Tuesday, September 25, 2007

When You Find The Person You Want To Spend The Rest Of Your Life With...

"...You want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."

Evidently, Gerry and Trina had a much more eventful weekend than I did. While I was watching "When Harry Met Sally" on TiVo, they were getting engaged. Engaged! Whee! I love engaged people! Just look at all these exclamation points!!!

Congrats to Gerry: one of my oldest, best friends, on starting the rest of his life, as soon as possible.

And congrats to Treen too: you found yourself a real gem with this man, and I'm really thinking he couldn't find a better woman than you.

And now I will immediately begin to diet, so I can wear something cute at your wedding.

Oh, you kids. I couldn't be more tickled for you.

The Commuter Marriage

Michigan has a glut of teachers just now--about ten recent English teaching grads for every open job--so when Dan was wrapping up his second bachelors degree and studying for the Praxis exams, we went to a few hiring fairs for teachers. It was April or May of 2004, and we were getting married in July. We both had decent jobs, but not great, and I wanted him to use his degree, not just continue to accrue student loan debt in a masters program he wasn't really interested in using. He was too smart to not be teaching, I told him, and it was time to move forward.

Dan is not the kind of guy who would make the decision to move to Maryland without being pushed. And I pushed. I took him to buy a suit, have it altered, make sure he wasn't wearing white athletic socks with it, beat his resume into shape, made sure he had copies of transcripts and portfolios and everything else he needed before we went to Eastern Michigan University's teaching career hiring fair. There were no jobs in Michigan, especially for new teachers without substantial experience, I told him. We would be stupid to continue to drag along, making less than $20,000 a year between the two of us, into our thirties. I wanted more.

At Eastern, he was offered the first job he interviewed for: with the Baltimore City Schools. I had never thought of moving to Baltimore. My cousin and his wife and their son lived there for years before moving back to Michigan, but most of what I knew came from "Homicide: Life on the Streets" and Laura Lippman novels. We heard rumors, though, that the City schools frequently ran out of money before the end of the year and stopped paying their teachers in April. Oh no.

He was offered a few more jobs on the spot: a couple in Florida, and Charles County, Maryland. Prince George's County, where he currently is, offered him a second interview. In June, when we came down to interview again, he was the first teacher recruited from Michigan by a new principal, who hired him on the spot.

There was never any question about whether I would go with him to Maryland. Dan is a wonderful guy, the best guy I've ever known, but he has a few areas at which he does not excel. Breaking out of his own comfort zone is one. He rarely ventures out of his own neighborhood without some major form of guidance. Another is general administrative and organizational tasks. Once, when we were dating, he had his electricity turned off for non-payment. We were literally just sitting in his living room when the lights went off. The overdue amount? $16. He just simply hadn't thought to pay it. For three months. Besides, we were getting married in July. We had begun talking about marriage when he had been considering a teaching post with the Department of Defense, where he would have been posted in Europe or Asia somewhere for two years. Having just narrowly missed being deployed to Iraq with his National Guard unit, he wasn't willing to consider us being apart again. When we decided not to take the DoD posting, we realized that we didn't care where we lived, we just wanted to be together and married--even though we'd only been dating a little more than six months.

I would describe our first year of marriage as unusually eventful. Two weeks after we got married, we packed everything that would fit into his car, stored my car and the rest of our possessions in his parents' barn, and moved to Maryland. We didn't have an apartment yet when Dan reported for his first day of work--we literally parked in the school administration building's parking lot with everything we had in the back of our car. We stayed in what could only be referred to as a hooker motel across from the gates at Andrews Air Force Base until we found an apartment. We slept on an air mattress. We bought two lawn chairs at K-Mart and watched a 13-inch television sitting on top of a milk crate in our living room our first night there. "So this is marriage," I remember saying to Dan. "I thought there would be more furniture." Another teacher took pity on us and gave us a couch from Ikea. The lawn chairs were more comfortable. But, at least I could stretch out and enjoy the all-day morning sickness--within ten weeks of our wedding, I was pregnant.

We did eventually buy real furniture--including what I consider a BRILLIANT find, a big, cooshy, deep armchair and matching ottoman covered in what may possibly be the world's ugliest green flowered upholstery, that I got for $25 at the flea market in St. Mary's County--and the world's largest couch. I survived 492,395,302 months of pregnancy and gave birth to Captain Adorable. And now, we're coming up on five years since we met (but not five years since our first date, since I spent about six months being unimpressed by Dan), buying a house, and attempting another 493,490,503 months of pregnancy.

