first - I think it helps them a lot to see that they still have their bed, their toys, their clothes
- Garbage bags work great for hauling towels, linens, and clothes (not on hanger, obviously)

And I'm so sorry about your friends. That kind of hurt never really goes away.

Sue said...

Oh, and invite me over to help. I'm an excellent unpacker.

Camille said...

blegh! I can totally mirror your emotions about the real estate industry! I have made multiple offers on different short sales and dealing with agents/banks and playing the "game" for almost a year now! So, whenever you're free, I'd love to bring you in to give a "what-for" to all 21 hands involved in my cookie jars!
I guess you can be grateful that you're past that part right now and can just deal with the moving! :) I wish I had some pointers, but not quite to that point yet....
Good Luck!!

gurrbonzo said...

Oh, friend. I love Obama and applaud your YOU PEOPLE comment. And I miss Catheryn too.

Moving: agree with BE RUTHLESS IN WHAT YOU THROW AWAY. De-junk now. Seriously. And label the crap out of stuff.

And put everything you'll need right away in one place, or at least have a handy overnight bag for everyone. There is nothing worse than not knowing where a freaking shower curtain is so you can take a freaking shower.

Andreared said...

Bravo on the political smackdown -- I always think of the right thing to say AFTER the moment has when I'm in my car on the way home.

As far as moving goes, be sure to check for condom wrappers under your bed so when your home teacher and his 12 year old son come to move your mattress and bed frame into the moving van that they don't see it...

Michelle said...

yes, yes, throw stuff away!

I think home closings are extraordinarily emotional. I have cried at each one. And it's funny, I just live a county away from you but I almost NEVER hear any Obama cracks.

Cafe Johnsonia said...

LOL at Andrea's comment.

Yeah. I've heard a few stories and could tell a few stories about similar things happening. (But not to me.)

I came back to say the same thing that was already said--have a box of stuff that you'll need right away. And especially stuff like medicine for the kids, etc. I mean, I know you're only moving a few minutes away, but still.

Azúcar said...

I have this idea to pack suitcases like we're going on a trip for our clothes and essentials. Good? Bad? Don't bother?

Azúcar said...

We move Wednesday and Thursday.

the MomBabe said...

Definitely do the suitcase thing, like you're going on vacation. Then you have the stuff you really need.

And my entire ward pretty much hates Obama. Too bad I voted for him.

jeri said...

One more thing, since I know you're moving a short distance. I would take entire closet-fulls of clothes and put them in my car, or somewhere I could lay them flat in a big stack. Then I would take them right into the house and hang them up. It was easier than trying to pack that stuff into boxes and re-hang everything later.

Also I would leave everything in the dresser drawers and just insert the drawer back into the furniture as soon as it got in the new house.

Secret code word: rapper


FoxyJ said...

Ooh--one more thing (sorry for lots of advice--we've moved five times in the last 7 years). Buy some of this plastic wrap at the moving store:

You can just wrap it around dressers, filing cabinets, etc. without taking anything out of the drawers. It keeps the drawers shut and makes them super easy to move. We also used it to bundle together the shelves from our bookcases and for a few other things. Also, buy lots of rolls of tape. Nothing worse than running out of tape at 11 pm while you're packing.

Miggy said...

Whether or not I voted for Obama, I HATE it when people assume "were all in the same boat here right?" and make those remarks. I'll defend a democrat or a republican when someone starts assuming I'm in one camp or the other... nothing says "I'm so closed minded and correct in my thinking that of course you must also have the exact same beliefs as me because there couldn't possibly be more than 1 side to the political story, so I'm going to go ahead and make some jokes indicating that I assume we believe in/for the exact same things even though I hardly know you." Lame.

Secondly, nothing brings out the best in people like moving. It's definitely a stressful time. The only advice I can think of would be to cater to the pickiest person. For example, my husband couldn't care less if we just threw stuff in boxes and taped it up as quickly as possible. That would of course drive me bonkers--I want things neat and orderly when we move, so he knows {bless his soul} that it's going to be easier in the long run to do it my way or I'll be bitching and moaning the whole way. And I think throwing stuff out and getting rid of stuff along the way is great. We found ourselves purging on both ends of the move--in the packing and unpacking.

Good luck!

Miggy said...

Oh I thought of something more helpful!

Have a small box (like shoe box) for all those random odds and ends like pens, tacks, sticky notes, etc... then have a slightly bigger box (but not a BIG moving box) for bigger odds and ends...that random junk you don't want to throw out and don't know exactly where to put it. Think of it as the movers junk drawer.

