I’m running late because I’ve spent all morning presenting Milhous with 75 kinds of food he won’t eat.
At the shelter, they gave me a bag of Science Diet kitten food, claiming that’s what he’d been eating.
Won’t eat it. Covers it up with his paws.
So I gave him a can of kitten Fancy Feast.
Won’t eat it. Covers it up with his assy paws.
Okay, then. Would you eat another dry kitten food? Let me head to the store again and get you another brand, she says a trifle shrilly.
What about adult canned food, she asks desperately.
Paw. Dick-ass paw, covering it.
WHAT ABOUT DRY ADULT FOOD? FOR ADULTS ONLY CHICKA BOW-WOW?
He has the energy of a thousand suns, and he drinks water, but I’ve only seen him indifferently nibble a few bites of adult canned food. Everything else can go to hell.
Meanwhile, Lily and Iris are Templeton at the fair, as they are getting his dregs.
So, anyway, I was gonna tell you all about seeing Nosferatu at my old movie theater last night, where they had a live organist as opposed to a dead one playing, which would have been more in keeping with Halloween, but I guess really I just wrapped that all up even though I said I was “gonna” tell you.
But since I have to get in the shower now and worry about my kitten, and also make sure I have enough razors to stick in all the Halloween candy, I thought I’d turn it over to you today.
Let’s scare each other.
Yesterday I mentioned to The Poet that I was going to see Nosferatu, and she said the photos from that movie scare her to this day, and Dear Poet: Sorry I just scared you with that photo above.
I cannot, I mean cannot, look at anything having to do with The Exorcist or I get chilled to my very bone parts. That movie scares the crap out of me.
(Also, Milhous craps, so he MUST be eating something, right? He’s over in the chair and I can hear him purring. He seems fine other than NOT EATING.)
Anyway, back to our topic. The Poet and I then discussed other movies that have always scared us, and I told her about one that was on TV late at night, at some point in the early ’70s, and these people, I think, killed someone? And wrapped the victim in a sheet? And placed him on the elevator in their apartment to get rid of the body?
But then the ghost of that sheet would ride past their place, whistling and so on and trust me it was terrifying. The elevator would come up, right in their living room, and there’d be that sheet, just whistling.
“But what I wanna know is, how desperate for an apartment must you be to elect a place that has an elevator going right through it?” I asked.
“Might it have been a dumbwaiter?” The Poet asked.
And right then I knew.
ALL MY LIFE I’ve gone around thinking that movie had an apartment with an elevator going right through the living room–and hey, good design–when I’ll bet you anything it was a dumbwaiter and I was too young to know what one was back then.
So, my point is, what movies still scare you to this day?
Or even better, what ghosty things happened to you that you can’t explain, that still kind of scare you to this day?
When I was a kid, we turned part of the basement into a TV room. I’m certain we thought we were the height of sophistication with the particle-board walls we put up, decorated with a WC Fields poster.
That room had one bare hanging bulb you had to pull a chain to turn on or off, a dark-blue velvet chair and an old couch, plus one TV tray, as I recall. I watched all my Saturday morning cartoons down there, till the sun would creep in the windows and I’d feel guilty and bring my bowl up and go outside out of some sort of childhood duty.
Anyway, it was always slightly creepy to pull the chain on the bulb and leave the dark TV room and have the rest of the dark basement among you. I’d always
up the basement steps, in a way that would kill my knees now. Each step was covered in a sort of brown ribbed plastic that kept you from slipping, and in my MIND, there was always a scary creature, let’s say Nosferatu, just behind me, and if I made it up the brown steps I’d be fine.
So one time I’d successfully escaped the clutches of Nosferatu, Saginaw basement version, and at the top of the steps, I stared down to the basement in victory.
And the light in the TV room?
MOTHER OF GOD I GOT THE HELL OFF THAT LANDING AND INTO THE KITCHEN
First of all, I’m not back together with Ned, and I’m not sleeping with Ned.
