Sweet Home Alabama

Yesterday, I went with Ned to look at houses for him to rent. As  you know, if you’ve kept your Big Book of June Events wide open–like your limbs, Trampy–you’ll recall that Ned’s landlord–gaylord–is moving to D.C. and for some reason feels the need to sell the house Ned rents, the house we used to live in together.

There was a short sentence. Anyway, the gaylord offered to sell it to Ned, for about 11 million dollars over what he should have probably asked for it.

One thing I suggested to Ned, because he wants to discuss it ad nauseum and not because I wish to give unsolicited advice, is that he say to the gaylord, “Look. I’m almost 52 years old. I’m the president of a company. I have zero desire to move and I’m not really prepared to buy a house out of the blue like this. You can keep renting it to me. I’ll sign a two-year lease. I’ll arrange for people to come fix things. In short, I’ll manage it myself.”

That’s what I suggested. He’s been there three years and caused zero trouble. He’s like Lily.

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Lilee no trubble

Really, out of all the pets, Lily is totally a set it and forget it cat. Unless she decides to disappear again.

But enough about my pets. Hah!

Right.

Anyway, in the meantime, as Ned tries to assess the fair market value of the house, and scrapes his dollars together and asks me things like, “What are closing costs?” and I tell him that’s when they charge you for every time you shut a door, like I’m Calvin’s dad or something, other than all that happening, I said, “Hey, maybe you could rent another house instead, Ned.”

There was a short sentence. Also, I just took my first sip of coffee and spilled all down the front of my cowboy robe. Hot. Literally.

“Oh, I’ve been looking online,” said Ned, and as he said that I whipped out my large, hard phone and looked at Craigslist. The very first thing I saw was an adorable house.

“Have you seen this?” I asked.

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He hadn’t. He hadn’t LOOKED on Craigslist, only on ‘Hey, world, here’s all the new-construction houses you could ever dream of. Enjoy seeing a garage as the main feature!’ rental websites. You know the ones I mean.

New construction makes me sad. WHY would anyone want the garage out front? WHY would anyone want zero trees? WHY would you not want character? “Well, we’ve got a kitchen island.” Heyyy-oooo! Wooo! Yeah, that’s as good as a window seat.

So, we arranged to see the rental house on Sunday. It was ONE BLOCK from Ned’s current dwelling. Turns out, this really nice couple has a bunch of rentals in the city, and three of them were going to be available July 1. July onest. So we arranged to see all three.

Look at my link, above, if you want to creepy-crawl that house. And then there are the others.

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This one, above, has 21 windows! And a built-in bookcase around the fireplace. And the girl who lived there worked for my friend Kit, so oh my god, she had cool decorations in there AND a doggie who never even barked once, who was clearly a Corgi/Pit. Someone once pointed out to me that any dog mixed with Corgi just looks like a short Corgi version of whatever breed it’s mixed with. This dog had a big pitty head and Corgi legs and was totally down with us being in his house.

“Hey, June, why didn’t you take a picture of a dog in front of Ned’s new landlady? Then try to tell her why? Why didn’t you, June? Hunh? Hunh? Why?”

The other one is right near that bar Ned and I used to go to when we lived in that neighborhood, a bar I’ve used as the site of many trysts, and by “trysts” I mean online dates that never work out. It’s dark, it has wood benches, you can bring your dog there, and also it has outdoor seating. It’s everything you want in a bar.

That house isn’t even listed yet, and it’s the best one. It has a marvelous front porch, the neighboring houses are adorable, it has built-ins and a fireplace and a formal dining room with french doors. Oh it’s the bomb.

“Get this one! Get this one or I’ll abandon my house and move in myself!” I whisper-screamed to Ned. So he took an application, and I want you to sit down, but he did not go home and fill it out right away. He wanted to

decide

first.

I want you to calm down, though, because I nagged and cajoled and carried on and he filled that thing out last night. I told him to photograph the app and text it to the landlords, but I can’t guarantee he did that.

When I find a place I like, I get such a sense of urgency, and competitiveness. I feel I must act now. Because I’m not at all impulsive. No. When we looked at our house, fmr., Ned and me, there were approximately eleventeen thousand other assholes traipsing through at the same time. There was this one young chick with peacock earrings who was CLEARLY trying to flirt with the gaylord in order to get the place. I wasn’t positive yet, but I had an inkling she might be flirting up the wrong maypole, there, and she was.

To get that place, I offered our gaylord $50 more a month. Right here. Wheeler dealer, man. You’re looking at one.

Further reports as developments warrant.

In the meantime, I had the rest of my weekend, and since I’ve already droned on for 959 words, I’ll just show you pictures from Alex’s Hey, I’m an American Now! party.

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It’s a shame I couldn’t find a roomy shirt.
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One of Alex’s friends gave her these boots and said, “You can’t wear them till you’re American.”