Miggy said...

Oh! Oh! Me again!

I second getting the large roll of plastic wrap stuff--but not kitchen plastic wrap--we used that on everything! Keeps drawers in place--if you have any furniture you're worried about getting scratched--wrap it! We wrapped pretty much every piece of furniture in this move--except our headboard and everything came to us in perfect condition...except...the headboard. Lesson learned.

Also--I have a large plastic trunk that I bought at Bed, Bath and Beyond or something years ago...I lined it in bubble wrap (or that thick styrofoam stuff) and I put all my nice dishes in there. I wrap them in thick foam or bubble wrap and put them in the large plastic trunk and I have yet to lose a dish. I guess I just wouldn't put my dishes in a regular box...that's just me.

OK--that's it. I think....

Rynell said...

I have moved almost a million times, most recently last week. (Completely serious.)

Label boxes--I write what floor the box goes on, what room and the main contents. I'd lose a notebook--so I just label boxes really well.

Wrap things like bed frames, crib parts and shelves together with their counterparts.

Keep some old towels or something for layering between items, as in padding between stacked dressers.

Rent a real moving truck and bang it all out in one Saturday.

Keep track of a few essentials such as a few kitchen essentials, bathroom things and a couple changes of clothes for everyone right where you can keep track of your car instead of the moving truck.

Realize it's going to take awhile to get things organized.

I like to either wrap the mattresses or at least leave the mattress protector on them. I also pack my kids' bedding a week before moving so I can wash and pack their bedding. They're young enough to think sleeping bags are fun for a week.

One thing I just realized is that I should have delayed moving in a couple of days so I could have some carpets replaced and the air ducts cleaned before I moved in.

Moving is exhausting and that in itself ups the emotional ante. It really does.

La Yen said...

I have the Army movers move me. I sit and watch them do it all. Then I eat ice cream. I recommend that.

You should have said "Obama...I know. But I wasn't ABOUT to vote for a woman or a Mormon, so there you go..."

craftyashley said...

My advice: paint the new house before moving in. Also- throw out pretty much everything. When pondering if something should stay or go ask yourself if you love it enough to haul it up three flights of stairs. You can never throw too much stuff away.

Colleen said...

I was SO hoping you'd say you walked out on the real estate guys. Good work anyway.

I second and third and fourth everyone who said to get rid of as much stuff as possible. That's one of the best things about moving.

And I got my Spark gift certificate on Saturday, thank you!!!

Sarah said...

You know, I don't agree with everything Obama does, but seriously people - he was voted in, he is our leader whether you like it or not, so suck it up, be patriotic, and stop saying bad things about him!
Good luck with the move!

Pokejane said...

Well, now...

My husband, who is a real estate broker and a mortgage broker, has a property management business and a Master's Degree in Tax Accounting he doesn't use, thinks everyone who buys a house should be required to go to real estate school. People DO sometimes get fleeced when buying houses, but also, many people just don't know what is going on, and FEEL fleeced. These home buyers are knowledgeable and smart about other stuff, and they don't like feeling like they don't know what's going on.

Do you know it takes only two weeks of school to get a real estate license (here in Az)? And then, you can represent yourself and save at least 3% on your next home purchase. Plus, you'll better understand the process, and know when you are being victimized with stupid fees, etc.

You do realize that your friendly neighborhood real estate agent and loan officer aren't the people that caused the problems with the real estate market? It was the banks (filled with people who don't read history books about recessions and depressions). Banks who approved the crazy loan programs. I think more of those banks should have been allowed to fail. (But my dad, the economics phd, says no.)

Certainly, there were some dishonest mortgage guys who lied to banks and gave them bad loans. But mostly, banks turned a blind eye, and allowed all kinds of crazy in underwriting. They wanted the loans.

Anyhow, I just wanted to represent a little for us 'YOU PEOPLE.'

Happy moving!

Beeswax said...

OOpsie. Pokejane is my daughter!

Becky said...

yeah, when we bought our house i finally just had to stop reading the small print. after the first $800 title transaction fee - which when i questioned them meant the process of walking the paperwork to the office next door...i volunteered to show up that day and do it myself - and all i got was a "yeah, we don't do it like that." at that point i just shut up, put my head down and got busy pricking the thumb of our first born son so i could sign the paperwork in his blood and move on with my life. good luck.

moving tips?
i always buy donuts for everyone helping and if it carries into the afternoon - taco bell. and keep your sheets separate and available. it's going to be nine o'clock at night and all you want to do it collapse - if only you could find the ##$^@#*@%ing sheets. but mostly it's all about the donuts.