As you know, from your Big Book of–oh, hell, like two days ago, I told you that since I changed my mind at the last minute about which house I wanted to buy, I ended up being homeless for about 10 days.
I closed on my house the day a hurricane was coming. The news was obsessed. Flo is on its way! No hurricane in the history of time will be as bad as Florence! You thought Florence from The Jeffersons was bad, wait till you see THIS, sucka!
Didn’t she always call Mr. Jefferson “sucka”? Why wasn’t she terminated?
They ended up moving the time of my closing to earlier in the day so that we could all get our business done before we washed out to sea. I was just excited that if a tree fell on my old house, I’d not be responsible.
Twasn’t an unfounded fear, as a HUGE tree fell in my old neighbor’s yard. It’s still there, last time I creepy crawled my old house. (The new owner’s put up a privacy fence and a screen door in the front and fixed the deck, and when I spoke to her once, she told me she’d painted the whole inside neutral.)
So on the first day of Hurricane Florence, I went to the shabby old downtown office of a shabby old attorney who was clearly suffering from some sort of personality disorder, and we signed the 20204023 papers that he had to reprint because he’d misspelled my name on all of them.
My real name. It’s f-e-l-d. It doesn’t have an “i” in it.
THERE IS NO FIELD IN JUNE GARDENS.
Anyway, after we finished with Mr. Personality, up there, in the law offices of Smile, Chat and Eye Contact, LLC, the rain was starting to fall, and the sky had an otherworldly feel.
I like how this is supposed to be a rundown of my love life and is instead a blow-by-blow account of my closing date.
The point is, they were predicting this giant hurricane and the 40 pets and I had just moved in with Ned temporarily. There were all sorts of dire warnings about not going anywhere, so Ned stocked up on eggs, oranges, beans, rice and beer, while I stocked up on Beefaroni.
And then we were stuck together in a hurricane house for days on end. I mean, we weren’t allowed to go anywhere, which by the way ended up being sort of a hurricane who cried wolf and not that strong here, and then like two weeks later another hurricane
came through and was scary as shit.
Oh my god, June, get to your vagina.
Right, so, Ned and I lived together for 10 days, and we got along great. It was like the first days of our relationship, minus the bone-chilling fear that he’d leave me that I had during those first years. So we were having fun living together, and we were stuck in the house for days, and bing, bang, boom, there it was. We Did It.
But we are not back together by any stretch. We aren’t even speaking, currently, but when we are speaking, I can tell Ned is out there on the prowl. And the greatest part is, I give no shits about that. Go. Find a new person. I hope she’s a succulent. I was an orchid.
I sound bitter. Maybe I am, a bit, because I’d set my sights on him so much. But we’re too different to ever be a thing again.
You know what I want? I want a man who comes over on a Friday and stays through Sunday. Actually, now that I write that, that sounds horrendous. Get the fuck out of my house.
But I want someone who can just hang out, is I guess what I mean. With Ned, we always had to be doing something or have some kind of plan. We were always on a date. We could never just be. We were never just reading our books on the couch, with no plan in mind, not even when we lived together. Ned was always, “What do you want to do now?” and if I didn’t want to do anything, he’d leave. “Well, then I’m gonna ride my bike.”
There was a level of intimacy missing from that. At least that’s how I saw it.
So as for someone new, nope. And I’m not even trying. I’m not on any dating sites right now. I had a bad date on Good Friday, and that’s the last one I recall. Last Saturday I saw Ward, a man I went out with a few times in 2017, but I don’t know if it counts as a date. We’ve texted sporadically since then.
I think maybe at this age, there just aren’t many good men. You know who’d be the best, probably? Widowers. At least they made the relationship work till they offed their wives. I should hang around the funeral homes, or maybe grieving groups.
“What are you grieving?”
“The elasticity of my skin.”
I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t care if I never meet another man or have another relationship. Maybe that sounds sad and dreadful and Miss Havisham-ish to you, but there it is. I don’t feel sad and dreadful, I just feel sort of resigned. Contrary to what they say, there is not a lid for every pot, and I don’t even want anyone to put a lid on me.
