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.
THAT’S HOW THEY GET YA.
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.
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.
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.
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