Monday, November 6, 2006

Fear and Loathing in DIY (II of III)

It has certainly been a long road from wanting to somehow get in the witness protection program to owning the house I grew up in. Sometimes I am not sure how I got here. I vividly remember the day I signed the paperwork at my closing six months ago. I looked across the table at my lawyer, who it turns out is one of the most truly kind and nurturing people I have ever met and said "I must have a secret drug problem no one has the heart to tell me about." She chuckled knowingly since she has been through many closings with many people in many different circumstances. I think everybody feels eviscerated at closing. It was a long and difficult process for me to buy the house. Getting a mortgage was very difficult for me. In retrospect mostly because I second guessed myself, and had no experience with getting one.

I needed to use a mortgage broker since I needed to finagle a lot. I could not go to a bank since they charge you up front for the loan application, and then may refuse you. Being the white sheep of my family full of black sheep I long since rebelled by having freakishly good credit. Most people do something they maybe should have thought out better in the throes of grief. I had made the mistake of impulsively and recently changing jobs. This makes you look like a bad credit risk. I am not a bad risk in any situation. For all the literal blood sweat and tears I put into deciding to buy the house, and knew I would have to put into the house for years to come, you bet your sweet ass I knew what I was doing and was hell bent on the commitment. I felt the mortgage broker was unscrupulous, but dismissed it as first time homebuyer jitters. I should have paid attention to what my parents called my innate asshole detector, and gotten a different broker. So, I consequently have an adjustable rate mortgage which loosely translated means "bend over bitch, and we ain’t even gonna kiss ya!"

My parents’ wills were identical. They left everything to each other, and in the event the other predeceased them, they each left everything to me and my younger sister. My parents told me many reasons why they made this decision. My parents told me they had shared this decision with all my siblings. Ooh, those geezers were lying bastards! They did not tell my siblings what they had decided. Which in retrospect explains why they all kept telling me what they wanted, and that I had to give it them right away. Seriously, based on the life of our family until the day our parents died, what the fuck did they all expect? Even though my parents apparently only discussed this at length with me, each other, and the attorney who drew up their wills, no one but my siblings was surprised by their decisions, or to leave me responsible to carry out their wishes. And I got tell my siblings. Have you ever seen someone in the cemetery pacing and yelling and gesticulating at the ground? That was me, yelling at my naughty old people who left me here alone with my siblings without their intercession.

The aforementioned kind and nurturing lawyer had a hell of a lot of fun, sarcasm intended, on her hands dealing with the siblings. She and the probate judge spent a lot of quality time together. They discussed lots of things like explaining to my siblings that yes I am in charge, yes everything I am doing is legal, and yes my parents really meant it. Yes I can tell them no, and yes I really do have to wait to pay all the bills before I give anybody, including myself, anything. This really sucked, to be dragged into court by my family. To be accused of killing my father by the most insane and delusional of my siblings. Apparently I must have done it with my psychic powers since he was alone at the time. To have no help from my family with sorting through my parents belongings and affairs. To have to fight tooth and nail for everything. To have to take my sister, my co beneficiary, who I love dearly, to a meeting with the attorney to explain to her that in spite of any moral obligation I may feel to her I had exhausted all other options and was now legally required to evict her from my parents home where she had been a non paying, irresponsible, property damaging tenant from hell.

There has not been one day that has gone by since my parents died that I have not had to deal with some painful and insane situation with one or more of my siblings. Truth be told there was not one day before my parents died either. I am grateful to an extent that cannot be expressed in any language known to the human race for the people in my life who love and care for me. I am grateful for my friends, who have stayed up with me through long sleepless nights. Who have climbed into the attic of the rickety garage, who have crawled through the rodents in the basement, who have helped me in every way I had the strength to let them. I am grateful for my neighbors who lend me tools, and teach me how to use them, and watch over me kindly, and generously. I am grateful for all the wonderful and kind people who have come into my life in the past two years.

I am grateful that almost a year to the day of when my father died, I did not hurt anyone but myself. I did not hurt myself anywhere near as much as I could have, when I was driving my car, hysterically crying on my lunch hour, trying to figure out how I could get in the witness protection program. I rear ended a Mercedes that I could not even see, at forty miles per hour. I am grateful all I have is a little scar on one arm from the air bag. I am grateful I had ass kickingly good insurance. I am grateful I hit a nice lady with a nice husband and nice son who came to help her. I am grateful to the nice police man who came and found two smashed up cars and two women hugging each other and checking each other for blood and broken bones when he arrived. I am grateful I took the whole experience as a message from the universe to slow the hell down and go to a shrink to figure out what I wanted to do about this damn house and everything in it.

No comments: