Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Cobbler's Shoe

My wife and I just made an offer on a house and I think I've lost all voice of reason. Of course I, in my unbiased Real Estate opinion, think the place is undervalued while she, with her eye for detail and blessed with superior negotiational instincts, considers it overpriced. I like it the way it stands now with it's odd living spaces and turn of the century quirkiness (that's two centuries ago, mind you). Nothing I can't live with, I don't think. She already has plans on turning a guest suite into a private dressing room, as lack of substantial closet space is one of the above mentioned quirks. But then again, she does have a hundred (alright, 50) pairs of shoes and again as many handbags.

She wants to knock out walls and invite Emeril and Ina Garten over to redo the kitchen (which is pretty bad, I admit--and I can't believe I actually know who those people are) while I can live with the un-chic appliances and stenciled oak cabinets for now. She reminds me though, that "for now" can mean "for-ever" in my world and also that my idea of fine dining is airline food---First Class, of course but airline food, nonetheless.

See what I'm saying? I have very little control over this situation and it's not because of this 'God thing' I've been hearing about in the media (alright, NPR) or anything like that. It has to do with that whole Tailor wears a torn suit and Cobbler has a hole in his shoe phenomenon that's been floating around since Aesop's time. I'm an expert negotiator except when it comes to something that requires my own subjectivity. And while I've been called the Real Estate go to guy in Chicago when it comes to OPP*...I can't even buy groceries at Trader Joe's without getting stabbed and robbed in the check-out line (and they're 99.9% recycled and organic tree-muggers).

I am writing this as a mental exercise I suppose, to put aside my obsessive thoughts of lounging for entire weekends in a row on a hammock while the day's catch** smokes itself to perfection on the grill in an actual yard. I should stray from the idea of simply opening the back door in January to let the hound out into the sub-zero night with no residual 'pick-up' duties of my own until the Spring thaw, messy as that might be. I should not allow myself to believe that something as mundane (although it is architectually beautiful) as buying (overpaying for?) a house that someone else no longer wants, needs, whatever...will change my remaining time on this Earth in any significant way.

No, this purchase will not slow down the aging process I've been noticing these past several months in the mirror nor will it help me shed those 10 unwanted pounds (alright, 20) from my middle-aged girth or even make my lovely wife love me anymore than she already does-- or my pets any more loyal than they are, in their own simple ways. Hell, it won't even do anything to help me sell my own listings I have lingering on the Market including the Condo I live in now. Buying this house will simply make me feel good for a few months until I am forced off the hammock and into the garage to try and uncover the lawn care WMPs*. Come to think of it, all these reasons are why I bought a Condo instead of a House in the first place.

(* Other People's Property)
(** Nick's Fish House)
(*** Weapon's of Mass Procrastination)

Geno Petro

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