The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

The Pros and Cons of Self-Employment

Pro of being a real estate agent: I am my own boss. If I don’t have anything super urgent going on at the moment (or the summer of 2010 as a whole), I can sit on the couch and watch an entire season of Arrested Development on Netflix while eating peppermint bark and wearing a camo-Snuggie if I want to without anyone yelling at me to get off my butt and file those reports! Not that I’m considering doing this right now. Stop judging me.

Con of being a real estate agent:
When I’m violently ill and something has to be done, there’s no one to pass it on to who can resent me for having the luxury of being home sick while they pick up my slack. I’m the only one left to resent me for being sick. I have to complete the task, continue to be violently ill and take on all the resenting that must be done all on my own.

Last Saturday morning started out lovely enough. At 9am it was the perfect temperature to sit in camping chairs on the soccer field in long sleeves and bask comfortably in the sun without feeling chilly or sweaty.

I had on the schedule:

Soccer games from 9-10:30am

Showings with a potential buyer from 11-1ish

Meeting to write up a BINSR with a different buyer after the showings

Not a heavy schedule, but I knew if I didn’t eat something first thing in the morning I wouldn’t likely get a chance until 2pm. As I have a tendency toward bizarre behavior like inappropriate giggling fits that take an abrupt left turn into sobbing jags when my blood sugar dips too far, I made a pro-active fast-food drive-thru run before the soccer game and grabbed an egg and roasted peppers breakfast burrito.

I need to interject right here to explain two things:

1. Eggs are not a super popular thing around our house. My husband hates them with the fiery passion of someone who once ate a plate of scrambled eggs as a child and then leaned over at the breakfast table and threw them up on the floor only to realize they look exactly the same partially digested and regurgitated as they had on his plate before he consumed them. I have always felt like I should like them more than I do. So every once in awhile I try them again and usually I feel nauseous afterward. Lately I’ve been feeling like maybe I’m actually allergic to them.

2. I often get stuck in a vicious cycle where I over think something and come up with a completely overwrought explanation (a zebra that is actually probably a horse, if you will). Then I over think my over thinking and decide I’m ridiculous and swing back the entire opposite direction. Then something happens that makes me feel like my original thought was correct and I berate myself for not listening to my own intuition. At some later point I usually decide again that no, I was being a crazy there. This is all called ‘being excessively self-aware.’

Anyway, Saturday morning as I was eating my breakfast burrito I was already midway through a vicious over-thinking cycle about eggs. I had decided, a couple of weeks earlier, after another failed attempt to like eggs, that I was really probably allergic and that I should just give in and start avoiding them altogether. But then, of course, when I drove through to get breakfast, it was tough to find anything appetizing that did not include eggs, so I decided on the spot that I was probably being a crazy and I should just get an egg burrito like a normal person and stop whining.

I’m sure you can see where this is going. The short version is that I made it through the games and the showings, but I began to feel sick within a couple of hours of eating that egg burrito. It started out the normal ‘egg-nausea’ feeling and quickly snowballed into ‘may have to pull my car over on the freeway to puke before I make it home to curl into the fetal position around the master bathroom toilet’ territory. I made it home before the bodily fluids began erupting, but let me tell you, some of the least pleasant hours I’ve spent on this planet were between about 1pm and 4pm on Saturday. And I’m including childbirth in that (what, I had an epidural!).

Of course, I immediately began the self-flagellation portion of the cycle and spent almost all of the sick-time agonizing over how I KNEW I was allergic to eggs and I was SO STUPID to eat them again. Stupid, stupid me.

You may remember, though, that I still had one more task on the to-do list for the day after the showings. I had a BINSR to write. A buyer’s inspection notice and seller’s response document about a house I’m currently under contract with for a buyer. Basically, this is the document the buyer submits to the sellers after they’ve completed their inspections to let the seller know what the buyer wants repaired to continue with the transaction. We have 10 days to do the inspections and by midnight on the 10th day this document has to be submitted or it is assumed the buyer accepts the property as-is and forfeits their right to cancel due to anything found in the inspection period.

Well of course we were on day 10 of the inspection period in this transaction. I usually write up the BINSR a couple of days ahead of time just to get it out of the way, but in this case we couldn’t get a roofing inspector out until Friday and I had just received the roof report that morning. I had told my clients I would call them early afternoon after I had finished with my showings and we would go over everything and get the sucker written up.

By 4pm I was standing over the toilet with puking-induced mascara tears running down my cheeks begging my husband to call someone else and tell them they had to do it because I physically could not leave the perimeter of the lavatory. Jason wisely advised me to give it another half an hour and if I was still just as sick, he would start making calls (to who, I’m not sure. I think was at the point where he was just saying anything he thought would possibly calm me down).

I did end up having a small window of time where I felt better enough to drag myself over to the phone and my computer long enough to get the BINSR written and emailed off. It may have been adrenaline or some kind of fight or flight response. For about 25 minutes I was that mother lifting the car off my baby. I got done what I had to get done.

Let me tell you, though, it was so very clear to me in that moment why it’s just really awesome sometimes to have a boss to call in sick to. Even if it means you can’t wear a camo-Snuggie while you’re working.

And just to complete my over think cycle: the next day two of my children came down with my very same egg-allergy. Puking and fever and all. Except they didn’t eat eggs. So maybe it was actually the flu and I’m not allergic to eggs after all. I still probably won’t ever eat eggs again, though. Jason was right; they do look exactly the same coming up as they did going down.

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