It might be that I’m too set in my ways.
So that wraps up June’s love life and oh! For some reason, many people really want to know why Nancy, Ned’s cat, was a twat. There was much interest in the land re Nancy’s twatitude.
When Nancy lived at my house, when I was fostering her kittens, she never met the other pets. Then she moved in with Ned, and then 10 months later we all traipsed in one day and she wasn’t having it.
The other pets were fine with HER, but she was never fine with THEM. She spent 10 days growling.
For a normally cheerful cat, she was just a stripy bag of bitch that whole time. So that dashes any hopes Ned would have for getting a second cat. Not that that wouldn’t take him seven years of “deciding” anyway.
It’s been so long since I’ve gotten up in the morning and not blogged. These other posts I wrote at night, the posts since my triumphant return. Celebrate June’s triumphant return at the country fairgrounds and civic center.
I wish you tell you what’s new with work, but I worry about getting fired. I guess I can tell part of it because the company president told the story at our company meeting. Say “company” one more time, June.
I can’t remember which of the four states I’ve lived in that used to say the utterly hilarious line, “If you don’t like the weather in [Michigan, Washington, California, North Carolina], just wait five minutes and it’ll change.”
Whew. Let me get my needle and thread so I can stitch up m’sides. Oh, I can’t catch my breath.
Anyway, it was probably Washington, although in truth it is 63 degrees and raining in Washington 99% of the time.
Maybe it was Michigan, although in truth it’s 4 below zero there nine months out of the year there.
It wasn’t California. It’s 78 and sunny there. It just is.
Maybe it was here.
The POINT is, for the last year and a half, my job has been like that weather. Wait five minutes and something’s different. We’re going through a lot. And the thing is, I was really happy there, back when it was the way it was for the first six years.
So the first thing that happened this year was in February, a place I freelance for, a publishing house nearby, offered me a job out of the clear blue sky. I’d have been a senior editor, and it would have been sort of fancy. But they couldn’t pay me much more than I make already, AND I’d have a 40-minute commute instead of a five-minute one, so when I added it up, it didn’t make financial sense, and you all know what a financial guru I am.
You know what, though? I AM being a financial guru lately, so suck it.
I believe that’s Suze Ormon’s slogan. “I’m a financial guru. Suck it.”
Oh my god, anyway. So I turned that job down.
But I know you know that the changes at work had made me sad, feeling isolated. And so this summer I searched for a job and I found one. I got offered a job in Blacksburg, Virginia, although I wouldn’t have had to move there. I know someone in Blacksburg, though, a person I dated maybe three times before the distance got to both of us. So I know it’s cute there, had I been forced to move eventually.
I was going to be the manager of their social media, and that would’ve been exciting because two days ago marked the official 22nd year of me being a copy editor. At this point, there’s not much more I can, you know, learn about copy editing.
“You’re not gaining experience, you’re gaining years,” my Uncle Bill, who is a job guru, told me.
So I accepted the position. I’d be working from home, which I was a little worried about hating, but still.
I put in my notice at work, and my last day was going to be July 3.
I gave notice at the end of one day, and the next morning when I walked into work, I was heavy with regret. What had I done? Sure, I’d had some struggles, but mostly I loved it there.
HR had sent me an exit interview form that I could fill out instead of an in-person thing if I wanted. So I’d filled it out that morning, before work. I was just getting all set up at my desk and had even announced my leaving my job on stupid Instagram–in fact, I’d JUST hit Post–when my phone rang.
It was the president of our company. You know, as you do. Calling June’s phone. Another day, another buzz from the desk of our president.
“Hello, president of our company,” I said. I really did, too. I like to think I’m charmingly quirky, but probably everyone there wishes I’d die a fiery death or maybe melt like the Wicked Witch of the Weird.