We've never REALLY been apart. Before we were dating, we worked together. Before we were married, we lived together. For the last almost-five years, basically, all I've had to do at night was reach to the left, and there he was. He's been my anchor, my rock. I've always known where home was: it was wherever Dan was.

Dan works with another teacher from Michigan now. He's from Battle Creek, a town not far from where we lived. Dan said he had found him a little standoffish for the first few weeks of school. A few weeks ago, Dan said that the new teacher came to him and asked, "Where do you get your hair cut?" This prompted Dan to sit the teacher down and get his story.

He had been the principal of a Catholic school in Michigan. He was frustrated with having a bunch of kids who didn't really seem to need what he had to give, and so he went looking for a teaching job in a community that really needed good, caring teaching. This teacher's wife is a teacher at the same school where he had been principal.

She and their children have stayed behind in Michigan while he tries out this new community for a year. He is here, all by himself, 11 hours away from his wife and kids, in a totally foreign environment. When Dan and I went looking for "diversity" in a community, we hadn't really given a lot of thought to the idea that we would be what made it diverse, but we are the minority here, and it is not the same as living in a town where everybody looks like me. Don't get me wrong--it's not bad. I wouldn't give it up for anything. But it is not the same. I had to fly to Michigan to get my hair cut once, because I couldn't find a salon that didn't tell me "We don't cut white hair."

I can't imagine spending a year, alone or with Max, away from Dan, in such a challenging environment. It sounds miserable, frankly, and I am much more amenable to change and new environments than my husband is. I can't even imagine.

A friend of my mother's was just named the head of the social work department at the university where she works. Her husband, who had been dean of admissions at another college, was fired from his job, and quite quickly afterwards, got offered another job as the dean at a United Methodist community in Boyne Falls, Michigan (as a teenager, I attended and then worked at the summer camp there). The problem: Boyne Falls is a good six-to-eight hour drive from Kalamazoo in good weather, which, in the winter, Boyne Falls gets very little of. Her friend wasn't willing to give up her academic position to go sit in the woods, even for her husband's dream job. They now have what my mother calls "a commuter marriage."

We're not planning on leaving the D.C. area, not as a family unit and certainly not individually. But all of these commuter marriages have me thinking: speaking both qualitatively and quantitatively, how far would I be willing to go for personal, job, and family fulfillment? Could I feel fulfilled in a job knowing it had me away from my family? Military families face questions like that a lot.

I don't think I could. But nobody's asking me. Thank God.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Baby Names I'd Consider

Gee, it's been all of maybe a week since I mentioned the fact that I'm not pregnant yet. You guys thought maybe you were off the hook, right? Sorry.

I spend a lot of time thinking about hypothetical names for babies I might have. It started back when my stepbrother and his wife had their second child, a boy, and gave him the middle name Mars. When my mother told me that, I said, "Mars?"

"Yes," she said. "Like the God of War."

"Or like the candy bar," I said.

This was my thought: you've got nine whole months to be thinking ahead. Why would you be put on the spot at the very end and name your kid after a candy bar? Trina seems to have infected me with her angst about asinine spellings of names, usually names that should never have been considered to begin with. Mykayla Trynyty, and all.

So, in honor of not being pregnant and Thursday Thirteen, I present Thirteen Baby Names I'd Consider.

1. Tyler. Old English, means "Tiler of roofs." Whatever. I'm not that hung up on the meaning. The website I consulted says that this is a unisex name, but I don't see naming a girl Tyler.

2. Camille. Latin, means "Attendant at a Religious Service." I think this is a cute, very feminine name for a girl.

3. Evan. Welsh, a shortened form of John. Reminds me of a guy I had a crush on in high school. Dreamy, with beautiful eyes.

4. Allison. Old German, means "noble, truth." I love the Elvis Costello song called "Allison." I'm not sure if that's a good reason to name a baby Allison, but I was always sad as a kid that there was never anything with my name on it. This lucky kid gets her own song.

5. Jackson. Here's the problem with it though: it is so ridiculously trendy now, I would kick myself forever for naming a baby Jackson, and ensuring that he would be one of about eleven Jacksons in his preschool class. It works with our last name though.

