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The Indefinite Article.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004


Such a fitting term for the end of this.

I couldn't sleep last night. My stomach was turning thinking of every possible thing that could go wrong. I was petrified. I thought a lot about bug infestation. I thought, "what if this place is crawling with roaches?" Mind you, i looked for evidence of this during the inspection and found none. I thought a lot about rodents too, but of course, i never found evidence of this; no droppings in dark corners...etc.

I thought a lot about the money: the mortgage combined wtih our mound of debt neatly wrapped up with montessori school tuition. How much paint does it take to paint a house? I mean, how many actual gallons will i have to buy? Dropcloths? Brushes?...etc...ugh....

I worried myself to sleep. I woke up at 5:55 a.m.

I took a quick shower and chose just the right boxer shorts for our closing. We left the house right at seven o'clock and hit the HOV lane about 9 minutes later. We got Adolfo iv's school right before eight. We dropped him off with little more than a thrash as he was transferred from Carol's arms to Bernie's (his morning teacher).

We picked up some breakfast and headed to First Educators Credit Union to pick up our cashier's check that we would eventually present to the Title Company to settle our closing costs.

We arrived at closing right on time (9:30 a.m. sharp) and went straight back to a conference room and were instructed to sit on the right side.

"Buyers to the right and sellers to the left, please, so i can keep it straight," said our title officer, Gary Stokes.

We were in a first floor corner office in Greenway Plaza, with windows all around facing Richmond. There was a long, shiny table that was set diagnolly in the room topped with cookies (!?), a large bowl of miscellaneous candy (the big mixed bag kind you buy for Halloween), and pens at every chair.

The British accented secretary asked us if we cared for drinks. We both asked for water.

The chairs were so comfortable i hardly noticed them behind me. Once we sat down and water was set down we got straight to business. Signing, initialing, signing and dating, sign but don't date this page, can you initial at the bottom of this page...

"Could you please sign with the 'third'?"

"Well, i don't normally sign that way..."

"Well, it's printed with a third on it, and it has to look exactly as it's printed."

"um, allright, sure... (if it has to look exactly as it printed, then why are you asking for a signature? - can't i just look at the print and give you a 'thumbs-up?')"

Everything in my experience was wholly unlike all the horror stories carol and i heard from co-workers. We weren't in there for four hours. Our hands didn't cramp up. The money didn't mysteriously NOT come through. The loan officer wasn't some slacker who waited till the last minute to process my loan. The real estate agent didn't over look this or that fax. The title officer didn't have a car accident on the way into work.

If i filtered all the waiting for copies to be made and for the wire transfer to happen, for all the explanations and the few questions we had, i would say that we probably signed, initialed and dated for a grand total of 20 minutes.

We walked (floated) out of there in 1 hour and 15 mins. We went directly to the house. Stanley Dessen, the previous owner, had just locked up the house and was leaving for his new home about 15 miles further north on 290.

Once they turned the corner I carried Carol across the threshold for the second time. This is what we saw (minus the broom, mop, vacuum, and chair):

There is a lot of work to be done, but we've got plenty of time to do it. Carol and I are happier than we've been in a long time.


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