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All I need for a party to be a success: Dogs or cats (or parrots, really) who are into me. The white dog (an English setter) came RIGHT UP to me the second I got there. She has a big open yard with an electric fence. Neither dog cared when kids leaped over them. Edsel would have had to take a Xanax if that happened. He’d still be on his fainting couch with his paw across his forehead.

IMG_7847.JPGOld coworker! “Alex!” Do y’all remember her? (Big Book of June Events.)

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Alex the American (new blog name) (if this were a blog) had games, as well. We had a sheet with all the states, and had to list all the state capitals, and guess what I’m worse at than I thought. Eventually I was just, you know, putting down names of cities I knew in each state. Then I’d have odd flashes of knowledge, like knowing it was Montpelier, Vermont.

But for Alabama, I put Sweet Home.

Montgomery? Is it Montgomery, Alabama? Now all I can hear is Forrest Gump saying, Greenbow, AlaBAMA.

Last weekend, when Ned had his cookout, (they don’t say “barbecue” as a way to say “cookout” here. Barbecue is quite sacred) his nephew broke a glass. On the way out, Ned’s sister-in-law said, “Sorry we broke a glass” and I said, “Sorry I ruined your Black Panther party” and Ned’s sister-in-law said, “I was just about to SAY that!”

It must suck to have kids and have to take responsibility for their actions. I’d be all, Never met the kid. Who?

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Ohmygod, I love you so bad, English setter. Maybe they should have banned him from the party. Only allowed American dogs there.

Oh, right. The other game was we got a map of the U.S. and had to write in all the states. I’m sorry, but you all-squished-in East Coast states can all go fuck yo’selves. Just be one big state already.

I gotta go. It’s late, and I’ve rambled on for ages.

That’s all I have to say about that.

42 thoughts on “Sweet Home Alabama

  1. Listen to the podcast S-Town (Shit town) (Alabama) , which I think you will enjoy.
    Good luck with the house search. I felt the urgency like you, and grabbed my rental home before I even walked upstairs, because a couple came in after me and they looked like they were interested. I flew home and downloaded the app and drove it to the agency as fast as I could. I am quite happy with my choice, but you have to move fast around here! Ned needs to shit or get off the pot, as the saying goes.

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  2. I thought I was the only one who hated new construction.
    Those rental houses you posted are almost as pretty as you, June!

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  3. See Ned , with June in your life, you would never have to make another decision. Leave it all to June.She will straighten you out.
    Welcome to Alex the American. How cute is she.

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  4. I love the houses you featured, especially the second one with all the windows. Hope you post pictures of the “best” one. Congratulations to Alex. Great idea to dress in red, white and blue for the became-a-citizen party.

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  5. Why, WHY are the cabinet pulls in the MIDDLE of the cabinets? It irks me when I see that.

    I can totally picture Ned so completely frozen by indecision that his gaylords will have sold his house from under him and he will not have a place to live and will move into the local Residence Inn or whatever until he can decide which house to rent and the next thing you know, 5 years will have gone by and he’s STILL living in “temporary housing.”

    $925 a month would rent you a closet-size studio apartment in my area. And there would be a line of people hoping to rent it.

    Alex the American is adorable and those doggies!!! I would have spent the entire party loving on those doggies.

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  6. This whole post – wonderful! Heavens (heaven’s?) to Betsy I’m so grateful your posting again!

    With houses I’m all bout breakfast nooks surrounded by windows with that groovy fat 1930s trim work. Love.

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  7. So many cute houses to choose from! JUST PICK ONE NED! That would be me all day with Ned. JUST CHOOSE! My husband is a slow decider and a frequent mind changer. He will state a definitive decision and I’ll be all “alrighty then” and then three days later he’s back to the research. But I will say once he makes a decision, he never has regret. I have about 67890320 million regrets per day. So.

    Love this post so much June! Those doggies are so so pretty! Who needs games when you have sweet doggies?

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    1. EXACTLY, BEVERLY. At least the Eastern states have CHARACTER in their borders, they’re not all boxy like Volvos. And I can drive for an hour and go through four states. You drive for an hour in, say, Texas, you’re still in fucking Texas!! (Ok, I can also drive for an hour and still be in New York, do not get technical with me. Christ, you can drive for three hours and still be stuck on Fucking Long Island. (And actually, that should be its official name. Fucking Long Island. No offense.)

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  8. I’m practically weeping at the $925 a month rent for a 2-bedroom bungalow. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment here is $1600 and up. Were there any dogs at the party, June? I didn’t see any dogs.

    And someone needs to explain the Black Panther joke to me. Thanks.

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  9. You won’t be at all surprised to know that I would’ve ACED that name the state game. ACED IT. Now I’m going to go stalk those two houses.

