Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A-B-C. Always. Be. Closing

So here’s a piece of news. I am now a homeowner.

I have been keeping this huge revelation a secret from you blog readers because as you may or may not know I am a highly superstitious woman and though I have been consumed with financing, appraising, title clearing and the like, I haven’t wanted to leak a word for fear it would cause the whole precarious deal to fall though.

But now I am have the keys, and have moved in my wedding china (that terrifically essential part of our life that has been used twice in five years) and I think I can say with assurance that that glorious one bedroom is mine, all mine. Well, mine and David’s and Seconda’s and Primo’s.

Yes, it may be surprising to hear that with two children, we opted to buy a one bedroom rather than a two or three bedroom but beggars can’t be choosers and freelance writers and literary fiction writers/ secretaries are definitely beggars.

It’s a LARGE one bedroom, I tell people to get the look of shock off their faces, larger even than the two bedroom we are in now. By about 90 square feet. Sure, the total size of our apartment equals the size of the living and dining room in my sister-in-law’s sprawling home in Tennessee. But this is New York, baby, and I wouldn’t care if you offered me the deed to the Taj Mahal – I’m not leaving. I’m not even leaving the Slope. How could I continue Slope blogging otherwise? How could I persist in complaining of santimommies and ice cream fascists and aggravating dads who let their kids piss in the sprinklers? So no need to bid me adieu. I’m staying right where I am. I’m just moving on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky.

And, incidentally, my grandmother will be moving on up herself, up up up to live five floors above us. In the very same apartment building.

Kind of a wild turn of events but my grandmother had to move our of her place, where she’s been for over 35 years, since her landlord graciously hiked up the rent 30% overnight, in the middle of the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Classy move. My grandmother has no legal recourse for a number of reasons and besides, she’s getting on, as they say, and doesn’t need to deal with a walkup at her age. So it was that my parents began searching for a place for her – so that she too could be a homeowner, because it’s never too late to get into the real estate game, and they wanted her close to one of us, and bingo! It just so happened that there were two apartments remaining in this newly-finished building, one for me, and one for my Nonnie.

She has a balcony with a view of the grassy park and play area behind the building, she has granite countertops, stainless steel fridge, a gym in the building and a doorman. She has hardwood floors. For the first time in nearly thirty decades, my grandmother has a dishwasher. A dishwasher, for God’s sake. You’d think she’d be happier than a pig in clover or my mother on no sales tax day. But when people tell her how great it is that she is buying a place and moving close to me, she actually snorts.

“Oh, yes, really great!” she snickers, “It’s very small, there are no places to buy vegetables and you ask me -- too expensive. I like my Brooklyn.”

But despite her notable lack of enthusiasm, we’re all moving forward, into a brave new world of home-ownership and, one can only assume, co-dependence.

These are the parts of the equation I try not to think about too much, though. Instead focus on just how much Ikea shit I can afford to fill the house with because I don’t know what they pump into the air in those stores, but once I enter Ikea, I feel calm and happy and desperately in need of everything they are selling. Some people might buy nice furniture from designer places or even Crate and Barrel or Pottery Barn, but for us, purchasing furniture from Ikea is a step up, because up to this point, we’ve just been using every mismatched hand-me-down anyone has ever thought to offload on us and our house looks like a college dorm room in which lawless toddler and preschoolers are squatting.

And so dear readers, forgive me if I lag in my blogging responsibilities this week – it is only because I’ll be wrapping dishes in newspaper and sealing boxes like its closing time.