That’s How They Get Ya (#348)

I know I’ve talked about this fella before, but it’s time to again.  Hugh Fink.  He’s a comedian.  He has a joke.  The joke is about his father.


As I recall it, the father is talking about the bread a waiter brings to you before your meal.  The father feels that the bread is how restaurants “get ya.”  They “get ya” by bringing bread because, you see, the bread guarantees you’ll fill up before your food and therefore, you’re not getting your money’s worth.




If you want to have a true case of the “how they get yas” – BUY A HOUSE.


Christ on a cracker, it will feel like they are all getting ya and getting ya good.


home sold

Gurl, I feel ya!


During this permanent home procuring process I have worried about everything.  Everything!


Schlocky real estate agent – that’s how they get ya.


Bad plumbing – that’s how they get ya.


Neighbors with a nice front yard and a non-permitted meth warehouse in the back – that’s how they get ya.


Shoddy craftsmanship – that’s how they get ya.


Electrical work done by a blind man who connected the wires by feel – that’s how they get you.


Grotesque down payment amount or you pay some kind of insurance – that’s how they get ya.


Who’s they?  They is everybody and they are all after us – the gov’t, the various tradesman of the handyman ilk, our initial real estate agent (we have a good one now and he is a godsend), the housing market, and the goddermned kids who I know are going to graffiti my back wall.  I can smell the spray paint from here – nearly 3 towns away.


Whenever I put an enormous amount of work into something and at this point, I’d say this house is our life savings – better said, our life’s credit (Savings is something baby boomers had.  Everyone after that – well, that’s how they get ya.) – I put this much heart and soul into a place and I’m going to protect it.


spray paint

Bad, can, bad!


It reminds me of my old, New York city pad.  I put about $8,000 down when I rented my own 1 bedroom apartment in Manhattan.  You read that correctly RENTED and I put that much money down.  My credit was iffy at the time and money down was the only way to insure that I’d land the place.  So, I worked my ass off and I did it.  As such, I felt ownership over the place.  Feck, I felt ownership over the whole goddermned neighborhood.  I became a veritable, one woman, citizen’s watch.


The guy upstairs (who has lived in the same unrenovated apartment since he was 5) is playing his weird bridge and tunnel, disco music until all hours of the morning again?  Oh no, that’s not how they’re getting me.  The guy across the hall refuses to take his garbage down the three flights of stairs and place it in the garbage area?  Oh no, that’s not how they’re getting me.  Watching our Czechoslovakian immigrant super re-paint our front door, while cursing America and all the pain it has brought him, because those local kids tagged the damn door again?  Oh, feck no.  THAT’S NOT HOW THEY’RE GETTING ME.


I was so crazy about the graffiti on our front door that I would lie in wait like some kind of deranged, plus size, Harriet the Spy.  (I’m not calling myself plus size.  Harriet is 12.  Every grown woman is plus sized compared to her.  Get yourself together.)  I’d wait on the fire escape until I’d hear the shake-shake of that spray paint can announcing the delinquents arrival.  Those little stir-me-up-balls inside the aerosol can became my battle cry.  I’d scream like Kathy Bates right before she hits those young girls with her car in “Fried Green Tomatoes.”  Then I would let a handful of empty pistachio shells rain HELL down upon them from above.  Why the pistachio shells?  Well, because it’s what I had in my hands at the time.


It never worked.  Yet, there’s something in my defiant belief that the “they” won’t get me.  I think it keeps me alive.


We have to do what we can when we’re stuck down here in the trenches.  You know, living.


What about you?  What are your feck-em-all-to-hell survival methods?  As always, inquiring mommas want to know.



Sweet Mother is on a quest towards 365 posts.  Join me on that road by hitting the follow button above.