“Have you got a minute?” he asked, and I always love it when powerful people ask you that. Well, you know, I just posted to Instagram and I kind of wanted to stay near my phone and watch the emoji responses roll in.
Anyway. You’ll be stunned to hear I said, “Oh, sure, I have a minute,” because hello.
The president of our company is a very likable person who clearly does 230483403205302 sit-ups a day. He probably gets up seven hours before I do and works out and then presidents and also never blogs emoji faces. He’s dignified. I understand that Rip Taylor is more dignified than me, but still.
My point is, there I was in the president’s office, which in the case of my company is not oval. It’s more of a rectangle.
And what we did in there was, we talked. I was honest with him about how I felt, he was honest with me about what’s going on, and in the end, I stayed.
I mean, it’s nice to know a quirky-yet-not-lovable, ancient, cranky copy editor who recently was in a hurry and tried to fix the spelling of assess and accidentally changed it to asses is valued, you know?
So I stayed. And then three days later got set selling my house, because chaos addict.
I have to go to work now, speaking of work, but I have many things to tell you about PAINT, so I know you’re on the edge of your seat, which sounds like a recipe for chafing. Toooooon in tomorrow for JUNE TALKS PAINT. WHAT SMELLS PAINT.
Meanwhile, I just went in to get more coffee and here were the sights I enjoyed.
Talk to you later. We can asses the situation.
P.S. This latest shooting, and how ridiculous that we have to call it “this latest shooting” makes me want to convert to Judaism. I have no idea why. But I think I’d make a fine Jewish person. I mean, I’m a fine anything. #Solid6.
Before I begin delighting you all with pet speak, lemme tell you what just happened.
These past two days, I’ve been tryina keep up with reading blog comments, but it’s not easy. I tried looking at them here, not in email, and one thing that’s irking me is the comments are in order from oldest to newest. So every time, I saw the same comments and had to scroll endlessly.
From my phone, I tried to mess around with my comment display on WordPress, and you’ll never guess what I found.
Apparently, there is someplace on my blog (not blog) that tells you, a faithful reader, that if you click here you can send a personal message to June, and that June will know this and read it.
Except I never knew this place existed till an hour ago. If you sent me a message there and you were all, What a bitch, you were right, but not about the part where I didn’t answer you. (And in fact, even if I had read these as they came to me, there’s no Reply button.)
I sat here for a whole hour reading messages y’all have sent me since day one of me being here on WordPress. And with no Reply button, I had to sit here going, “No! I didn’t block you on Facebook” and “I’m not an admin on Facebook of June!” and so on. Oh my god, it was like a nightmare! There were sweet comments and mean ones.
My favorite was the person who said, “Are you ever coming back? Because frankly, I’m getting tired of checking here all the time.” Well, if I wasn’t tempted to return before… Apparently, it’s right up there with brick-laying, checking over here.
What most of your messages were about, though, were why I’ve blocked you or refused to let you comment or go on my Facebook page. Every single person who wrote was someone I (a) didn’t actually know and had no hard feelings toward (2) did not block in any way from any portal of my life.
One lesson I offer is to not take things so personally. Because I left Facebook months ago of my own accord, and I stopped writing here months ago of my own accord, and it was not about you, 50+ people who assumed it was.
“JUNE. Why did you block me on Facebook?!”
“JOOON. I can’t see new posts. Did you block me from your blog?”
“JOOOOOB!!! Why won’t you let me into Pie on the Face? Why did you kick me off Pie on the Face? Why can’t I find Pie on the Face?”
So, in summary:
I can’t block anyone from seeing this blog, or new posts on this blog.
I am not on Facebook at all. I did not block you personally; I blocked myself from the whole organization.
I am not on Pie on the Face, I was not an administrator of Pie on the Face for a very long time before I left, and it’s not called Pie on the Face. It’s called (Face)Book of June.
4. Don’t contact me via that Contact Me thing, wherever that is, because I don’t know if I’ll ever find it in the bowels of WordPress again! That was nightmarish, seeing all those messages I blithely didn’t respond to!
