Thursday, August 21, 2008

On The Market

The longer my house is on the market the more I realize that selling your home is like dating. Allow me to explain with a narrative...

When you become "available", you market yourself as best you can - trying to seem upscale while still desirable. You make sure to play up your best assets while playing down those that you're not as proud of. Sometimes you even enlist the help of professionals (in the way of a stylist or sometimes even those who can preform major work) to prepare to hit the market. You put yourself out there as open and available via all the traditional ways and maybe even some newer more innovative means.

Then, finally you get a phone call or an email from someone who is interested! You get all excited wondering if this one could be "the one" even though you know its too early to speculate. You and the potential schedule a time to meet. You spend all your free-time thinking about the upcoming meeting and getting ready. Sometimes you find your mind anxiously drifting back to it while doing other things. You tell your friends and family that you have a potential match - how exciting!

The big day comes and you rush home from work to primp and preen. Maybe you even take off from work a little early to really make sure you have time to put your best foot forward. You rush about making sure every little detail is perfect - you want to look magazine glamorous! The time comes and you sit and wait anxiously thinking about what you want to say. Sometimes, the worst happens and you get stood up. You feel disappointed, then angry. Then you start to wonder why? Why did they even call if they really weren't interested in following through? You know you'll likely never get an answer to your question.

But most of the time, the person shows. The doorbell rings and your heart jumps just a little, but you want to seem cool and collected so you take a breath and head to the door. Sometimes you know right off the bat that its just not going to be a good fit. But on those times where you have potential, you try and show off all your good points during the meeting. You want to seem desirable and available but not cross the line to desperate for goodness sake! At the end of your time together, there is the awkward moment by the door where no one really knows what to say. Sometimes the prospect will tell you that they aren't ready to committ - they are just looking right now to see what's "out there". While you appreciate the honesty one part of you is frustrated that they are wasting your time but one part of you wonders if maybe you can "wait it out" until they are ready to settle down? Maybe you were so fantastic they will be ready sooner rather than later? Most times though pleasantries are exchanged and if you're lucky the potential says they will call soon.

Once they are gone and out the door, you can finally breathe and relax. Then the post mortem begins.... you dissect what they said, what you said, what you did, what went right, what went wrong, what they seemed to like, what they didn't. But most of all you wonder if you'll hear from them again, and if so, how soon.

Most times, you never get that call back. You never know why and after enough "first dates" you start to wonder if you're ever going to find "the one". You start to doubt your worth and compare yourself to others out there on the market. You start to nitpick your faults and stop giving credit to your assets. You start to wonder if you really should have some work done?

Sometimes you do get that call back (or second email) and the person wants to come see you again! The whole dance starts all over again and your hopes start to soar even though you try and stop yourself. After the second meeting you usually fall back into the "never hear from them again" category and go through that ordeal again. Sometimes the potential has the courtesy to send an email - or more rarely a phone call - thanking you for your time and telling you that they loved what they saw, but you're just not right for them. "Its not you, its me." They assure you that you'll find someone soon.

Your hopes are dashed even though you pretend they're not. After enough time has gone by you start to think about just pulling yourself off the market and giving up completely. Friends tell you to give it time - Rome wasn't built in a day. But you feel like its been forever and to make it worse you hear friends or acquaintances talk about finding their perfect match in a matter of days or weeks. You sulk for a day or two - but then you get that next interested email or phone call and away we go all over again....

Monday, August 18, 2008

Here Comes the Tide

Today, for the first day in my life, I actually and honestly felt old. It was a horrid feeling - like a cold emptiness that grabbed my heart. I felt it to the core of who I am. Even more than that, I felt out of touch – something that was perhaps even worse.

As I was driving in to work today, I passed our local high school and noted, with some nostalgia, that today was the first day of school. I watched the teenagers walking in clad in shorts and cute tops with backpacks or bags in hand. I remembered how exciting that feeling was. A new year – a new span of limitless possibilities. A time to reinvent yourself, dream big, accomplish amazing things and meet remarkable new people. I realized that as adults we rarely get those opportunities and certainly never on an annual basis.

