*Although, in retrospect, most legitimate grown-ups don't have collages of the Avengers on their bulletin board or use phrases like "wicked rad". Lesson learned.
Little did I know that I would soon be buried deeper than a Chilean coal miner in a mountain of paperwork, mortgage approvals, and so many obscure realty acronyms that I was left stammering "I'd like to buy a vowel?" Before long my home search quickly devolved from a jaunty traipse through the suburbs to the type of odyssey that would make the Donner Party cringe.
In theory, it shouldn't have been that difficult. I basically know what I want: something in the same school district, at least three bedrooms as right now the short people and I are crammed tighter than Kirstie Alley's Spanx, and preferrably somewhere where our neighbors are neither registered sex offenders or cooking crystal meth in their garage behind the push mower and the old Christmas decorations. When working with a normal, functional adult, this is a relatively simple task. With me? Not so much. (A) I'm pickier than a vegan having Thanksgiving dinner at Ted Nugent's house, (B) I can squeeze a penny so tight it makes Abe Lincoln cry like a little bitch.*
*Rationally, I know that my new job and pay raise puts me in a position where I can now comfortably support my family and purchase a small home. But there is a small part of me that still remembers life post-divorce/pre-graduation when I would wake up nauseous wondering which was more important: water or electricity, because one of those bills was not getting paid. That kind of fear doesn't fade easily, y'all.
And most importantly, (C) despite logging countless hours of valuable HGTV research, I don't know jackshit about what to look for when searching for a house. I tried to explain this to my realtor/high school friend, John, when we met for coffee the other day.*
*John may not be smarmy or European; but he is a well-dressed homosexual, so I'm 2:2.
"How can you NOT know what to look for?" he sighed, throwing up his hands in exasperation. "Didn't you read the pamphlet I gave you? And the booklet? AND the checklist conveniently titled 'What To Look For'"?
I sipped my latte and shook my head meekly. "I tried, John, I swear to God; but it was so freaking BORING! Seriously, who writes this stuff? It was the literary equivelent of watching paint dry."
John rolled his eyes.*
"Honey," he said patiently "it isn't InStyle magazine. There are no pretty pictures or stories about how stars are 'Just Like Us'."
"Hah!" I cried triumphantly "That shows what you know! 'Stars, They're Just Like Us' is in US magazine, not InStyle!" I gloated over my victory until I noticed John struggling to remain composed as the veins in his neck began beating out the bass line to Toni Basil's "Mickey".
"Fine." he said at long last. Then why don't you find a way to make a home inspection checklist that you'll actually READ and will hold the attention of someone with obviously latent ADHD."
"Maybe I will." I taunted.
John snorted derisively. "Yeah, good luck with that, Freakshow."*
*On second thought, I take back what I said about him being smarmy.
OK, game on. If there is one thing I am it is competetive as hell and as my parents can attest to, the best way to get me to do something is to imply that I can't. So, I went home and thought carefully about what interests me. Blogging? Yeah, but if I started printing out home inspection checklists and mortgage assessments on my blog my readership would drop faster than Willard Scott on a greased flagpole. Shopping? Sure, but again, spending money on useless (but pretty!) materialistic things isn't really condusive to a discussion on financial equity. Reality TV? Hmm, interesting thought, but seeing as how I only watch reality TV because I can muli-task on a shit ton of other stuff while watching it, I wouldn't say it actually HOLDS my interest. Rather, it's like a refreshing sorbet that cleanses my mental palate before I can shut off my brain enough to sleep. So, what's left?
I settled in to look at my movie collection and choose some quality viewing while I mulled my latest project. Hmmmm. . ."The Hurt Locker"? Too depressing. "The Town"? Too Ben Affleck-y. "Ghost Protocol"? Too. . . then it hit me. Of course! What is the one thing I can always count on to make me feel better and hold my interest? It was right there in front of me, lovingly embodied in my DVD collection. Jeremy Renner. That man could read the Portland Trimet bus schedule and as long as he did it with his shirt off he'd have my complete and unwavering attention. So I raced to my computer, dusted off John's pedantic Realty Guide, and got to work creating my masterpiece.
WITH JEREMY RENNER
I raced to my next meeting with John, eager to show off my newly attained acumen. I whizzed through the latest home, tapping on walls to check for dry rot, commenting on the water-spotted ceiling in the foyer, and waxing eloquent on all things flagstone and granite.
"Holy House Hunters," John cried, shaking his head in wonder. "You actually read the damned brochure, didn't you? Sweetie, I'm so proud."
I shook my head like a chihuahua with Tourette's. "Even better!" I cried "Jeremy read it to me!"
John looked at me with cautious bewilderment. . .*
*I get that a lot
. . .and then stared in stunned silence at the photographic masterpiece.
"You. . .you made realty porn." he whispered, awestruck. "I feel both appalled and aroused. Is that weird?"
"Pfft! Babe, that's nothing." I laughed, throwing a concillatory arm around his shoulders. "Wait until I show you Chris Hemsworth's guide to adjusting your mortgage."