I suppose I should figure out how to remove that, along with the Amazon link that no longer works. Oh, June. Blogging was supposed to be fun.
Okay, onto my pets.
When we left each other, handing each other our yearbooks and swearing we’d be friends forever, 2 Good 2 Be 4Gotten, I had Edsel, Lily and Iris. Steely Dan was missing.
And he still has that loose tooth.
Steely Dan is still missing.
I can’t even stand it. I left a note for the woman who bought my house, saying if an all-gray cat wanders onto her roof, he’s mine. I’ve checked the shelter 900 times because of course, I’m at the shelter 900 times a week. Or I was. For I was still fostering up until the very, very last minute of my move (they were kind of dicks about that, which I’ll tell you about further down).
In June, and who isn’t. Hrrrrrr. That was supposed to be a June’s hot love life joke, but IN JUNE, the shelter had me foster three ferals, and they broke my heart the most of all my fosters.
Because they started out terrified
and ended up being the sweetest three kittens you ever saw. They were so nice!
And how it works when you foster is this: You take them home for a week or two and medicate them if they need it and also fatten them up, like veal, then you go back to the shelter and they get booster shots. If they weigh two pounds, they’re officially adoptable. And for these three little shy muffins, they made it to two pounds way too fast for me. I was just getting them to trust me and then they were back on that adoption floor. I was haunted by the idea that they’d go back to terrified, but fortunately, you can refresh the shelter’s “adoptable cats” page like an obsessed person, and as soon as they’re adopted they leave the page, and they all found homes REALLY FAST THANK GOD.
So that ended well, but it was a rolly coaster, as one of my relatives would say.
Then at work, one of my favorite coworkers died very suddenly, in her sleep. It was awful. I’d been kibitzing with her on Friday and she died Sunday.
So my response? I got a kitten and named it Leonard, which is her last name.
And you remember the part where Edsel adores kittens? And how NINETEEN KITTENS that I can think of have passed my door this year alone? And he’s lived for them all?
He hated Leonard. I mean, he wasn’t mean or anything, but the first thing he did when I brought Leonard home was hide behind the toilet. He spent the next 10 days behind the toilet. I kept “giving it a few days” and there was Edsel, Eau de Toilette, getting tanked. He was flush with fear.
He was Kohl toward that kitten.
Eventually, The Copy Editor Who Sits Behind Me came over, took one look at Leonard and took him home.
And guess what. Leonard CONSTANTLY bites her dog. Like, he’s just a terror to her dog. She’s tried everything and is hoping he gets better with age. Not biter with age.
As soon as Leonard was gone, I heard a screech in the night.
“Did you hear that?” I asked my neighbor, fmr., who has a very cute cat named Oscar that Iris basically tried to kill.
“Was that a kitten?” asked my neighbor, fmr.
‘Twas. And for the next 87 nights, we sat outside of bushes and kneeled under his deck and carried on trying to get this bitty kitten to come to us, as it was clearly under duress, because did I mention
It was so sad. I eventually put an ad on NextDrama, asking if anyone had a humane trap, and met a very nice retired math teacher who did. You can imagine the lively math talks he and I had.
Night after night I’d put canned kitten food in there like an asshole, and night after night I’d watch that slip of a kitten go in, eat the food, and walk right back out because he was too light to trip the trap.
The happy ending to that story, much like my massages, is that kitten never did get trapped but got totally friendly and up close and personal, and my neighbor, fmr.’s brother took that kitten and he’s a big friendly gray cat now. I mean, he always was a gray cat. You know what I mean.
The summer ticked by and right when I was in my OH MY GOD MY HOUSE SOLD IN A MILLISECOND drama, the shelter called. They had three two-week-old kittens, and could I take them, and bottle feed them, and teach them to poop and pee, and
It was about this time that I convinced self that I am chaos junkie.
