Escrow Sucks

[Bart and Lisa have come up with a song to help Marge study for her realtor’s license and are singing it to Homer]
Bart, Lisa, and Marge: On the closing day, the escrow agents pay Taxes, liens and interest too, thanks to Fannie Mae
Bart: They back your bank
Homer: You’re all nuts. –The Simpsons

One of my readers once told me house hunting sucks, but house buying is wonderful. I would have to say that escrow also sucks. I had this beautiful post all written up for Friday, about how it was 11.11.11 and how it was a lucky day, and how it was so fitting that I would get the keys and close escrow on this lucky day. Well…my title company sucks the big one and even though our loan funded Thursday, in the morning, and our realtor and loan officer was sure we’d get the keys that day, we didn’t get possession of the house because title didn’t record it. Even though they had ALL DAY.  We get the keys Monday morning which is still exciting, but we could have had them yesterday. Which meant Match would have had work off and we would have had all weekend to get moved in. Instead we are stuck looking at this scene for another couple of days.

On a happier note, we decided to spring for movers. Match works all week and wouldn’t be able to help move until next week. We also seem to have a depressingly low number of friends willing to help us move. In fact only Sassy Guy said yes! And he lives the furthest away! So I said to hell with it, we’re getting movers so we can get it done on Tuesday. I think it’s worth the money, considering we’ll get a refund from our landlord for leaving early, since his daughter is moving in and is anxious to do so. Plus we don’t have to break our backs moving everything ourselves like we’ve done in the past.

I’ll be sad that Match won’t be there with me when I go pick up the keys, or the first time I walk in the home as the official owner. But he promised that when he does get there, he’s going to take me outside and then carry me over the threshold, proper married style!

My First Volunteer Shift at the Nursery

Lisa: (tugging at Homer’s hand) I’ll do it! I’ll babysit!
Ned: I dunno, Lisa. You’re awfully young and the boys can be quite a handful. Todd’s been pinching everyone lately! –The Simpsons

Yesterday I had my first volunteer shift at the crisis nursery. It’s not like a daycare, and it’s also not for wards of the state. The families bring their children there voluntarily. The kids stay for a minimum of 24 hours while the parents sort their lives out. For some parents, it’s a once a month break when they have no other family or friends to watch the kids and they are on the verge of a breakdown themselves. For others, it’s because a parent needs to through rehab. There are children of recovering addicts, nearly homeless, very poor families and more.

My job as a volunteer was simply to play with the kids and assist the staff members. I was pretty nervous since it was my first day and I wasn’t sure what to expect. There were two staff members working in the kitchen, and two other volunteers on the playground with the little ones. The staffers were kind of grouchy, which I could understand. They have a tough job and it’s tiring. At the same time, they gave me only limited instruction and I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. The training I received was mostly, here are the exit signs and emergency routes to take. There wasn’t any lesson on how to deal with children, like if they need help going potty, or if they have a tantrum. So I walked onto the playground a little bit freaked out. I don’t have a lot of experience with children other than brief encounters with my friends’ kids and my family members. It’s been at least 2 years since I last babysat, and that was just one baby, not a roomful.

So the volunteers were grouchy, but hopefully as they get to know me they’ll warm up, and as I learn what to do they will like me. I could tell they were annoyed with having to teach someone new which was a shame since I was there to give my time. I got the impression that they also thought I was a lot younger than I am, probably because I look like I’m about 18. 😉 The volunteers were really sweet and helped me learn the ropes which I’m grateful for.

The best part about my first shift was playing outside with the kids. This sweet little boy of about 2 came toddling up to me, grabbed my hand and led me off on an adventure, looking for “ant houses”. Then we played a pretend game where he was a little pig and kept oinking. Then he was a monster and we played hide and seek in one of the playhouses. I think my favorite was when he grabbed a basketball and placed it in the bushes and whispered to me, “It’s a dinosaur egg”. Oh how I loved his imagination!

