We’re getting our kitchen remodeled. I don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I can throw a meal together when I have to, but I really don’t enjoy cooking. In fact, I frequently refer to our stove as ‘the most expensive clock in the house’. Unfortunately, a couple of years of touring houses has left me with kitchen and bathroom envy that words couldn’t possibly begin to describe. It was only a matter of time before our painted 1964 cabinets and nasty Formica countertops had to go.
Sky blue master bathroom? Tick-tock…your days are numbered.
Jack, of course, has been having cardial infarctions over the cost of the project. I keep trying to tell him it’s an investment. Not so much an investment in the house, per se…more like an investment in at least six months of not having to listen to me whine about the condition of the kitchen. That has to be worth a small fortune, right?
Rather than have the dogs underfoot with contractors in and out of the house, I decided to take them to the beach for a couple of weeks. Alone.
Did I mention that we don’t have a yard at the beach house? You really don’t appreciate the convenience of a fenced yard until you have to walk three dogs every (November) morning and every (November) evening, regardless of weather conditions. Alone.
The first morning, I decided to take all three of them out at the same time. I’ve seen dog walkers with multiple leashed dogs moving down a sidewalk with ease. How difficult could it be?
Rocco stopped every 12 steps to pee, while Maggie meandered slowly down the sidewalk, sniffing every square inch of grass, gravel and dirt as though she was a cadaver dog. Because he is a dimwit, Frankie just ran circles around me and tangled me in his leash. It was dark, it was cold, it was WAY too early in the morning, I was half asleep and outnumbered. I couldn’t find the first pile of poo (because even the sun was still sleeping), only to discover that I had stepped in it.
Won’t be doing that again anytime soon.
Just to spice things up and add a really fun dimension to my beach adventure, Rocco has developed a delightful habit of waking up anywhere from 2:00-400 in the morning, drinking a half gallon of water and insisting on going outside to mark every seven feet of ground, lest anyone forget he is King of All He Sees.
In spite of the chaotic and seemingly endless dog walking, there’s something about the beach that’s incredibly relaxing. I’m really enjoying my time here. I work from home and our broker opened an office about 15 minutes away from our house, so I have easy access to a printer/scanner/copier and free coffee. I’m also less than two hours from home, so it’s easy to drive back to show houses when necessary. It’s actually a good thing we’re having the kitchen remodeled, otherwise I may never go back.
Don’t tell Jack that, though. He probably wouldn’t think that was such a bad thing.
Yesterday I went to a little pizza party for the manager of our beach office, who recently decided to step down and go back to being a realtor. I thought it might be a good opportunity to get to know the agents in that office a little better in case I ever convince Jack to move down here permanently. It was quite lovely. Pizza, pasta and cake – who could ask for anything more?
We were sitting around a conference room table, munching on our pizza, kvetching about the market, poking fun at each other and having an all-around good time while a card was being passed around.
I always panic a bit when I’m signing a card. I wish I could be one of those people who simply signs their name with a benign ‘Good luck!’ and passes the card along. Nope. Not me. I want my comment to be heartwarming or clever or hilariously funny – you know, because I’m obnoxiously competitive and all – and it’s difficult for me to come up with something suitably charming at the spur of the moment. Unlike my son, who has been known to start a 19-page mid-term project the night before it’s due…and ace it, I do NOT work well under pressure.
Anyway, as I was thinking about what to write, I remembered my sister once telling me that she has a theory that no one really reads the notes that are written in group cards, so she always writes something completely nonsensical like:
Your kitchen floor is filthy!
So, I glanced over at the guest of honor and wrote:
You need to shave.
Before I handed the card to the person next to me, I looked above my clever little note to see what the others had written and was amused (and slightly disappointed) to see that someone had out-clevered me with ‘I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers’, which, given the current state of the real estate market, is hilarious.
Then my blood ran cold.
It was not a card for the manager. It was a card for a co-worker whose sister had recently passed away after a courageous battle with brain cancer.
You know those Southwest Airlines commercials? Wanna get away?
Nothing says ‘I care’ quite like white out on a condolence card.