The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Some Days, The Only Thing to Say is: Make Mine a Double

Number of Times I Changed Out Jonas’s Carseat In the Last 2 Weeks: 43

Trips To the Mechanic We’ve Made in the Last 2 Weeks: 6

How Much I Kind of Hate Steve, The Mechanic’s Face at This Point: A Lot

Do you ever have days where everything is ludicrous? I feel like sometimes, ridiculousness and lunacy is like a big mass out in space, and the more of it you have, the greater the gravitational pull toward it becomes and more and more insanity gloms together until pretty soon it’s just a giant black hole of crazy. Generally, I’m right there in the very center of it, either with my head exploding or drinking heavily; depending on the time of day. Tuesday of this week was one of those days for me.

To begin with The GOV has been acting up lately. (I was reminded by a Twitter pal today that not everyone knows what the acronym GOV stands for. Apparently people may be under the mistaken impression that I have my own personal Jan Brewer that’s been in at the shop all week. I don’t. It stands for Giant Orange Van. Because it’s orange. And giantish.) We’re trying to stay away from the word ‘lemon’ around The GOV, but let’s just say that I suspect if you poured iced tea in the engine you might end up with an Arnold Palmer (you know, the drink with lemonade and iced tea mixed? No? Too obscure? Sorry.). We’ve had nothing but problems with the beast. Her latest trick is randomly not starting. This is super fun when it happens in front of a client’s house with my clients in the car. It really instills confidence in my negotiating abilities when I can’t even coax my own car into puttering to life.

And then, of course, when I took the GOV into the shop last week (after it sat, all night, out in front of my client’s house where it refused to start and then magically started the next morning) they ‘couldn’t replicate the problem’, which I now understand to mean ‘we think you’re insane and probably have automobile-hypochondria’. So I ended up taking the car home, having it not start again, and delivering it back to the shop with a frenzied ‘I am NOT crazy, find the problem and fix it!’ speech (because nothing comes off more sane than an ‘I am NOT crazy’ speech). The point is the mechanic finally decided the problem was most likely the starter and we scheduled the work to be done the following week. (“If it happens again in the interim, just keep trying to start it and probably it eventually will,” the mechanic told me, furthering my suspicion that the replacement of the starter was a placebo.)

So Tuesday morning, I got up at 5am so that I could be showered and dressed and have Jonas (who, let me remind you, is three years old and has occasional bouts with demonic possession, it’s sort of like occasional heart burn that flares up when you have a meatball and peppers sandwich, except occasionally his head rotates 360 degrees and he pulls the wings off butterflies) fed and ready to go to the car shop, which is 25 miles from our house. We had an appointment with the pediatrician for an ear infection check at 8:50am, and the car shop shuttle service ran at 7:30am or 9am, so we needed to be to the shop by 7 to be ready to take the 7:30 shuttle to my parents’ house (3.5 miles from the shop) so we could borrow my dad’s car for the day and head to the pediatrician’s office by 8:50. Amazingly, all of this went fairly smoothly, or at least as smoothly as wrangling a three year old in and out of vehicles (including at least 11 car seat removals and reinstalls) without him running off or getting squished by a car can. By 9:30am we were headed back to our end of town in my dad’s car to have lunch and nap and hopefully head back to pick up The GOV in the afternoon.

It wasn’t until I pulled into the driveway, with Jonas passed out in the back seat, that I realized I hadn’t taken the garage door opener out of The GOV. I had a house key, but of course, the top lock we installed on the inside of the front door to keep Jonas from getting out of the house in the middle of the night and burglarizing the neighbors, was latched, so I couldn’t even get into the house. I had no option but to turn directly around, drive the 25 miles back to the shop, wait 20 minutes for them to go back into the apparently giant room of cars waiting to be serviced and find my garage door opener (IT’S THE ORANGE ONE! Shouldn’t be that hard to find!), and then drive the 25 miles back home. I wasn’t at all considering jumping into oncoming traffic at that point, swear.

So then, when I got home, I realized I had a new voicemail on my phone (cell reception is really poor in my neighborhood, which is not at all inconvenient for someone like me who makes her living talking on the phone). Once I found the one spot in my house receiving any bars of reception and stood as still as a statue to get the voicemail, I realized it was from the negotiator at Bank of America who I’d been working with on my short sale that had closed the day before. The escrow officer working the file had sent me the final settlement statement that morning and it needed to be uploaded to the online document system so the file could be closed out. But, you know, I’d been dealing with the car/kid/garage door opener situation from hell since 5am, so I hadn’t had a second to do that yet. The negotiator was calling to tell me that BofA had received the wire with the $116,000, but had not received the final settlement statement yet, so he just wanted to inform me that if I didn’t get it uploaded in the next 3.5 seconds or so they would have to send the money back.

…? So wait, WHAT? Can we please just deconstruct that for a second? The property CLOSED ESCROW and was legally owned by the new buyer as per BofA’s instructions. The money, which was actually $100 MORE than they were expecting, had arrived in their hands. I had received my check for my work also. But because the final statement wasn’t uploaded within 0.5 minutes of the recordation, they were going to SEND THE MONEY BACK? That will really show us. Yes, Bank of America, I don’t have time to upload it today, so you can just send that wire right back. Actually, I’ll give you my account number and you can wire it right there. Thanks very much.

Plus, then my stupid car wasn’t done in the afternoon like they said it would be. But I had to drive back any way, with all three kids this time, because my dad needed his car back and we had to get a rental.

See what I mean? Black hole of crazy.

7 Responses to Some Days, The Only Thing to Say is: Make Mine a Double

  1. awesome post.

    recordation? I don’t think so. Mr. Language Person thinks “within 0.5 minutes of recording”, but Mr. Language Person is not a Realtor and understands well that Realtors speak a whole ‘nother language.

  2. Yes, Mr. LP, I know it sounds obnoxious, but it’s the term that’s used in the biz. Swear I didn’t make it up to pretend to be fancier than I am (I tried to do that with ‘fervored’ instead of frenzied in the 3rd paragraph, but spell-check was so adamant in it’s disagreement with me that this is actually a word that I gave in).

  3. So sorry to hear of your black hole. Keep it on the other side of the 202 though, will ya?

    I can totally relate to your car thing. Except that mine would randomly die while on the freeway or at 11:00 at night while I was pregnant headed to (but not quite at) Wal-Mart to get Dr. Pepper for my husband (I was a “good wife” back before real estate…). Didn’t help that we only had one car and lived in TX with no one else we knew around. I gave the “I’m not crazy and you better fix this dang car” speech as well and it only took them 3 weeks to replicate the problem. Random electrical issue with a small sensor. Stupid cars!

    Here’s hoping your weekend is much better!

  4. For the record, my car has started playing a fun game with me. When I am stopped or just not travelling quite fast enough, the temperature gauge needle shoots up to “THE RED ZONE”. I have tapped into my expert car mechanic ingenuity to learn that if I turn off the car then turn it on, the needle returns to normal. Kind of like resetting the computer. Maybe that will work on the GOV…just a thought.

    Can;t really help with BofA, though…

  5. OMG- SUCKY!!

  6. And still, through all of this, our actual GOV sucks more.

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