6. Lucy. One of my favorite names forever, since Lucy Van Pelt in "Peanuts." There's a character named Lucy in a series of books that I used to like a lot but has gone downhill a lot in past years.

7. Luke. Greek, means "From Luciana," which our kid clearly would not be. Luke is the name of one of my favorite characters in all of literature, Luke Wingo from "The Prince of Tides" by Pat Conroy. Max came dangerously close to being Luke, and when I met Pat Conroy at a book signing a couple of years ago and he was goo-gooing my son, I told him that. He told me that he hears that a lot, that and Savannah, who is Luke's sister in the book.

8. Ella. Speaking of things that Max almost was, if he'd been a girl, he would have been Ella instead of Maxwell. My grandmother, who died just after I found out I was pregnant, was named Luella, which is just a little too much name for a baby. If we had a girl, this is probably what we'd go with.

9. Beckett. Dan is not down with Beckett. He thinks it sounds San Francisco Post-Modernist Asshole. I don't personally think there's anything wrong with San Francisco Post-Modernist Asshole, but, as he points out, it's not really who we are. Nevertheless, I am currently obsessed with Beckett.

10. Megan. Greek, means "pearl." Again, this is not one that Dan is on board with. He knew a Megan when he was in college and thought she was a big S&M freak. I guess she's a real estate agent now, though, which just goes to show that you can raise a big S&M freak and she'll eventually turn out okay.

11. Owen. Welsh, means "well born." I am not sure why I like this name, but I think it goes well with our last name and it just sounds like a good little-brother name.

12. Kate. This is so old-fashioned and simple, and still so girly-sounding. Kate is the girl who always has her hair in a ponytail and multi-tasks well. Everyone likes that about Kate.

13. Wyatt. Nobody thinks this is a good name but me. I think it is a total rock star of a name.

Make sure you go check out Kimberly's Thursday Thirteen. Next week is her turn to choose.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I'm Thinking of Changing the Title of this Blog to "The Federal WC"

WC, if you weren't aware (I hate to be too obscure), is what most Europeans refer to as the bathroom as.

One of my tasks at work is to send out external emails via our website to various mailing lists. I get return emails to these communications in my regular Outlook box, just for ease of going through requests for information, etc.

I sent out one of these emails on Thursday. It was in regards to a bus tour in D.C. visiting affordable housing developments in the District. The title of the email was "Are You On Board?"

Strangely enough, this afternoon I have received the following email:

From: Zelda Pinwheel (not her real name, of course.)
To: The Nonhipster Mom (also not my real name.)
Subject: U on board

Dames always smiled at me and even bucks did in the federal WC!Well, now I
laugh at them, because I took Megadik for 6 months and now my cock
is truly weightier than usual.

attain http://gnezbenz.com/

So no, Zelda, I am not on board with Megadik. But as long as we're on the subject, I'd like to know the following:

What kind of freaky unisex bathroom (or WC, if you prefer) are you in?

Do you have to use some kind of back support to help you hold up your weighty cock? I've been having a little lower back pain lately and I think my office chair is to blame. Why can't you send me spam about that?

And I have no idea where that link leads; obviously I'm not going to "attain" on it with my work computer, where the man can see my web history. Consider yourself warned.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

In Response To Your Many Questions...

So, in looking at my Google Analytics report of the search terms that bring people here, I am concerned that you all are not finding what you're looking for. Unlike Sarah and the Goon Squad, I don't get a lot of requests for things like The Doodlebops without makeup (thank God), but I have to say that there are still a lot of weirdos out there. And they're reading my blog.

So, in the spirit of giving the people what they want...

How Tight Should My Pants Be?
Well, that really depends. How fat are you? As a general guideline, you should be able to sit, stand, and bend over comfortably, you shouldn't have muffin top spillage, and I give two big thumbs down to panty lines. But you also don't want them falling off if you take your hands out of your pockets, and baggy doesn't really flatter anybody. Nobody looks good in skinny jeans, really, not even the Olsen twins, so consider something bootcut, to balance out your hips and make your legs look longer. In short, my answer to this question is, not as tight as Chloe Sevigney's.

Naked Mom
...Yeah. I don't have anything like this.

Trying To Conceive Websites

Well, if you're here, you've actually found Trying Not To Lose Your Shit While You Fail To Conceive Websites. But good luck.

Naughty Harry Potter

Merseydoats, shame on you.

Harry Naughty Pooh

WTF is this?