Azúcar said...

Beeswax--I think there's plenty room enough to go around: from the people who lied on their forms, to the loan guys who lied or deliberately cheated, to the loan guys who forged signatures and defrauded buyers, to the banks who bought the mortgages, to the hot shots who securitized them, to the global pool of money that had an insatiable greed. It was a systemic problem, and it's righting itself.

Vanessa said...

Moving Tips...I have moved just about every single year for my whole life, adult and child...

Tips? Breathe...Eat out for 3 days...Bug everyone you know for help....send the kids away for the WHOLE DAY...and when you get stressed...sit and sketch what you want your beautiful house to look like and ignore all the mess around you.

What else...wrap all your furniture that might scratch in tons of plastic wrap, it really works...

Vanessa said...

ps I voted for Obama and still feel scared to type that outloud AND I had to vote in our church building, which I did not like at all...doesn't seem like a fair place to vote

Anonymous said...

i feel your pain on all those damn ignorant obama cracks. i live in white republican suburbia and it apalls me to hear some of the atrocious comments made. not too mention i am a waitress and hear more than the average joanna. worst part is i can never say anything, otherwise i most certainly would have more moments like yours.

hang in there sister!

Anonymous said...

"Normally I'm not really defensive.." This coming from someone who's always on a toot about something!!

~j. said...

Turns out that some people don't understand the difference between online 'ranting' and actual, real life when someone might not want to have a political discussion while conducting a professional transaction.

martha corinna said...

My home teacher (while home teaching me) informed me that Obama is a "slime ball" because he is using the swine flu to scare us into health care reform (apparently he felt it necessary to include this in his monthly message).

I really get weary of the assumption that in this valley we are of one consensus.

La Yen said...

Geez, Azucar, you are so tooty.

compulsive writer said...

I'm going to start calling you Tootsie for short.

i i eee said...

I just tooted!

hannah said...

I love anonymous commenters. This one was especially entertaining. I think I will be using the word "toot" more often cause it made me giggle.

redlaw said...

you know what's SO awesome? leaving anonymous snide comments on someone's blog.

it just screams maturity and sophistication. i mean "toot." that's totally a word the liberal elite uses, right? in their mansions, whilst planning their socialist takeover?

and the best thing about anonymous, bitchy remarks is that they're completely not-at-all cowardly. thanks, anonymous, for teaching us all how to be better people.

b. said...

Azucar thinks my Birkenstock Mary Janes are cute.

Toot that.

Momoko Photography said...

If you love it and it's fragile take it over in a nicely wrapped package with no help from anyone else and put it in your closet or out of reach from children and husband.

Also, really assess what you really want in your next house. If you don't need it or haven't seen it out of a box in over five years, it's garbage. I'm the queen of getting rid of stuff that is neither seen nor heard. In the end it will sit in the same box in your new house and you'll definitely buy new awesome stuff.

Kaerlig said...

Crying isn't such a bad thing is it? Better than bottling it all up and rolling in out into a migraine. I'm all for crying these days. Last time I was in your position with closing on our new house/ selling our old house I had a newborn in the NICU too. I did a lot of crying. It made moving better.

I'm sorry about your friends who died.

Natalie said...

Crying is cathartic, do it often. And Obama rocks. I voted for him -- and I might not agree with the trillions in debt thing, but I always remind people that Bush pushed the first stim package and What were supposed to do last election, vote for a geriatric dude who, while a powerful senator, seemed clueless with what was going on with America?

OK, soapbox done...

Last time we moved, I swore I'd never do it again, and that was just a few blocks! So I don't know w

marshall p said...

I'm a single girl with no kids, I lived in a house for 3 years and moving almost killed me. also, been there with Obama... it's bad when you're afraid to put your Obama sticker on your car for fear of the "moral majority".

camillion said...

I like Obama, but I voted/rooted for Hilary. Mine is a lonely club.
I still wore my Hilary shirts, even if she is public enemy #1 here.
Anyhoo, having moved 17 times in the past 8 years, Alls I can say is LOVE the garbage can. EMBRACE the garbage can. Make your constant mantra, "PURGE TOSS PURGE!" If you haven't used it, LOSE IT. No joke. WHY are we programmed to keep everything? If it's not that significant, dump it.

Oh, and new houses really love new, shiny things. Start with a clean slate. You deserve it.

Also, take advantage of this chance to "lose" or "make disappear" any clothes/items/sofas that you really hate. I totally convinced my husband that the movers lost a loveseat.

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