Today was the day that I sat opposite a lawyer and signed my life away while listening to him explain the vast amount of paper work that it apparently takes to buy a house. The file was two inches thick. And the dotted lines on which I signed were myriad. I’m sure the file was a half pound heavier with ink by the time he announced that I was done. He had no idea!
I was done.
As I tried to make sense of all the information that seemed only to hover near my little grey cells without actually penetrating them I felt myself shutting down and zoning out. I had to work really, really hard to appear engaged and somewhat coherent. I think I passed for at least a semi-intelligent woman. I can’t be sure. I may very well have left the impression of a bobble head nodding incessantly through the legal-eze that he was striving to dummy down for my benefit.
I think the zoning out started when he began encouraging me to go after half the equity in the trailer. I could see the dollar signs in his eyes as he told me how happy he would be to represent me in the pursuit of my legal rights. When I asked him why I would want to foster needless animosity for what would amount to a fat fee for him, he looked at me like I had two heads. “You’re entitled to it,” he said. Can’t quite work out the logistics of that one. Can you?
I left his office feeling somewhat overwhelmed, but lucid enough to make my way to the post office to arrange for a new mail box. While the mail box was free, I had to fork over $47 to have my mail forwarded for the next six months. I inquired if there was a cheaper, shorter term and was cheerfully discouraged from opting for the $36, three-month alternative. I was informed that if any mail was addressed to both the Lord of the Manor and me, it would be delivered to the address of the first person named on the envelope. I was then asked to sign for the mail box and handed a shiny set of keys with which to open it. Cue the meltdown.
I took the keys, thanked the cheerful post office clerk and hustled past the line up behind me and out the door before the full onslaught of the meltdown hit. All I could do was sit in the van and cry. And cry. And cry.
Out of the blue it occurred to me that I had forgotten to buy a can opener. Suddenly it was urgent that I get one and so I blew my nose, wiped away my tears and drove to the hardware store where I purchased, not only a can opener, but a set of measuring cups and an airbed. I don’t really need an air bed. I didn’t need the measuring cups either, having already bought a set earlier in the day. What I should have bought was some glasses and salt and pepper shakers. I have neither. Oh, well. Tomorrow is another day and by then, I’m sure, I will have thought of several other things that I need. Like bath mats and door mats and a boot tray. I’m beginning to see why young women want to get married; the gifts considerably reduce the cost of setting up house.
I anticipate further meltdowns in the coming days. (Note to self: add a case of Kleenex to grocery list!)
I get the keys to the house in the morning. My house. My very own house.