Paper view


Well, the day has arrived, at long last! D has made it to Dallas! Yes, the one whose job switch started this whole grand adventure has finally deigned to come to the big city.

For a week, anyway. Then she’s back to Nashville for another couple of weeks.

We haven’t really been apart much, with all of my trips back to Nashville. But it’s good to have a conversation again that doesn’t involve at least one cellphone and subsequent shouts.

Me: “What? I can’t hear you! What? What?? Are you moving around? Quit moving around!”

D: “I’m not moving around!”

Me: “You must be! I can’t hear you! What? What’d you say?? Stop moving around! I hate your cell phone! Can’t you call me on the house phone? Dang. You sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher! Mwaaah mwah mwwah waahh waaa!”

D: Click!

So now we’re face to face again, thank goodness. Where we can share our deepest thoughts. Our giggles. Our feelings. The one couch in front of the lone TV. The single closet. The one tiny bathroom with one tiny sink. The handful of dresser drawers. The thermostat.

And the car! She flew in, so we only have the one vehicle. So today I dropped her off at school with her new school clothes and her little lunchbox. Oops, I mean, at her new job.  I had every intention of going back to pick her up right at 5 p.m., to hear all about her day and be the wonderful, supportive partner that I am.

Unfortunately, my day at work started out in a maddening tailspin full of crazy and insane, then it got bad. The crap whizzing by me today was kind of like sticking your head out of your sunroof at 160 mph. Whing! Disaster. Zippp! Problem. Swoosh! Chaos.

Soon it was late. Really late. D, being so sweet and good, didn’t mind being the only person left in a deserted forensic lab full of body parts and other icky stuff for hours, on her first day at work. Really, she didn’t.

Yesterday, we met with Mike the Mortgage Guy. I thought I’d already wrapped my little brain around the changes in lending laws since the housing collapse. I was wrong. So horribly wrong.

Now, instead of signing 3,459 forms until your hand cramps and falls off on closing day, you sign them when you apply for the loan. They are very, very important forms, full of very, very important data.

You affirm that you aren’t a terrorist. That the money for your house is gainfully earned by hard work, not from cooking meth in an RV like Jesse on “Breaking Bad.” That you never swiped a pack of gum at age 6 from the little store down the road from your house. That you are, indeed, willing to go through with the arm-and-a-leg surgery and give up your firstborn, if you have one. And that you are entitled to $1 off of a bag of Baked Lay’s.

Oops, wait, that one snuck in under the pile somehow. Nothing to do with the mortgage. Never mind.

Mike the Mortgage Guy is very nice and fun. We met at a Tex-Mex restaurant. He bought me an iced tea and D a beer before we begin. I thought that was very nice of him.

I soon realized it was a clever ploy to keep us from ripping the wrought-iron leg shaped like a branding iron off the chair and beating him about the head and ears with it.

MTMG: “Well, it’s been a few years since you guys bought a house, so a few things have changed.”

Me: “We imagine! We’ve heard about all of that housing collapse stuff. Awful.” (sip of iced tea)

D: “Can I have another beer?”

MTMG: “Well, let’s get going. First, I need a few forms filled out.”

Me: “Sure!” (sip, sip) “Man, this is good tea!”

MTMG: “Hey, Steve! Back it up over here!”

Steve’s truck: “Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!” Nrrrggghhhhhh, clang! Whoosh

Me: “Owwwww!”

MTMG: “Ooops, sorry. Didn’t mean to clip you with that first load.”

Me: “First load?”

D: “Can I have another beer?”

MTMG: “While you work on those, I need to ask a few questions.”

Me: “Uh, sure.”

D: “Can I have another beer?”

MTMG: “OK, Laurie, back in 1976, you spent $7.53 in cash that you’d saved from Christmas. What was that purchase?”

Me: “Oh, c’mon, don’t make me say!”

MTMG: “I’m sorry, but the lenders demand to know.”

Me: (sigh) “OK, OK. I bought Rod Stewart’s ‘A Night on the Town’ album.”

MTMG: “What’s an ‘album’?”

Me: “Arrrgh!”

D: “Can I have another beer?”

MTMG: “And also, Laurie, why would you think it was a good investment to buy a pair of neon-green-and-pink bowling shoes in 1984 for $14? Our records show that you only wore them once.”

Me: “Awww, c’mon, those were cool! They matched my shorts and Hyper-Color shirt. I looked good!”

MTMG: “And then, in 1994, you spent $75.21 on a coat. That kind of money for a coat?”

Me: “I was moving from the desert to Green Bay, Wisconsin! I didn’t have a coat! I needed a coat! Do you have any idea how freaking cold it gets in Green Bay, Wisconsin?”

MTMG: “Yes, but there was a blue coat on the third rack to the left that was only $59.95, and would have been fine, as long as you limited your time outdoors to less than two minutes at a pop and layered carefully underneath.”

Me: “Arrrrgh!”

MTMG: “And D, can you explain why your entire last four years’ worth of paychecks have been signed over directly to Bud’s Drive-Thru Barn O’ Suds?”

D: “Sure. But can I have another beer first?”

MTMG: “I’m sorry, but the lenders just think you’re too reckless with your money, even though you’re putting in a down payment of 98.74% on the house. I’m sorry. I’ll shred these 3,459 forms you just signed.”

Me: “Hrrmrph… must… get… wrought-iron… branding… iron… off… chair… leg….”

