Saturday, May 3, 2008

I have to develop a callous (first I have to grow some skin!)

I went to my bank this afternoon to have money taken from my savings account and turned into a bank check in the amount of my down payment.

I was at the radio station this morning getting ready to leave and do that very thing and I started feeling shaky just thinking about it. I was having a bit of anxiety and ended up talking about it with my buddy Jeff. We talk every Saturday after my radio show for a little bit. He's on the air right after me at our sister station. It's funny how we've made friends just from talking casually for about 10 minutes every Saturday.

Anyway, I was saying to Jeff that I knew I'd be a little anxious about all the house-buying bullshit because I'm an anxious person in general, but I was surprised to be freaking out just giving a person a check. It's just that it's so much money. And it's not that much money in the grand scheme of things. But it took me SO LONG to save - I've been saving for damned near forever - and even though I have been saving for this very purpose, handing a sizable check to someone is a big deal.

He totally agreed with me, which was helpful.

I went to the bank and asked for a bank check. I told the teller that I was buying my first house and I was freaking out a little. Turns out she's buying her first house too, so she had the empathy. I had to fill out a form with all the information about the bank check, and as I was signing the paper, I thought, "Jesus Christ, I'm going to start crying."

She started entering everything in to the computer to get the check going. She double-checked spelling and made sure everything was right. The longer I stood there, the more my eyes filled up. I was in a total state of panic.

I was thinking about thousands of things about the house, but mostly I was thinking about how much money it is.

Of all the things I worry about, money is probably number one. I'm wired to worry about money. I cannot escape worrying about money to matter how hard I try - even when I have plenty of money. You can imagine my state of mind getting this check cut.

Up until this point, I kept my tears in my eyes, but when the teller walked over to get the check off the printer, it was basically over. I was crying; tears flowed in earnest.

She put the check in an envelope and handed it to me and I could hardly thank her for the tears. She smiled at me and said, "Good luck, Jen."

(Aside: I go to one of those banks that insists on calling you by name, but they want it to seem familiar and friendly, so they shorten your name into a nickname no one calls you.)

I gurgled something back to her and ran out to the car and cried out loud for a few minutes. Then I drove over to Margaret and Jeremy's and cried at their kitchen table.

Margaret said that from now on everything is going to cost a thousand dollars or some multiple of a thousand dollars and I'll need to develop a callous to it or I'm going to lose my mind. I know she's right. I just don't know how I'll afford anything ever again.

How am I going to make it through the closing without panicking and crying out loud?

I'm just not going to. I've met myself a few times and I know myself well enough to know that I'm going to panic and weep through every part of this process.

Here's the balm for my weary soul: I'm not just spending this down payment money. It's an investment. This house is a great bargain. I'm in an excellent position. I'm doing the right thing.

As Jeff said to me while I was coming undone at the station, "Deep cleansing breaths, Jennifer. Deep cleansing breaths."

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2 Comments:

Blogger Kathleen said...

Dear Love,

It's at times like these that some people turn to unfiltered tobacco to calm their angst.

Get yourself a Tiparillo and relax in a giant cloud of stinking smoke.

Since you know you are going to sob, gasp, and snort at your closing, be sure to videotape the faces of the other people around the table. I wish I could be there.

Yours in homeownership, kkkkkkkk

May 3, 2008 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger Nancy Little said...

Jennifer - here's some more unsolicited advice: you need Rescue Remedy (natural stress relief) to get yourself through all this house-buying business. It even comes in the form of pastilles (like lozenges) and is far less conspicuous than than standard liquid form (which you use a dropper to dispense a few drops under your tongue - can't exactly do that when you're supposed to be signing your life away...). Good Luck!

May 4, 2008 at 9:45 PM  

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