Driving further into downtown, I was listening to the radio just as I do most mornings. However Ryan had taken Cora in to daycare so I was more intent on what was playing than normal. Back to back I heard “Sweet & Low” by Augstana and “Where I Stood” by Missy Higgins. For some reason I suddenly realized that almost every rock and pop idol out there on the charts right now is younger than I am. In some cases more than a decade younger. I can handle being matronly compared to the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus, but I can’t wrap my head around being “old” compared to someone like Missy Higgins. That is someone I relate to – someone I would think of as my peer – my contemporary. And yet, quite frankly, I am not.

In addition, both of those songs – so full of passion and desire and longing – made me strangely miss those younger days of dating and drama. Of meeting someone wonderful, of fluttery feelings, of heart-rending let downs – of feeling intensely. I know that sounds ridiculous and when I was in the midst of one of those let downs I would have given anything to have a stable, near-perfect homelife. Let me be very clear – my heart is firmly planted in the garden of Ryan’s love. But I can’t help but miss a little of the drama.

When I got into work I pulled the video of “Where I Stood” and watched it. I realized even more vibrantly how I had changed from the “me” that is in my head. In the video Missy was at a subway station in the standard emo attire: boots, tights, shirtdress, cute quirky hat and a scarf. I understood – no felt – that look. However I was clad in heels, Italian wool trousers, a silk shirt and diamond earrings with my SUV out in the parking ramp.

Am I on the cusp of a midlife crisis? Maybe. Will I chuck everything, buy a bus pass, quit my job and create “art”? Doubt it. But maybe I will add some trendier, younger pieces into my wardrobe. Even better I may actually wear them out and about without feeling silly. Because after all, who says the me in my head can’t make peace with the me that sits in my office day after day? Maybe the tide of midlife is coming my way, but who says I can’t ride it all the way to the shore instead of just letting it wash over me?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Apple and the Tree

This weekend I realized just how my little apple had not fallen too far from her tree. (Ah I think I just called myself a tree...weird). I had a little video I was going to post that would demonstrate but it started out at 700MB and when I saved it on the lowest possible resolution was still at 169MB (I'm not so good with the movie editing). Sooo that was a no-go. If, at some point, I can figure out how to grab still shots off the film clip I'll post a few here within the post.

Instead, you'll just have to take my word for it....

First, Cora began walking around the house with her little flip-open cell phone having long and detailed conversations. Don't get me wrong, after "Hewo" none of it was recognizeable (her Grandpa keeps telling me I'm raising a Klingon) but when she was finished, she would say "buh bye" and flip the phone shut. What is adorable is that a) she walks around while doing this, and b) she has whole conversations with various voice inflections. Freaking cute.

Second, Cora has a new favorite word (which coincides with her new favorite item): Shoes. Or when she says it: Shuss. In fact each morning she brings her 'shuss' over to either mommy or daddy, hands them to us, and then immediately says "on". Yup - baby Blahniks can't be far behind can they?

For the third I need to give a little background. I never really thought of myself as a neatfreak. Not until I got married that is. Everyone kept telling me how neat and tidy my hubby was so I was pretty worried that I may get on his nerves leaving some clothes on the bed or not scrubbing the toilets each week. Ahhh everyone was apparently on crack. Since I'm pretty sure my husband has no idea we even have a dishwasher and has no problem leaving milk-filled cereal bowls in the sink until the milk is a solid, I have to say I'm not real clear on what everyone was talking about. Ok, ok, so I like things tidy. I like my home to smell pleasant. I would like for guests to be able to pop over without having to don hazmat suits. This weekend I realized Coco shares my fondness for cleanliness (of course she's never been a messy girl - for instance if she's eating spaghetti we have to stop every 5-10 mins to wipe her hands off or she gets upset).

This weekend Coco brought me her container of wipes. When I took it from her and held it, she pushed the button to pop the lid open. She grabbed a wipe, closed the lid back and then delicately squatted down on the floor and began to "scrub" the floor with the wipe. I was in awe. After she was done, I took her hand and lead her to the trash can. When I stepped on the pedal to open the lid, she gently dropped the wipe in. I don't think I've ever been prouder. And in addition lately, she's been my little dustbuster - finding things on the floor and bringing them to me to dispose of. Most toddlers eat what they find on the floor. My kid cleans it.

So between her phone habits, shoe obsession and clean freak nature I'm pretty sure there's no denying this is my kid.