Me: “What? I can’t hear you! What? What?? Are you moving around? Quit moving around!”

D: “I’m not moving around!”

Me: “You must be! I can’t hear you! What? What’d you say?? Stop moving around! I hate your cell phone! Can’t you call me on the house phone? Dang. You sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher! Mwaaah mwah mwwah waahh waaa!”

D: Click!

So now we’re face to face again, thank goodness. Where we can share our deepest thoughts. Our giggles. Our feelings. The one couch in front of the lone TV. The single closet. The one tiny bathroom with one tiny sink. The handful of dresser drawers. The thermostat.

And the car! She flew in, so we only have the one vehicle. So today I dropped her off at school with her new school clothes and her little lunchbox. Oops, I mean, at her new job.  I had every intention of going back to pick her up right at 5 p.m., to hear all about her day and be the wonderful, supportive partner that I am.

Unfortunately, my day at work started out in a maddening tailspin full of crazy and insane, then it got bad. The crap whizzing by me today was kind of like sticking your head out of your sunroof at 160 mph. Whing! Disaster. Zippp! Problem. Swoosh! Chaos.

Soon it was late. Really late. D, being so sweet and good, didn’t mind being the only person left in a deserted forensic lab full of body parts and other icky stuff for hours on end, on her first day at work. Really, she didn’t.

This new routine necessitated a change in my path to work, of course. My GPS fun continues. Tonight it said, no lie, “Go left, then right, then left.” All of this at the same time, as I was streaking northward on I-35. Since I am so darned good at taking direction, I immediately went left, then right, then left, all at the same time. This resulted in me screeching sideways in a cloud of burned rubber into a tiny space between a 1972 Ford F-150 with no tailgate and 4,356 limbs in the bed and a red Mini Cooper with big, fat white racing stripes that were way too macho for it.

I waved, of course. “Sorry! So sorry! Tennessee plate! Sorry!” I was so happy to see that they waved back. With part of their hand, but that counts, right?

One thing I’ve noticed, if one can notice something that’s not there, is the lack of big trucks on Dallas roads. I saw one today, and it was weird. In Nashville, 18-wheelers are everywhere. Some days driving to Vanderbilt, I wouldn’t see daylight for the whole trip. When I had the top down, I’d show up at the hospital with big black raccoon circles around my eyes and grit in my teeth from the diesel particulates. Here, they must go around the city or something, because they’re few and far between. I have to say, even though traffic’s heavier here much of the time, it moves better because of that.

Yesterday, we met with Mike the Mortgage Guy. I thought I’d already wrapped my little brain around the changes in lending laws since the housing collapse. I was wrong. So horribly, terribly, painfully wrong.

Now, instead of signing 3,459 forms until your hand cramps and falls off on closing day, you sign them when you apply for the loan. They are very, very important forms, full of very, very important data.

You affirm that you aren’t a terrorist. That the money for your house is gainfully earned by hard work, not from cooking meth in an RV like Jesse on “Breaking Bad.” That you never swiped a pack of gum at age 6 from the little store down the road from your house. That you are, indeed, willing to go through with the arm-and-a-leg surgery and give up your firstborn, if you have one. And that you are entitled to $1 off of a bag of Baked Lay’s.

Oops, wait, that one snuck in under the pile somehow. Nothing to do with the mortgage. Never mind.

Mike the Mortgage Guy is very nice. We met at a Tex-Mex restaurant. He bought me an iced tea and D a beer before we begin. I thought that was very nice of him.

I soon realized it was a clever ploy to engage our southern sensibilities, so we wouldn’t rip the wrought-iron leg shaped like a branding iron off the chair and beat him about the head and ears with it.

MTMG: “Well, it’s been a few years since you guys bought a house, so a few things have changed.”

Me: “We imagine! We’ve heard about all of that housing collapse stuff. Awful.” (sip of iced tea)

D: “Can I have another beer?”

MTMG: “Well, let’s get going. Fist, I need a few forms filled out.”

Me: “Sure!” (sip, sip) “Man, this is good tea!”

MTMG: “Hey, Steve! Back it up over here!”

Steve’s truck: “Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!” Nrrrggghhhhhh, clang! Whoosh

Me: “Owwwww!”

MTMG: “Ooops, sorry. Didn’t mean to clip you with that first load.”

Me: “First load?”

D: “Can I have another beer?”

MTMG: “While you work on those, I need to ask a few questions, if that’s OK.”

Me: “Uh, sure.”

D: “Can I have another beer?”

MTMG: “Laurie, back in 1977, you spent $7.53 in cash that you’d saved from Christmas. What was that purchase?”

Me: “That was

About wordsmith1313

Now: Somewhat retired, although I don't do it very well. Formerly senior director of Communications and Marketing for the Dallas Zoo. Journalist. EMT. Writer. Breast cancer survivor. I love to travel, and will always return from a trip with a new friend or two. Those fortuitous meetings bring velvet to the rough edges of life.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Paper view

  1. Thayer says:

    As usual, your story-telling abilities are in high gear. Have any pics yet? Maybe even an address? Love you both. XXOO

  2. Linda ZB says:

    Thanks a lot, Holloway – now I’m craving a beer.

  3. Nancy Humphrey says:

    I thought everybody down there wore big cowboy hats — who knew?!
    I like your style, by the way.
    Nancy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s