They were so boopy and teensy at first! I put them in a laundry basket and they slept next to my bed. At first I’d get up in the night and try to bottle-feed them, but then I read if you feed them a bunch during the day, you can sleep through the night and I said Oh thank god.
Their mother had been hit by a car, so I had to be their mom, and that involves stimulating their pee parts till stuff comes out, and it’s not necessarily as tidy as you’d like that process to be.
After weeks of mixing up formula and bottle-feeding them 20x a day and making them poop and keeping a warming disc constantly warm and JUST TRYING NOT TO KILL THE KITTENS, they stopped being personality-less lumps and started being fun.
Edsel’s such an asshole.
For six weeks, these three were at my house, just getting more adorable by the minute. Meanwhile, I’m tryina pack shit, and having three teensy kittens in the way was not great. I kept them in their concrete floor room when I packed, but eventually, I had to pack that room.
And that’s where the shelter sort of disappointed me.
Because often, in fact, every other time, if I took my fosters in for their booster shots and they weighed, you know, 1.8 pounds, they’d take them from me and make them adoptable. I was maybe a week from moving, I’d spent SIX WEEKS feeding and pooping and socializing and caring for these kittens DURING A MOVE, and when I
I called the shelter. And when I took them in, they said, “They aren’t exactly two pounds yet. Can you take them back with you?”
I had a friend at work who was definitely taking at least one. And I really couldn’t take them back. A mover was coming to get furniture out of that kitten room the next day. The boxes were sky-high in my house. It wasn’t safe there anymore, really, and I had too much to do.
So instead of saying, Oh, thanks for the
of paying for food and litter and bedding and formula that cost $900 a can and for not sleeping, instead of saying thank you for all that? They took the kittens and huffed away.
Honestly, I felt horrible.
I felt terrible for the kittens, and I felt like I let the shelter down, even though that was by far the toughest foster I ever did.
They were ready for adoption in like two days. And my coworker took the yellow one and the black-and-white one, and someone snatched up that tortoiseshell, thank god.
Which brings us to today.
I can’t foster here at this house, because there’s not a good room with stupid concrete floors that I can shut off, and after that last experience I’m a little…reluctant to help the shelter.
So last weekend I found myself missing kittens, and I went to the shelter just to visit. I’ve done that quite a bit, actually. Just go say hi to cats, pet them, get some strange and come home.
But on Sunday, there was one I really liked. He’s buff. Not that he works out. He’s buff COLORED. And he was so chill. He has a little white tip on his tail.
I left him at the shelter, figuring he’d get adopted that day.
When I looked at the June’s OCD shelter website on Wednesday, he was still there.
So I drove there Wednesday.
Turns out they were having a sale. Kittens are normally $75, but they were $13 that day. According to my maths, that’s 900% off.
And that is why I am the proud owner of an 11-week old kitten named Milhous. Get it? Do you? Milhous? Cause I live in a…mill house?
Iris and Lily’s souls died months ago. They’re like, nother kidden. hooo care.
So now you’re up to date on my animal sitch.
We’ll talk soon. Be sure to write in and ask why I blocked you from Pie on the Book.
Since y’all mentioned in the MORE THAN FIVE comments yesterday that you’d like to hear about m’new house, I thought I could start with that story, and on the following days we could have a delightful new catch-up series, a catsup series, that really cuts the mustard. You’ll relish it. Hot dog!
Please go back to obscurity.)
A catch-up series wherein I tell you what’s new with my pets, my job, my friends, and m’love life. As in, is that a bone-in ham?
As you know, from your Big Book of June Events that apparently has been lying sandy at the bottom of your beach bag all summer, I was always brokeldy broke broke. It was driving me crazy.
I had the idea to sell my house, fmr., because while I know it wasn’t any grand mansion or anything, it was cute and in a very desirable area. Trust me. That area was hot. Like, you’d totally wanna finger that area.
First of all, it was centrally located. Second of all, it was rich-people adjacent. Like, across one busy street from my house, fmr., is the neighborhood of George Bailey, the richest man in town. I mean, it’s swank.