Photo creds:

spray-paint, sold-sign, old-house-feature


32 thoughts on “That’s How They Get Ya (#348)

  1. One of my survival methods is so simple, it’s probably not worth mentioning. When I need an escape, I head to the movie theater, get a bag of popcorn sans butter (I’m not THAT much of a rebel), and lose myself in a fantasy world for a couple hours. It always helps me relax. A book can do the same, but that involves staying inside the home, and the home’s inhabitants may be just what I’m trying to escape. 😉

    1. that’s hilarious. i used to go to the movies by myself ALL THE TIME back in ny. now, less so, but thinking i have control over these things like some kind of renegade citizen’s watch, oddly, eases my mind. as always, thanks for reading, carrie. xo, sm

  2. Living in the Lower East Side before it was hip, they got me with the car alarms that would go off all night. People would park blocks and blocks from where they lived. Why they would want to park their car on Ave B I will never understand.

    I got them, though. I would egg the cars from my street-facing bedroom window. It wouldn’t turn the alarm off, but have you ever tried to clean dried egg off a windshield?

    Unfortunately there were more cars than eggs. Those were some long nights.

    1. YOU EGGED THEIR FECKIN’ CARS??!!! god, i love you. you’re a ‘slowly poison the soup’ kinda girl, like myself, and i think it’s fantastic. btw, i loved todd’s parents. we must all have a todd’s brothers kids going to ‘that’ school talk when i see you next. too funny. really enjoyed my breakfast with them. xoxox, sm

  3. I survive by telling the demonic presence that haunts my dreams that the guy who cut me off in traffic said lewd things about said demonic presence’s sister.

  4. Hi Momma! I remember when I bought my condo. I cried when I signed the mortgage from sheer anxiety. Worst mistake I ever made, but primarily because my neighbors were hell. I sold a year later!

    All the best to you and wifesy!

    1. you know elene, that is the scary part. you really can NOT tell who your neighbors are until you live at a place. wifesy and i completely gave up on a really cool house bc next door neighbor’s dog was barking the whole time we were there. our conclusion was – the neighbor is not stopping the dog from barking and that’s going to be a problem. barking dog okay, but no move to stop them from barking – problem. still – it’s so hard to know. truly. ugh, i’m so sorry to hear you had a nightmare experience and don’t even get me started on condos. we rent one and i’m so glad we have because it has convinced me never to buy one… much love, sm

  5. I fantasize about redesigning my space. I really do. You should see my office right now with paint splashes on the wall as I stare at the different colors I might like to live in next or the floor with the four different tiles I bought individually because I can’t decide which I love best. Then there is the five different individual wood chips sitting on the stairs waiting for a choice, they are lonely as they wait, begging me to pick them. There is a barely a difference in shading but dammit there is a difference. Then there are all the websites I know so well where I can select faucets, cabinet hardware, door hardware, sinks and mirrors at much better prices; I have them all bookmarked.

    That is what I do. I have a spreadsheet for every room in my house. The prices move a little bit one way or the other. I am narrowing down which room is next or maybe I will just do the paint or the floors of the entire upstairs.

    1. bwwaaahhhhhaaa, oh, val. you kill me – the spreadsheet on each room??!! to tell you how we are ‘two peas’ as they say, i read that and laughed and then i went, ‘that’s not a bad idea…’ loool. i hear you tho, so many decisions. so much money. drowning. drowning. but, it certainly may be good blog fodder. and lord knows i need that too. xoxox, sm

      1. Well here is more for you. Right now I am trying to decide wall color for the upstairs and floor covering, for the upstairs.

        So, on the wall in every room but my husbands music room are swatches of color. I buy samples (love Sherwin Williams paint) I walk around and paint it on the walls, so I can see the color in different lights. When it is dry I right the color number in the swatch. I then leave it there for at least 10 days before I decide, I want to live with it.

        The floor, I buy sample tiles and sample boards (I am doing wood, tile and carpet depends on the room). I move it around throughout the week and live with it.

        I do not make rapid decisions, I have to live with those decisions. I do not decorate normally. Some of my ceilings are not white. Go with what you love!

  6. Well, Mama, I blogged about them. Then I got found out and told off. Now I just do it in my head. It gets a bit noisy at times, but the conversations I have with my estranged brother while doing the dishes are enough to raise goosebumps of fear on *my* arms and I am the one doing the cussing out… in my head.

