I'm giving myself an ulcer. It's an early birthday present. I haven't done anything nice for me in a while and thought maybe I should correct that. So this is what I came up with. Loads of unnecessary stomach acid churned with my doubt, anxiety and penchant for eating away all my troubles. A truly unique present, that is presently always present.
So... We bought our house in January of 2005. What many now realized to be the highest peak of the California housing market in the last 20 some odd years, if not ever. We sunk in about $100,000 of money that we made from a previous sale. After 7 years of blissful homeownership we have turned that $100,000 worth of equity into -$30,000. I put it in red becuase it's so much more festive that way...
Hang on, I need a Tums.
Sigh. Okay, where was I? Right, drowning in a sea of former equity and listening to the sound of my stomach digesting its own lining.
One morning, in the not too distant past my lovely bride of 14 years turns over in bed and says, "Peter. I want to sell our house"
Not exactly what I was expecting, but okay. We had walked this path before about a year earlier and I had already decided that we couldn't possibly get what we needed to out of this place this we lovingly refer to as, "The place where our future died a cold and meaningless death." It's hard to put that on envelopes so we normally just abbreviate it as "home."
"We looked at the market just recently"
"I know, but I think it's possible."
After a brief conversation, I decided to acquiesce. I mean who cares what I think? If I'm right nothing will come of it and if I'm wrong... well, then we can sell this place and move into something more suitable.
"Let's try it."
So we did. And we are. The house has been on the market for about 10 days or so. I had forgotten what selling was like. The last time we sold we were in a boom market. We put our house on the market and had to beat away buyers with a stick. In fact we even got a bidding war and accepted an offer above our original listing.
That isn't what we've got now. In 10 day's we've had about a dozen and a half people come and look at it. Which means that at a moments notice we get two kids in the car and scramble around making the house look as inviting as possible. Counter tops are cleared of toys, towels, trinkets and tchotchkes.
These things are crammed in drawers, the dishwasher, the refrigerator or anywhere it will not be noticed by potential buyers. Including in the car with us.
Anyway that's been the last 10 days. Loads of lookers and no buyers. I feel like a retail clerk at the Neiman Marcus store. I have no idea what will be happening or if we will be moving or not, but the worrying about everything and stressing over things I cannot help to control is turning me into a nervous wreck.
I NEED CONTROL! I MUST HAVE THE REINS OF POWER!
Sorry, I just passed out there.
I'm not sure how I'm going to top this gift next year. Maybe I'll just give myself a lobotomy...