Plus also too, I was in the school district you wanna be in, apparently, which as you know makes a giant difference to me.
So for all these reasons, I sort of, oh, impulsively called a real estate agent offa Zillow one day in early July. I was looking on Zillow to see what my house was worth (hint: Eleven billion dollars more than I paid for it in 2008) and below that it said, “Interested in impulsively selling? Call now!”
So I did.
The real estate agent came over soon after, and said, “Everyone is looking for a house exactly like this.” Then he told me what he could get for it, and it was more than stupid Zillow said, and my eyes turned into dollar signs.
A few days after that his wife came over, because she’s good at staging a house, and she was all, “Oh my god, everyone is looking for a cute house just like this. Hide the litter boxes and the 18 foster kittens and you are golden.”
They scheduled an open house, like, immediately, and meanwhile, 23948572240 people came to look at it.
This entire time, mind you, I was all, THIS IS GREAT and WOOO! and MAKE IT RAIN and what I’m trying to say to you is I called a Realtor offa Zillow on a Tuesday and my house was sold for the full asking price on Sunday. I had multiple offers.
So that was fun. And then I figured out why my house sold so fast.
There were no other good houses for sale on earth.
Also, that is right about the time my real estate agent became George Bailey, the most beleaguered man in town.
(If you still don’t get my It’s a Wonderful Life refs and you had all summer with nothing to do and no blog to read, I don’t think I can help you, and neither can our Lord and Savior.)
My poor Realtor. It’s rewarding to know that you can change someone’s life for the worse in just one summer. Oh, I wish you’d all been there. Because my real estate professional lost his will to live, and sort of wished I’d shuffle off this mortal coil my own damn self. No one has hated a person with more white-hot heat than Bob My Beleaguered Realtor ended up hating me.
I wanted to buy something cheaper than my house. I wanted LOWER house payments. But everything lower was on the corner of Crack and Ho. Right off Methamphetamine Ave.
And everything a tad higher was BRAND-NEW! In a street with NO TREES! And an HOA!
Girl, I looked at real estate apps the way a 17-year-old boy looks at titties. I looked at real estate apps the way Camilla Parker-Bowles eyes up a bag of feed. No one was more attuned to Greensboro’s real estate market harder than I was July and August of 2018.
I almost made an offer on the downtown place. Turns out my pal Kit had lived IN THAT VERY PLACE in the ’70s, when it used to have a pink bathtub. But what about Edsel? There was no yard. If he got diarrhea in the night I’d have to take him to the rapey streets of downtown. Where I’d be driving all the old men crazy.
Okay, no one really missed you.
Finally, I made an offer on an old-lady townhouse that I could have made ADORABLE, and they didn’t accept my offer.
Then I made an offer on a really beautiful hou$e not far from where I lived, and they said ye$, but once I met with The Money Lender, it turn$ out my monthly payment would have been way more than the online mortgage calculator said. $o I had to say, Okay, never mind.
I mean, dudes. There was nothing out there. Oh my god. Pickins were slim, pickins.
There’d been a house my pal Lilly found, over in her town, which isn’t that terribly far away. It was cute, and in a cute hood, and I looked at it, liked it, and after a week of deliberating, I made an offer.
They accepted it.
So that was it. I had my house. I was gonna move in, and yes, I’d have to learn to navigate a new town but what the heck. And I’d be near Chris and Lilly. I’d be living in their town, driving all the millennials crazy.
But for some stupid reason, I kept my Trulia app on my phone, the way you keep your Tinder going even after four dates with a promising guy. And maybe two weeks after my offer and right before my inspection, I saw this…
I saw it first thing one morning, soon as I woke up. And I gasped out loud. I had a G-O-L situation.
So I phoned Bob, my beleaguered realtor.
“Bob, I found a house I like better than the other house.”
“I mean, we can go look at it, but the inspection is scheduled, you’ve paid a due diligence fee. Your move-in date might not jibe anymore. You might be homeless a few weeks. We can do it, but it’d be a lot,” he said beleagueredly.