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  10. I would kill to rent one of those adorable houses. Little dream homes is what they are. The rent is unbelievable!
    All the cute bungalows like this are being torn down here and replaced with monster houses. I cry every time I see another one gone.
    I’m currently packing to move into a two bedroom basement suite. It’s a steal for the neighbourhood at $1200 a month, so I consider myself very lucky. Woods and walking trails at the end of the street and a short walk to work. The best part is I’ll be directly across the lane from my little buddy Calvin.
    He’s a corgy mix and you’re so right, corgy body and retriever head. He’s a goofy little love bug.
    The party looked like all kinds of fun.
    Those boots are a hoot.
    Go Alex, gittin’ yer American on!

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  11. My daughter lived in San Francisco for close to 20 years in a big (but teensy bedroom) apartment for less than $1,000 a month. She started out paying $800. Thanks, rent control. She moved back to Sacramento two-ish years ago, and they were going to be charging $3,500/month rent for that same apartment. To me, that’s just sad. Oh, and they charge extra if you want to rent the garage that goes to the apartment. I think she was paying $85/mo. for that. I never.

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  12. No time to stalker creep the houses. I will be waiting on pins and needles to see what (if?) Ned decides.
    Your party looks so fun! Congratulations to Alex the new American! Her puppies are adorable.
    Lovely post, lovely June!

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  13. I cast my vote for the house with 21 windows. It’s so cute!
    Look at Alex’s new, fresh-out-of-the-package American flag. I love her red, white and blue paper chain decoration, too. Welcome to citizenship, Alex! We’re nailing it!

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  14. Ooh – Ned has a couple really cute options – pick one! My son and his girlfriend just rented a one bedroom apartment here in MA (a squishy state) and it’s $1600 a month. I won’t show them these rentals in NC, they may move, though my husband and I are considering NC when we retire. Congratulations to Alex the new American!

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  15. “…when they charge you for every time you shut a door,…” Cracked me right up! Any of those houses would be great. My niece just rented a three bedroom house, LR, DR, nice kitchen, 2-car garage for $1600 a month, but she wanted in a certain school district. I’m like you, Ned get with the application, someone else might rent the house right out from under you. Now I’m stressed.

    You can drive two hours and still be in Atlanta.

    Congratulations to Alex! I would have LOVED that game and aced it as well.

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  16. Seriously, what is the deal with featuring the garage door on the front of a house. “Welcome to our home. This is where we park our car…isn’t it lovely?!” I hate modern houses.

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  17. Watching House of Cards this weekend and thought of Ned! There was a reference to the philosophy of Flipism. The deeply considered philosophy boils down to making decisions by flipping a coin. There is more credence to this ideology as it was developed by Donald Duck!

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  18. I would rock the state test except that I always get confused about New Hampshire and Vermont. Is there some kind of mnemonic to remember those two? I hope Ned moves off “go” and puts in the application. Is buyer’s remorse why he hates making decisions, always second guessing himself after he finally decides, or is it just tough to make a decision, and then he’s okay once it’s made? (Did that sentence make sense?)
    Thanks for coming back to use, June. I’ve missed you. Lovely post.

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  19. I love Forest Gump! Run Forest Run!

    June, are the rest of Ned’s family vacillators too? Is going to a restaurant with them painful? Imagine the whole Ned clan STILL on the Netflix menu 3 hours after sitting down to choose a movie.

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  20. Update: Ned waited too long and lost the really good house that wasn’t listed yet. But the house with all the windows is still up for grabs! So.

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    1. Someone once said, “Not to decide is to decide.” Not sure who that someone was, but for some reason, I thought of it as soon as I read your comment.

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  21. I am so late to this party, but the house with the windows is so cute! Run Ned, Run!! And get that house! Love the cute doggies and everyone in their red white and blue. I think Ned should rent since he would or may regret buying something in a rush.

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  22. …like your limbs, Trampy… Okay, I’ve only gotten to the second sentence and I’m shaking my head and smiling. THE SECOND SENTENCE! Scramming back to read the other 5958736356738 sentences now.

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  23. Okay, so this is only like one of a couple times I haven’t read the comments before commenting.

    384698. Oh my lord, that beautiful English setter, oh my gosh I love him, like reeeeeallly love him. I also feel like I type words like reeeeeeallly late at night like this cause ain’t nobody gonna give me grief for them.

    ABC. Alex the American is super duper adorable!! Great pictures, great party! Look at those boots!! Ca-ute!!

    12. Old coworker Alex, yes!! I remember her. What a cutie! She had the wedding shower, correct?? And you sat at the table with other women and I remember your banter as being funny and biting.

    x. I can see how saying “barbecue” instead of cookout might get one verbally lashed in the Carolinas. Carolina barbecue is sacred and lordy, don’t go messin’ with it.

    8. You’re so pretty, Joob!

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