Friday, November 22, 2013

An Update on Our Move to Richmond

I'm experimenting with asterisks in today's blog post. For every asterisk, or nine, you can find an explanation or random tangent at the bottom of the page. Thanks for playing along. 

I’m starting to regret making my big “The Weight Family is Moving to Richmond” announcement back in August. For the past two months all I hear is “are y’all still moving?” or “How’s the move coming?” My favorite is “I thought y’all were moving” which to me is closely akin to “what are you still doing here?”

Yesterday, Co*  the guy at my vet’s office, delivered the “I thought you guys were moving” line.
When I replied, “Yeah, we are. Not fast enough for you?”

He gave me one of those slightly fearful looks that a sane person gives a schizophrenic and countered, “Angela, you know I’m always glad to see you. And Katie. And your cat Anakin. The skin on my arm is finally starting to grow back since his last visit.”**
Random photo of dinner tonight. Remember when people where happy with just one meat and one cheese? How did we survive?
I don’t seriously think Co or anyone who asks about our moving progress is doing so out of a desire to finally be rid of us.***It’s  just an easy topic for small talk. ****And people really do want to know our progress.

So, here’s an official “Weight Family Move” update you can share with your friends, relatives, legal counsel and pest control service technician. (B.J. is ours and that guy loves to talk.)

Our house is still on the market. Lee Ann***** says that realistically we might not see much interest until Spring. However, a family looked at it on Monday. I didn't get any feedback, but at least they didn't steal anything from the medicine cabinet. (I keep the expired Vicodin from James’ vasectomy shoulder surgery as bait.)
If you’ve ever had a home for sale, you know what an inconvenience it is having to constantly keep the beds made, used plates and glasses out of the bedrooms, cat hair tumbleweeds off the floors and toilets flushed.******

Since I’m not particularly good at any of the above, I fly into cleaning tornado mode an hour before the house hunters arrive, while James and the boys contentedly sprawl in front of MLB Network and graze on tortilla chips (the extra crumbly kind).

The goal of staging your home for sale is to try to remove any personal items that may subliminally bias customers against the property. For example, I had to remove my beloved ax from the bedside because Lee Ann said it might send the wrong messages. She suggested replacing it with a healthy, green plant.  
The beloved family ax. And yes, James still sleeps with that fish pillow on the bed.
Trying to find a nice, healthy looking houseplant to replace the ax.

It’s also important to remove any name brand (or off brand) products.

LEE ANN: “Don’t forget to put away your shampoo and hairspray and mouthwash and all those personal things. You’d be amazed at all the little things that can affect buyers’ impressions.”

ME: (creating a fictitious real estate scenario) “Well, my wife loved the kitchen and the kids went nuts over the creek and the huge back yard. We were crazy about the place. It wasn’t until after we’d made an offer and secured financing that we found out that the homeowners use KROGER BRAND MOUTHWASH!!! Needless to say, the deal was off. You’d think they’d put that sort of thing in the disclosure.”
Wait! I can explain!
I don’t so much mind having to keep everything “magazine tidy.” But I’m often not sure where to put things. The last two times we’ve shown the house, I’ve had a huge basket of clean laundry that I hadn’t had time to fold. I can’t exactly leave it out in the open as that sends the message “Slobs who wear wrinkled clothes live here; therefore the house probably has galvanized pipes.”******* 

Just to be on the safe side, I hid the basket in the crawl space under our house.********

And then there’s the problem of having to evacuate when it’s time for the tour.

ME:  “oh my gosh, it’s almost time for the house hunters! Quick, boys, get your shoes on! We've got to get out of here before they catch us.”

JACK: “Catch us doing what?”

ME: “I don’t know. Uh…..living here, I guess….”

When we have to rush out the door like that, I feel like a kid who’s trying to put out her cigarette, open a window and hide the matches as the parentals are coming up the stairs.

It’s not until we’re driving out of the neighborhood that I realize I have no idea where we’re going to spend the next hour or two while people appraise our paint colors, step off room measurements and wonder what kind of mouthwash we use.

Lee Ann is planning to host a brokers’ tour next week. She’ll be relieved to know that I put the ax away.********

We’ll be playing tourists all next week in Richmond, VA….our future home. I promise to write.
And if you clicked on this post hoping for an actual update of our move, here's what I've got. James is expected to be in Richmond full time by early January. That will leave me as a single mom with a freezer full of Marie Callendar's  three meats, four cheese lasagna dinners. I'm hoping to stay here through summer so the boys can finish out their school years and maybe play some Dudley Little League. (We do LOVE some Dudley Little League!!!!!)
Richmond. It's on the James River. Nice of them to name a river after my husband. Maybe they can throw my name on a state park or a toll plaza or at least a park bench at the state correctional facility 

*Who names their kid a prefix? Maybe it’s short for Cooperation or Coagulation or Co morbid Condition. I guess if you’re going to be named a prefix, Co is better than Anti.
 I just looked up words that start with Co. One entry was Co-Grandfather-In-Law. Seriously? I’ve never heard of a Co-Grandfather, much less a Co-Grandfather-In-Law. Like some old guy is going to reach his breaking point one day and say “Dang, these grandfather-in-law responsibilities are just too much to handle. I’m 87 years old, for crackin’ sake! That little philly my grandboy married is gonna be the death of me with all her grandfather-in-lawing needs. Y’all gotta hire me some help. Heck, I’ll even share the title with him and give him half my turnip harvest.
                -Actually, I think Co is really spelled Coe, Ko or Koh, (Andrew swears it's Coe. And he claims he's never wrong.) which makes that last paragraph completely irrelevant. But I refuse to delete it.

**That last line didn’t actually happen. I was just trying to somehow work Anakin into the story. He really is a mean cat, though.

***Except the Wingers. They delivered a load of packing boxes to our garage last week. Said they just had them lying around from their recent move in ’86.

****Conversation starters and responses you should probably avoid (based on my own experience).
-          “Why don’t any of your kids look like you?”
-          “Hey, I see your psoriasis is back!”
-          “Ya know, some people are saying that your uncle really DIDN’T die of natural causes.”
-          “Interesting outfit. Are you color blind?”
-          “I kept Monday’s paper for you. Figured you’d want a few extra copies of your daughter’s mug shot for scrapbooking.”
-          “People keep asking me if you’re on Meth and I don’t know what to tell them.”
-          “What last name are you using these days?”
-          “Are you going to keep your hair like that?”

***** Our realtor

******I live with three males who think of the toilet more as a carnival game than a sanitary fixture. I guess I should’ve never offered them prizes for ringing the bowl.

******* We don’t have galvanized pipes.

********I still can’t find where I hid the clothes basket when the people came three weeks ago. If we show the house many more times, Andrew and Jack are going to have to look for their jeans in the backyard with a metal detector.

*********Is anyone really ever glad when you run out of mouthwash? Better have some gum at least. Or just squeeze a mouthful of toothpaste. 

3 comments:

Joanne said...

I feel your frustration. However, frustration makes a damn good blog!

Joanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The people who bought our first house toured it in the WORST condition. My kids were very little, we had a messy breakfast and I took them to the park. When we came back, surprise! A realtor's card! And they actually bought the place. I can only imagine the thought process - "hey, at least we can make it look better than THESE PEOPLE did."

The people who bought our second house bought it long after we had moved out.

We are now on our third house and I don't think anyone in their right mind would want it. In order to sell this place we'd have to move out, burn it down, and start over.