So, you know… we moved. It’s been insane. Seriously.
Last Monday, My Sweetie and I drove lotsa hours to Albuquerque to look for a home. We looked all day Tuesday and Wednesday and then flew home (leaving our van at a friend’s). We drove up to our house at midnight (to a puking kiddo) and the movers followed us eight hours later. Then we scoured the house all day Friday.
We took the weekend to spend with loved ones and arrived at the new home Monday night, the movers delivered our stuff (which was a whole ‘nuther drama) Tuesday, and we finally slept on Wednesday.
During the insanity, I had a brush with crazy. In two different ways: some hopeful landlords and my husband. Here’s how it went down. I am not making any of this up. I didn’t have to. As it was happening, I was stunned and wished it had been possible to video the entire thing.
So… Wednesday at 2pm we still haven’t decided on a home. We have looked at twenty houses by this time and I’m getting pretty stinkin’ anxious. As in, I was getting snippy. The other part of the marriage was like a duck… water rolling right off his back. Whatever.
Since we had to leave for the airport at 4:30, I’m ready to decide and go sign some papers for a rental home. Someone else wants to explore and find something in the woods. We stop in a little community outside of ABQ and get a paper. I’m praying and a little bit on the lecturing God side. You know, “LORD, please tell him it’s time to make a decision and that we need to go catch a plane. ”
But, instead, God decides to encourage my husband’s free spirited sense of adventure. In the paper is an ad for a 5 bedroom, 2 3/4 bath home on lots of land. Sigh. I call the number and the lady on the other end of the phone is a bit scattered. She repeats things. She keeps counting the bedrooms versus the number of people. She is panicked that I will try to go see the home “on private property” (are their rentals on public property?!).
Turns out Jill can’t show us the house for an hour. That would be 3:30, people. One hour from launch time. And it’s a 30 minute drive back to our pick up spot. My blood pressure kicks it up another few notches. Someone else’s continues to be slow and steady. Whatever.
While Jill finishes her errands, we go return the ten sets of keys from houses we looked at that morning and ask about putting a hold one of them. They refuse to take cash. Check only. Checks that are in boxes back in Texas. No credit card. No cash. Check only. No house on hold. One of us starts to cry, another one quacks and swims off. Whatever.
We head to meet Jill at the house on lots of land, but all of it private (as compared to public, whatever). We get lost. I call Jill. She repeats the directions again and again and again. Finally, she adds a little important detail and we figure out where to go.
As we get out of the van, I see my husband’s eyes grow wide with excitement. The land is beautiful. The land is green. The land has a cool house with a terrific front porch.
Then the crazy starts.
Jill comes up and pumps my hand vigorously. She introduces herself and spells her name: J-I-L-L. Uh huh. Ok, and introduces us to Fernando, her husband. She starts showing me the house, starting with the garage, but then leaves My Sweetie with Fernando to see “all of that guy stuff in the garage”, sweeping me into the house.
The “first bedroom has shelves, so we call it the library. See the shelves? A son in here would be good. See the shelves? Nice size room, not too big. But it has shelves. See them?”
Then into the kitchen (which was super cute!) and some information that I can’t really remember because she was talking so stinkin’ fast. Next, we hit the living room, where crazy rears it’s ugly head and refuses to hide again.
“This has great windows. This helps heat the home. The house is heated with the sun, so we leave the curtains open. See the big bay window? Oh, and the crater outside? I’ll tell you about that in a minute. We keep the curtains open (insert large sweeping motion) to let in the heat (insert large circling motion). Ok?”
I’m pretty sure my jaw was dropped by this point. I’m getting a bit weirded out, but its a cool house, so I hang in there BUT I still haven’t seen my husband. I imagine us being hatcheted to death and no one knowing where we are because we followed a stinkin’ ad in the newspaper.
“Ok, the crater. See the thirty foot drop two feet from the house? That’s the crater. You have to supervise your children because boys like to climb and we don’t want them falling in the crater. See the house right across the crater? That’s mine and Fernando’s. We can’t see in here though. And you can’t see us. We’re hidden behind the crater. Which requires supervision.”
Once Jill mentions that she and Fernando will be on property, “just across the crater”, I look for the eject button. Seriously.
“This is the master, see the built ins? The bedroom across the hall from this one is for the younger children. You would put them in there so you can supervise them well. The bathroom is the gentlemen’s bathroom. See the blue tile and the plaque on the door that says “gentlemen”? Ok… now see the atrium. Again, leave the doors open here to let in the sun’s heat. Open curtains, open atrium, warm house. Let’s go out to the other rooms.”
My Sweetie saunters by with Fernando. I whisper, “Get me out of here. NOW.”
I am not rescued. My Sweetie’s eyes are glazed over with pure love. I dread that it’s because all he sees is the land and funky cool house (which I’m not even describing to you because it’s pointless), but the thought crosses my mind that Fernando has drugged him.
Jill leads me past another room and outside.
“Ok, see the wooden patio here, we won’t BBQ here because wood is flammable. We’ll BBQ down there (insert pointing to where we are headed) on the cement slab because cement is not flammable. Right?”
I wonder why she keeps saying “we”. I nod and scan for My Sweetie. Or a flare gun.
“This is the last bedroom. It’s also the laundry room. It would be perfect for your fifteen year old daughter. She could have her own privacy!”
“Are you stinkin’ kidding me? It’s OUTSIDE! And you and Fernando are right across the crater!” is what I want to say, but it comes out as, “Uh, maybe.”
My Sweetie and Fernando walk by and I hiss decently loud, “Seriously. I’m about to lose it. ”
Back up to the front of the house. Jill pauses long enough for the men to catch up and we survey the view. All I hear is a ticking clock for our timeline and … CRAZY!!
I head to the car, but my sweet precious husband does not say we need to leave. He is chatting with Fernando, the retired lawyer and judge…riiiiight, I mention to the happy trio something about a flight to catch. Falls on six deaf ears.
“Ok, so the paperwork!”
My eyes almost pop out of my head and I tell Jill that we, as in My Sweetie amd I, not her, My Sweetie, and Fernando, need to talk as we head to the airport.
“Oh, right. Ok, let me give you my contact info. Oh, look, Fernando, look how fast she types on that phone (insert her leaning in to watch). Ok, my name is Jill: J-I-L-L (insert her leaning to within three inches of my nose… not.kidding.) and I’m a Frank: F-R-A-N-K. Fernando is a Bolero, and a retired lawyer and judge, so it’s Frank hyphen Bolero: B-O-L-E-R-O.”
As we finally get in the car, I turn slack jawed to My Sweetie and say, “Oh, my! That was insane” while he is saying, “Wasn’t that great!?”
My Sweetie pops out his crazy card. I stare at him. He is completely smitten with the running room and house and mountain topography.
I am speechless.
For about ten seconds.
Then a…uh… heated discussion about windows and nosy landlords and craters and abilities to deal with crazy and how one of us is home 24/7 and one of us isn’t.
One of us starts crying. One of us quacks.
After a near silent drive to the airport with our host, My Sweetie accepts the truth that his wife can not deal with crazy in the same way he can.
So we said no to Jill and Fernando.
and the curtains being open all the time.
and the outside bedroom/laundry room.
and the crater.
*the actual names of the people in the true story have been changed to protect them