(For some reason, this post will not format correctly in paragraphs. Hence the dashes. Best I could do.)
—-It probably could only happen to me, right? A hurricane ON THE DAY I’m supposed to close on my house? In very, very late October? A perfect storm, to be more precise, of a hurricane and two other major weather systems merging forces and smacking almost the entire East Coast. And it’s the second time in my life that a hurricane will screw up a move; my family was trying to transplant from outside Allentown, PA to Indianapolis in September 1985 when Hurricane Gloria showed up. The movers called and told my mother they weren’t coming, ant which point she sat down on a box and cried because Dad was already in Indy and she was home by herself without power, food or belongings, with three kids ages 8, 6 and 4.
—-Fresh from my therapist’s office where I’d just gotten myself together post-Jack conversation, I spoke to Hottie McHousehunter because I was curious about what happens when you have a hurricane the day you’re supposed to close on a house. He said that “if” the storm hits Tuesday (which is precious, because there’s no “if”), we won’t close. We’ll extend the contract, and a few days after the storm, we’ll do another inspection to make sure there was no damage. If there was, the seller makes the repairs and then we close. Basically, real estate transactions are frozen when there’s a monster storm looming, so even if the brunt hits before Tuesday, there’s still an excellent chance of delay.
—-Well, that’s all very rational. Except I don’t have time for that. Projecdts at work ramp up in November, which means I am not allowed to take any time off. In fact, it usually means we work more. I was already doing this transaction, painting and moving without any time other than my usual days off, and with this storm and other professional events, there’s no guarnatee I’ll get those. The movers were booked for a usual day off, about a week after closing, ensuring that there was enough time to paint and let it dry. My father and his older brother were planning to come on Halloween to paint while I’m working, and then I’d finish up on my days off following. Dad and my uncle are both retired, so scheduling doesn’t matter much to them, but Dad can’t come after Nov. 2 because he and Mom will have Twin Nephs while Sister 1 and BIL 1 are on a cruiser for a week.
—-You see, this was all very precisely engineered.
—-And now there’s a Frankenstorm.
—-Unbelievable. I mean I know the hurricane did not form because of me and my alleged plans, but you have to give me the fact that it’s completely unbelievable.
—-I’m surrounded by boxes, by the way. I basically live in a fort I built out of boxes at this point. I packed up all my comfort movies. Why did I do that?
—-And adding insult to inury, I don’t even get George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg.
—-And – *political aside* – the storm is going to screw up the election. How? Early voting. Places that don’t have power won’t be able to function.
—-Sandy is rude.
—-So all of this was going through my head as Hottie McHousehunter was telling me the very rational response to my “what happens when you’re supposed to close during a hurricane” question. Suddenly his matter-of-fact tone of voice changed, softened, and said, “Don’t stress out about it. I can hear it in your voice that you’re stressing out about it.”
—-More accurately, I was starting to cry, like a total girl. I blame at least half of this on the fact that I was still a little tender from the therapy appointment. But I got it together and explained that, yes, I was stressing out about the house, but mostly it was because of the hair-trigger schedule I was working under.
—-Score one for steely resolve, since what I actually wanted to say was, “Hold me.”
—-I’m well aware that, eventually, I will close on this house, and eventually, I will move into it. There’s nothing I can do about this unbelievably poorly-timed but very well-organized storm that is threatening not only me and my life, but those of millions of other people, some of whom might have also been planning a move. On balance, I’m not so badly off.
—-Still, I’m really annoyed.
—-But,working on the now tenuous schedule, I went to Lowe’s and bought the paint and supplies yesterday. Six gallons in my trunk right now: Rich Mahogany, Beehive, Meadowlands, Dark Granite, Jazz Club and Cobblestones, all ready to turn my house into my home.
—-If Dad and my uncle wind up unavaialable, I’ll have to see if Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle are free. Yes, Peter Boyle is dead, but it’s going to be Halloween.
(In case you’re wondering, the title of this post is a reference to Bruce Springsteen’s “4th Of July Asbury Park,” aka “Sandy.” I found it appropriate, since Sandy is going to kill New Jersey.)