    1. i do so much cussing out in my head you have no idea. it is on this never ending lazy susan – the fights i have in my brain. so much so that i try to stop myself now because i figure that if i can’t actually spray the intended victim with what they deserve then the only person suffering is me. then they win and i refuse to let them win. i suppose the ‘thems’ getting in your head, well, that’s how they get ya. sigh. stay strong, sistah, xoxox, sm

  7. Hi Sweetmama, two in two days – woooo!
    How thy used to get me: wife and I (when just new) lived in the back half of a beautiful villa in a busy main street in a gentrifying neighborhood. My office was at the front if the house on the street side. Next to us on both sides were commercial buildings with parking spaces behind. There was a rowdy pub and a bar on our street, but about half a block away. So we only got partying noise on Fri & Sat nights. Then the empty commercial building across the street was renovated. Turned into a giant bar by a local beer company, with an outside seating (and smoking) area to fit 200. Arghhhh. 7 days a week in summer of munters outside getting wasted. Loitering on our front deck to drink their own alcohol before entering the bar, and leaving their broken bottles on our door step. Naked boys off their tits and stripping completely nude at our front door. Parking their BMW’s on our front concrete area and even actually partly on our wooden deck. Fecking against our bedroom wall as it was over the side of the neighbors driveway. Fighting under our bedroom window if the fecking didnt go well. And always, always, always pissing on the side wall of our house. We tried signs saying it was a private house, ‘no parking’ signs, a car in the driveway and a chain across it. It drove me insane. I had a bucket of cold water ready on multiple occasions to throw on the pissers, but wife would let me in case I got the shit beaten outta me. So I spent a summer like a rarked up Jack Russel terrier, running between out lounge room to the front door trying to bust people up to no good, whilst swearing and growling.
    After around 7mths we moved. That’s how they get ya.
    Now we live blissfully in the country, how do they get me?
    The bloody free range chickens have the entire property to roam, but where do they shit? On every paver we have laid. For goodness sakes, the path is only 20cm wide, and yet I rarely see crap on the grass. It’s like they step off the grass onto the concrete paver, get a fright and loose their bowels. That’s how they get ya.

    1. okay, pepi, i read this comment two days ago and it literally gave me near panic attacks. so much so that i had to close up the laptop. dear god, i do NOT know how you survived that. and good on you for moving. no one needs to endure something like that. and i so hear you about the bucket of water, i might’ve done the same thing or burned the pub down. the problem is then i would’ve seemed cray, but jesus some people truly do need to learn manners. where did you live? did calling the cops do any good? probably not. i called them for ‘noise violations’ on my nyc upstairs neighbor MANY times. anyway, i’m glad you moved. and the last bit about the chickens made me die laughing. that’s how they get you indeed. thanks for leaving this amazing comment, pepi. it’s truly the best one of the lot. much love, sm

  8. As an investor… I think it’s a good time to buy. We bought during the last mini-crisis (99/2000) and it’s paid off even taking into account the losses due to the current crisis. If I had an extra million in the bank just sitting there, I’d put it all in real-estate. Since I don’t, I have to stick to art for now 😉

    1. pinky! so good to see you here. i read your blog, but from afar on my phone, as i race from one thing to the next. unfortunately, it’s such a bitch to comment on said phone makes me login every time and i’m too lazy to figure it out. as for the real estate, i think you are absolutely right on that one. so much so that wifesy and i decided if we didn’t buy now, we couldn’t afford to when the market fully rebounded, so it was now or never. i’m glad we chose the now. much love, sm

  9. I do things to prevent getting gotten….like, I haul my bike up to my second story apartment every single time I am done riding, cuz no way am I storing it outside and risk getting it stolen.
    I also am that fed up young person who now calls the police on the idiots partying at 2am on a frickin Thursday.

    I totally would have been there with you throwing crap at those spray paint carrying dudes!