My Schedule Is A Little Tight

I'm sorry to hear that. I suggest honing your time management skills, but if that doesn't work, delegate.

I always think these are hilarious. There are some weird people out there, like the searches I got for Harry Potter Treasure Trail or some variation of that a few months ago. What are your favorite web search hits on your blog?

Thursday Thirteen: Fall

Kimberly, also known as God(ess)mama, at least to me, must have gotten up good and early to write this blog this morning. I love it, though, and I would consider making "Thursday Thirteen" lists a regular feature in conjunction with Kimberly. This is something we'd talked about in the past--a blogging partnership of sorts. I'm up for it if she is.

Thirteen things I love about fall

1. Turning off the air conditioner. Being a quarter Dutch, I am cheap, and the arrival of the electric bills from May until September generally leaves me in tears.

2. The changing leaves. In Michigan, fall tended to be gray and drizzly, and as a result, not that appealing. Here, we get lots of bright autumn leaves against blue skies.

3. Halloween. This year, we're dressing Max up as a dragon, and he's almost as cute as last year, when we dressed him as a cow, or the year before, when he was a lobster.

4. Fall clothes. Hoodies, scarves, big thick socks (only in neutral colors, please; I hate few things more than I hate colored socks), and sweaters all come out of hibernation.

5. Fall farmer's markets. One of the vendors at Eastern Market sells hot apple cider on the weekends in the fall. I shouldn't have it, it's LOADED with sugar and I always have to take some extra insulin with it, but it's so worth it. I also am a big fan of the market in St. Mary's County. This particular one is weird enough to be the topic of its own blog.

6. Out with the Pinot Grigio, in with the Barolo. Somehow big, oaky red wines just aren't that appealing when it's 106 degrees outside.

7. High school football games. My husband's school happens to be the State Champion in their division.

8. The World Series. The Nationals are a million miles out of it, but the Cubs are playing pretty well, so this could be a good year. Last year, when Detroit was winning, was pretty great too.

9. God(ess)mama and God(ess)dad are coming! Later this month for her twice-a-year check-out at the NIH. Is it true they x-rayed your head and found nothing, Kimberly? Ho ho ho. Also coming in the next month: my mother, who will do all our laundry and get up with Max every morning, feed us, and make a lot of unnecessary impulse purchases on our behalf; my friend Ryan and his person, Jamie (what do I call him? Partner? Boyfriend? Lover? Husband? Ten years with a gay friend and I still am not sure what won't make everybody totally uncomfortable); and my in-laws, who...well, they'll probably drive me crazy, but whatever.

11. Fall cooking. Chili, Belgian beef stew with onions and beer, mushroom soup, chicken and homemade noodles...time to fire up the crock pot.

12. Tourist season is almost over. I have become such a Washingtonian; I am just filled with rage when I hear some boob from Kenosha telling her kids, "Look! There's the Lincoln Memorial. That's where Lincoln was shot!" It used to be funny, now I just wish they'd get out of my way.

13. There is just something about knowing that the hottest, most uncomfortable, most inconvenient season of the year is over, and things like Christmas, my birthday, and New Year's are coming. There's not a whole lot of anticipation for me in the spring, knowing it's about to get hot and uncomfortable and everything is about to be a whole lot more hassle. I am just a October-through-April kind of girl, I guess.

That's my Thursday Thirteen. Feel free to do your own, and link to me, or send me a link, or leave a link in the comments. Peace out.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

According to Dan: THIS...is American Idol.

Dan, talking about knowing your music career is over: "A John Denver tape costs $1.50. A blank tape is $1.75. When what you're producing actually causes the media to depreciate in value, it's time to think about a career change."

Monday, September 10, 2007

Six Years Ago

When the first plane hit the World Trade Center, I was eating an omelet with cheese and salsa in a restaurant on the east side of Kalamazoo.

I was recovering from being sick for several months, and my boyfriend at the time--let's just call him Clay, because that's his name and I don't give a fuck about protecting the innocent--was just starting a week of vacation. We'd gone to help his business partner out for a couple of hours that morning by making sure he had enough stock to get him through the week, and we stopped for breakfast at that restaurant that I can never remember the name of. It's open 24 hours and it's across the street from Denny's in Kalamazoo and it's got a green sign. That's all I can remember about it, except that I was there six years ago tomorrow, eating an omelet with cheese and salsa, when it started.

