Putting on our Best 'House' Face

The first two groups of prospec­tive buy­ers came through today, if what our real estate agent told us is true. Tomor­row we get the whole Cald­well Banker Office walk­ing through and anoth­er poten­tial buy­er at noon. It feels very strange, as if our lives are on dis­play. I know that they are look­ing at the rooms, not our per­son­al para­pher­na­lia, but I’m sure that they see a book here, a mag­a­zine there, etc. I hope they aren’t peek­ing in the med­i­cine cab­i­nets. Nah, there’s prob­a­bly not time for that.

To pre­pare for this onslaught of browsers, we’ve cleaned up a lot. We’d already been through some­thing like this before, when we were con­sid­er­ing swap­ping this place for a sim­i­lar unit across the court­yard. “The key to sell­ing a house”, our real­tor at that time said “is to have it look as emp­ty as you can. Lots of emp­ty sur­faces. Let the buy­er imag­ine them­selves in your space.” Well, we are far from emp­ty, but it is a lot tidi­er. My office is the only area that is still full of clut­ter, and even there I’ve cut it back to just the desks. I’ll get it down to desk lev­el, but that will take a few more days. Most of this was achieved through fill­ing box­es with what I could not throw out and tak­ing those box­es to our stor­age room in Lynn, MA. If Pam said our place felt like a Hotel room after Socrates was gone, it cer­tain­ly feels a lot more like one now.

Pam also did a bit of land­scap­ing in our back yard. I use the term back yard loose­ly; the tiny postage stamp of a back area we have behind our town­house is rough­ly a 12 by 20 foot plot with a dog­wood tree (hurt bad­ly a few years ago from an ice storm but recov­er­ing slow­ly), aza­lea and lilac bush­es on one side, and a few tulips (and lat­er in the fall, wild chrysan­the­mums) on the oth­er, with some stone and weeds in between. So, Pam took down what had to be the ugli­est plas­tic shelv­ing I’ve ever seen that we had up for a year or two for our house­plants to dur­ing the sum­mer and plant­ed 9 box­wood bush­es at the back. We set up a bright red fold­ing table and match­ing chairs we got from IKEA back in the Meso­zoic and it almost looks OK. At any rate the scene no longer looks like an emp­ty lot.

All this means that no mat­ter what, we are pulling up anchor and mov­ing on. I have this feel­ing in my gut that I haven’t had in a long time, the same as I felt when I was ready to leave Rochester, NY at the end of my grad­u­ate school stud­ies there: Impa­tience, like itch­ing pow­der in my head. I just want the whole thing to be done, but there are many i’s to dot and t’s to cross. We have to try and take care of all the details because we are not just mov­ing across town, or even to Prov­i­dence or Con­necti­cut. We’re leav­ing the whole damned coun­try.

Did I say damned? Oh yes, when Anne Coul­ter is on the cov­er of this week’s Time Mag­a­zine, with a puff piece inter­view inside about how she ‘blush­es’ and rants on about how she’s glad that lib­er­als hate her because we are so evil, etc. Damned is what the coun­try is, and they can have Ms. Coul­ter and the sick bile that she vom­its into the cul­ture all they want.

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