    1. in nyc once, i was walking behind a tall guy with a bike and a bike messenger bag. i was only about 7 feet behind him. i watched him walk his bike up to another bike, slip a massive chain/ wire cutter out of the bag, clip the other bike, and walk away with two. to this day, i feel bad that i didn’t call someone about it. i was young and didn’t want to get involved. today, i would have. even if it meant getting involved on my cell phone with the police station from the comfort of a bar. bike stealers are d*cks. xoxo, sm

  10. I live on the boundary between the city and the country, on a wooded block that is just aching to burn during summer. I’ve put all my money into protecting this damn house from bushfires and I’m damned if it’s going to go up in smoke… especially with us in it. So instead of raining pistachio shells on vandals, I harangue neighbours and anyone else who will listen to get their bl**dy grass cut! -cough- Other than that I’m a sweet, mild-mannered woman, really.

    1. so interesting. we have the same problem in california. not as much where i live, but definitely up in the hills where brushfires can take out a whole dang neighborhood. let’s just say i’d be right next to you bellowing and handing them a lawn mower…. xoxo, sm

      1. That’s right! I remember a couple of years? back a whole lot of people had to be evacuated. I wish we had compulsory evacuations here but by law no-one can be forced from their home. If they’re away from home when the fire threatens they can be stopped from returning… but that’s it.

  11. I live out in the woods where people believe that “country dogs” should be free to run like coyotes, never get their shots, and crap all over the neighbors hillside, thus sharing their worms with my civilized dogs with exceptional health care. You know that movie, A Christmas Story – the neighbors have this herd of dogs – the “Bumpus’ Dogs” – those dogs are nothing compared to my neighbors. Sadly – that’s how they got me. Maybe I should throw pistachios at them.

    1. a catapult of pistachio shells should do the trick or create a mess, either one. there’s a huge dog problem here as well. parvo is a big thing, which is easily avoidable if you get your dog a $15 vaccine. then they’d never get parvo, but ppl never get the $15 vaccine, so instead it’s a $1000 hospital bill to get the pups thru parvo if they survive at all. wifesy goes crazy about it. your neighbors and those dogs – it would drive me crazy too. take solace in knowing, you are not alone. xoxo, sm

      1. I had a pup nearly through his shots get parvo from a neighbor dog – It was expensive and so painful for that pup, but she survived. Somehow these folks seem to think that they are “rescuing” animals – but what quality of life can they offer without real veterinary care. OK – off the soap box.

  12. They are gonna get ya, one way or another. It is therefore extremely important to do your due diligence prior to signing on the dotted line. And buy walnuts..

  13. They got me in a different way. Awhile back He-Who and I lived in a beautiful condo that I loved. It was brand new when we moved in so we were the first tenants. It was lovely. We were very fortunate that we didn’t really have any problem neighbours. When the people downstairs moved out and new ones moved in we waited to see if there would be a difference. Nope, we lucked out again. I could go to bed at night with the windows open and a lovely breeze blowing in, happy in my home. It wasn’t long before I realized I was waking in the wee hours of the night…not because of noise or anything…but because I was absolutely famished. I would get up and polish off a bag of potato chips, a tub of icecream or a bag of M&Ms. After awhile we figured out that the downstairs neighbours where out on their balcony getting high and the smoke was wafting into my bedroom window while I slept. They would get high. I would get the munchies. That’s how they got me.

    1. bwwaaaahahahhhhhhaaaa, oh christ, mg, this comment is truly one of the winners on this post. you got a contact high, daily, that’s insane. and hilarious. and annoying. i used to get so annoyed when the neighbors in our apt complex would have a cigarette out of their garage because our bedroom was right above it and i’d swear you could smell it come up through the floors. drove me crazy. did you move? or develop a pot habit? do tell. looool. much love, sm

  14. I’ve always wanted to own a home but the thought also fills me with major anxiety due to my rampant fear of commitment. (We won’t even talk about the nervous breakdown I had after my husband asked me to marry him, but I will say that I had to give myself permission to have it annulled in order to relax enough to enjoy the wedding.) I think about all of the things you’ve listed and more. Jaysus, it’s stressful to think about.

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