We were sitting in a booth, and one booth next to us was a man with a laptop and a cell phone and a newspaper. The waitress seemed to know him; she kept coming out and chatting with him. And then.

And. Then.

It wasn't a case of all hell breaking loose, like it would have if we'd lived here in D.C. at that point. The waitress mentioned to the man at the next booth that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center buildings.

I thought: Cessna.

Isn't it funny how you always remember where you were when something happened? For my Gran, it was World War II. My mother's 28th birthday was ruined by the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Would you believe that I remember the day that Ronald Reagan was shot? I was watching Woody Woodpecker in my grandfather's big recliner in their living room when the news broke in. I was maybe five.

I barely registered what that waitress said. Clay and I had an ongoiong battle over the car radio. I would usually rather not have listened to it at all than tolerate his truly abyssmal taste in music, but he thought that in his car, he should have the final word. On the drive home, he was struggling to find a radio station, and I was tuning out what I was hearing, reading the newspaper. Finally, he said, "I think the plane and World Trade Center thing might be a big deal. They keep saying things about terrorists."

"Terrorists attacked the World Trade Center years ago," I said. "That's like lightning striking twice."

By the time we got home and turned on the television, the second plane had hit. The Pentagon had been attacked. There was talk about the fourth flight going down in Pennsylvania, although confusion was the order of the day at this point and nobody really seemed to know what had happened.

Here's what I remember: I felt helpless. I felt sick. I wanted to call everybody I knew to make sure they were safe. I couldn't think of what else to do, so I went to church--some church downtown, maybe Presbyterian? They were having an interfaith prayer service. It was such a bright, sunny day. Everybody looked distraught: the clerks in the grocery store, people just driving along in their cars. There was less traffic on the streets. The internet stopped working.

Late in the afternoon, Clay and I took stock and realized that our friend Mick had called us Sunday night from Boston, telling us he planned to be back in L.A. on Tuesday afternoon. Mick and Clay had grown up together, and, ironically, Mick had gotten to be friends in college with my older half-brother, Tim. All we could think about were the flights out of Logan, and that Mick wasn't answering his cell phone. We were calling his mother, his sister, his other friends: Had they talked to him today?

No, they hadn't. Nobody had. He wasn't answering his cell phone. It wasn't until almost midnight that the phone finally rang. He had been scheduled to take the flight that hit the second building, but he'd overslept, missed his flight, accidentally packed his phone in his checked baggage, and by the time everything had happened, all the flights had been cancelled and he couldn't get his luggage back. He couldn't leave the airport.

In the next few days, I would go fishing with my parents, just to be able to be away from a television, and we would all notice how empty the sky looked without any jet trails. On Friday night, I would go to the bar with my friend Tara, who would find out the next morning that she was 16 weeks pregnant by her ex-boyfriend, who had given her large doses of sedatives and raped her while she was passed out. I would continue to cope with my spanking-new diagnosis of a chronic illness about which I was no longer feeling very good about saying "Why me?"

In the next year, I would get the worst job I ever had, one that would make me drink every night just so that I could face the thought of getting out of bed the next morning and going back. I would break up with Clay as it became increasingly clear that we were incompatible and had nothing to say to each other about anything, and life was just too fucking short. In an attempt to not starve to death as a temp in the floudering economy of that post-9/11 year, I would get a great job with a pharmaceutical company, which I would lose in the first round of cuts when the company I worked for was swallowed by a much larger pharmaceutical company whose name rhymes with Kaiser, and I would agree, reluctantly, to pick up some shifts for a friend of a friend, who was opening a restaurant and since I'd been to a restaurant, that made me qualified to manage one. Of course. The assistant manager of that restaurant was a know-it-all, condescending, loud, short, and a lousy speller. We did not see eye-to-eye, to say the least, particularly after I told him that despite the stupid service industry job, I was actually a very smart woman; what was his excuse?

I married him less than two years later. He is still a know-it-all, loud, short, and a lousy speller, and also the kindest, most generous, most loving man I know. Six years later, Tara--remember her? The one who got pregnant?--is due with her second child, this one a daughter. (ed. Tara's daughter Kaitlyn was born on the morning of September 11th. Everything really just seems to come around, doesn't it?) She lives in California and is married to a peach of a guy who adopted her son. The guy who got her pregnant? In prison. Mick, who missed his flight into the side of the World Trade Center: quit his job, left L.A., and got a job in technology in Portland, where he still lives and works. And Clay, my ex-boyfriend? He sells porn in Michigan. That is the punchline to this story, although to be fair, he sold porn in Michigan then too, owns half the business, and works very little and makes a lot of money--and he gets pretty much all the porn he wants for free, so good for him.