Later in the day a sweet little girl with braids in her hair came up to me and just simply asked for a hug. Her little brother was also super cuddly. My ovaries hurt with the cuteness factor of these little ones.

Not that it was all sunshine and roses. There was a little girl in the group that the staffers and volunteers said was quite a “handful”. This was putting it mildly. I think she learned the manipulation skill at a very early age and boy did she use it! She convinced the volunteers that she had to go potty, and poor unsuspecting me, I took her. The minute we got into the nursery she went running over to the tissue box and just started flinging the tissue on the ground and laughing. She said she didn’t have to potty. Turns out she just wanted to be inside. Later during nap time she refused to lie down and rest and instead pouted and loudly screamed that she didn’t like the book I was reading. I ended up having to get help from a staff person.

My heart is sad for that little girl because I could tell she was acting out because of her situation. I can’t imagine that it’s easy for a toddler to be in such a different environment. I don’t know what’s going on at home but I can bet she’s not getting enough attention, so she seeks it out any way she can, even negative attention. I think it was good for me to be exposed to this kind of behavior, because I know even the sweetest children will have their handful moments.

All and all it was a great experience, and I’m sure next week will be even better. I just felt awkward and unsure of myself because I don’t know all the rules yet, and my experience with children is so limited. I wasn’t sure how much I could say no, or if I was allowed to leave Handful alone for a minute to get help from staff members. I’m sure as I learn the ropes I’ll get more confidence. And hopefully the staff will have more confidence in me.

Being a Part of the Group

Bart: Dad can I have some wine? All the other kids are doing it! (Camera cuts to a French baby drinking from a bottle of wine)
Homer: Sorry son. You’re an American kid. You have to get your booze from an older creep hanging outside the liquor store. –The Simpsons

Friday night Match and I went over to Old Married Couple’s house a quiet dinner, that turned out to be one of the most fun times we’ve had with them. Between the four of us, we somehow managed to drink six and a half bottles of wine! Continue reading Being a Part of the Group

Marriage-An Outdated Institution?

Lisa: I wonder why Mom and Dad are doing marriage counseling. If you listen closely, you can here them arguing now. (they then listen closely)
Homer (in distance): And I say a monkey can mow our lawn! –The Simpsons

Coast Sister sent me this link to an article, written by a bitter divorcee, and it got me so fired up I had to blog about it. The article, written by Sandra Tsing Loh, basically denounces marriage as outdated and useless in today’s world.

I think what bothers me the most is how Sandra feels it’s not worth it to work on a relationship. When you’ve been together with someone for a long time, you have to make time for each other, reignite that spark. It’s work, but anything worthwhile is going to take a little effort.

On the one hand, I do think that there are times divorce is necessary. I’m a child of divorce, and I can tell you, had my parents stayed together I would have been begging for them to separate. But before it comes to that big D, you have to try to make things work. In the article Sandra talks about her girlfriend who is also contemplating divorce. She says her husband won’t sleep with her anymore because she’s gained so much weight. She binge eats because he won’t sleep with her. Both husband and wife should have started communicating when this first happened. Go to counseling, figure out the problem, seek a solution. Don’t just stick your head in the sand, shrug and say, this is my life and it sucks.  You break out the Kettlebell and start working out, if nothing to feel better about yourself. Then you communicate with your husband and say the reasons you’ve gained weight is because you don’t feel wanted anymore. You talk to each other, what a novel concept!

Match and I discussed it and we both agree that divorce should be the very last resort. It just bothers me that in some ways our society is so throw away, so disposable. Even marriage to some people isn’t “til death do us part”. Instead it has become, “until it becomes inconvenient”. I think this attitude roles over into work ethic, parenting, et cetera. It’s just a bad way of thinking in general.

I know that when it comes my time to say I do, I will make sure I know my partner, and know that we will work. It’s not a decision I will take lightly, because I don’t want to end up in that percentale of the divorced and bitter. So what about you readers? Do you believe in marriage?