Beleaguered Bob hates me.
I went to see it despite these obstacles, and I almost cried. I have no neighbors behind me. There are woods, then it sharply drops off, and there’s the train track. THE TRAIN TRACK!
The house was way less expensive than my old one, making the payments really low. Stupid low. You-wouldn’t-believe-it low. It was the price I’d hoped for but never found beyond the corner of Ass and Rape.
But this neighborhood, while not pristine, was cute. And? The house was in impeccable shape.
I sat on the back steps and watched yellow finches fly in the pear tree. I heard the train rumble past. And I thought, Could I ever be lucky enough to live here? I had tears in my eyes because I never thought I’d get lucky enough to live somewhere this good.
Turns out yes. I CAN live somewhere this good.
AND? It turns out I knew the owners! I work with the woman who owned this house! Her husband had lived here since 1963. She’s a wonderful person, and they kept the place immaculate. I will ruin it immediately.
As soon as she and I figured out I was looking at HER house, our respective real estate professionals told us DO NOT SPEAK. And we didn’t. Even though we were dying to.
And yes, it was a pain in my ass to switch from the house I said I’d buy to this one.
So I made an offer on this house, and had to live with Ned for 10 days, while the poor woman I work with moved out tout suite and Bob the Beleaguered Realtor took up sniffing glue.
And look. This neighborhood ain’t fancy. It’s a mill neighborhood. It’s on the historic register. We’re near two mills, and these houses were BUILT by those mills. The houses on my street are identical, just boop! boop! boop! all the same design, and we all have an alley behind us because in 1932, everyone had an outhouse. The really cool news is, the alley for some reason stops at my house, so I have, like, a personal alley.
You know what song I hate? The Alley Cat song.
So while these houses are charming AF, not all are as…kept up as mine. Most people who live here have lived here for generations. Their parents were mill workers, and in some cases so were they.
The nearby mills are shut down now, but one has been revamped with fancy apartments (Ned looked at one back when he was looking for places) and restaurants and so on, and they just broke ground on another even closer, less than a mile, to do the same.
So I think this neighborhood may become more desirable as time goes on, and in the meantime it’s quiet, other than my neighbor’s rooster WHOM I LOVE, and everyone here looks out for each other. And I have the prettiest little pink millhouse in town.
So that is the story of how I became an urban pioneer. And of how Edsel managed to ingratiate himself into nearly every photo.
P.S. I have been getting together with other UPs in the neighborhood on Friday nights. We go to the local Mexican restaurant and talk about just everything, including how charming this neighborhood is. It’s just three blocks, mostly with dead ends, and the train tracks behind us. We’re very sort of isolated here.
And oddly, I am now just on the OTHER side of the rich-people neighborhood.
I keep skipping over moving right in there.
So that’s the catch-up info re my house, and I hope it answers everything re this, seeing as I’ve droned on for 1900 words and you are doing this:
I’ve sat here for two days making little changes to this now-defunct site. “Should I start this up again?” I ask myself. Then I think about all the ways people could be unkind and I walk into the next room, all sweaty.
To be fair, I’m menopausin’, so I walk into every room all sweaty these days. Mother of GOD.
While I menopause and reflect, I also think about nice people. The nice people outweighed the not-nice ones up in here. Not literally. I mean, I don’t know how much you weigh. Maybe that would be a nice place to start. Let’s all get reacquainted by writing in and saying what we weigh!
So if I do come back, what do you want to know? Because I could sit here and recap the whole dang four and a half months and bore you to tears if you wanted. Also, the good news is, maybe five people will even see this site is up so there won’t be that many questions, and maybe I can write one nice, concise, here’s-what’s-you-wanted-to-know post and we can move forward from there.
Meanwhile, what’s new with you, five people? Tell all. Including your weight.
I seriously didn’t mean to write “Jooob,” with a b, but it was nice to get that typo back, just like old times.