Tomorrow morning, I am going to get up early and make myself a Mexican omelet and white toast, exactly what I was eating when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. I do it every year. I realize that it's a weird way to commemorate a terrible day, but I do it because it was the end of what I think of as the terrible end of my old life, and the beginning of something new for me. Everything changed after September 11th, 2001, including me. This is how I remember.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

...And No, I Am Not Going To Have A Nice Day, You Putz.

The last twenty-four hours have seen the following for me and my family:

1. Explaining to my mother that our new house is not in a flood plain.

2. Dan's Back to School night--which involves working from 7:15 in the morning until 9:00 at night.

3. Me coming home from picking Max up at daycare to discover, inexplicably, that our electricity was off.

4. Me struggling through the voice prompt menu at Pepco to discover that our bill is paid and there is no reason for our power to be out, and yet, here I stand in the dark.

5. Me being told that our power would be turned back on "some time before 7 p.m. on Thursday."

6. Okay. Nothing to be done about it, once I'm done yelling at the Pepco representative (which, predictably, got me nowhere.) Put Max into his pajamas, go to school to pick up Dan from school.

7. Go to bed in the dark.

8. Wake up, still in the dark, stuck to my bed with sweat. What did people do before air conditioning?

9. Get ready for work/school/daycare, walk out the front door of our apartment, and hear Dan say these words to me: "Um...Where is our car?"

Yes indeed. Our car registration expires in July of 2008. That would be 07-08. Not August of 2007, or 08-07. Anybody think of any reasons why that might be an important distinction? Our car was towed. The cop who ordered the tow called me personally to apologize this afternoon, rather profusely. I don't think I called him a fat, lazy, ignorant pig-fucking moron or anything, but I really did think about it, and I feel quite certain I did not come across as friendly, or receptive. There will be no charges to get our car back, but nor will there be any reimbursement of my husband's cab ride to work, the car I rented to make sure that we would have some kind of transportation (by the way, if you're thinking of buying a Chevy Cobalt, don't frickin' bother), or the day of work that I missed, dealing with this unbelievable series of fiascos. Is fiascos a word? Fiasci?

This is really it. I just really am at the end of my frickin' rope in regards to ridiculous, unnecessary expenses, inconveniences, and things that make me feel and/or look like a giant mess. In the next 22 days, nothing...and I did just say NOTHING...is allowed to go wrong.

Do you hear me, internet? NOTHING!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Like A Week Without Sunshine, Or In Which Our Heroine Comes To A Startlingly Awful Realization

Over this long Labor Day weekend, Dan and I did nothing of interest at all. We did so because we have to scrape together more money in the next 23 days than we have ever spent at one time in our life, so our time this weekend was best spent scraping dimes out from between the couch cushions. ($.49 closer to closing. SCORE!)

Max is just over two. And he's good at it. He is awesome at being a toddler. And if you don't have kids, or they haven't reached toddlerhood, let me just say this...everything you've heard is true.

And someday soon, he is going to stop taking a nap.

That means over long three-day weekends, we will have no respite from this terrifying child from 6:45 in the morning (the time that the big man likes to start his day) until 8 at night.

Jesus H. Christ Eating A Sandwich, what am I going to do?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Jane, You Ignorant Slut.

So, when the sellers counter-offer included a change from a closing date of Halloween to September 28, what did I fail to consider when we agreed?

It wasn't that, in less than one month, we would be waking up in a home that we owned.

It wasn't that the house was priced at least $100,000 less than any of the other crime scenes, I mean houses, that we looked at, in a better neighborhood, and in better shape.

It wasn't that there was another offer on the house and that, were we to accept the counter-offer, time was of the essence.

It wasn't that, hey, I work for a homeownership development organization! Maybe I should buy a house.

I didn't forget any of that. I thought about all of it.

What did I forget?

That by pushing up the closing date by a month, we were in no way reducing any of our costs associated with buying a home.

Oh, and that we don't happen to have a spare $9000 sitting around to take to closing with us in less than a month. In two months, we could have pulled it together. In three and a half weeks: not so much.