Friday, August 20, 2004

A Pound of Flesh

Some friends and I were having brunch at Eastern Market the other day, so we decided to do a little bit of flea market shopping when we were done. We walked around for a bit (I was going to buy a nice framed set of old-style Chinese coins, but the frame was terribly nicked), then happened to wander past a real estate office.

They had copied and put out a list of all the open houses taking place that day. On a lark, we decided we would go check out the ones close to the neighborhood.

I've been hankering to buy a new place for a while now. My current place feels so tiny. And, I am a master at accumulating junk. I want something bigger. I want something more "adult." I want a house house.

The first house we checked out was decent. It was a two-story townhouse, 3 bedrooms upstairs, living room, and kitchen. There was even a basement apartment complete with certificate of occupancy and separate entrance... mortgage offset! The upstairs was rather poorly laid out, though, for two of the three bedrooms were ridiculously small, and really usable only for children.

The basement apartment was occupied by a man named Jake. Undoubtedly, he was a Hill intern. He had framed pictures on the walls of him with various Republican bigwigs. It was sick. (Kidding!) The apartment was really well laid out... cute, not too cramped. And he had one of those microshavers (you know, the kind for "sensitive" areas that you can use on a balloon and still not pop it). My friend Elizabeth dragged us out of there when she realized that we were learning more about the occupant than about the apartment.

Not that any of us were really terribly serious about buying anyway.

The second place we saw was another two-story with basement. The basement contained a washer/dryer and what was charmingly described as an "in-law suite" or "au pair suite." (Yes, that's right, I'm planning on hiring an au pair when I move to a new place. You know, to take care of my nonexistent kids.) The backyard was expansive and great for entertaining! Hibachi heaven! The living room was large and included a fireplace, there was a separate dining room, and a rather large kitchen (lots of counter space!) with a dine-in area there as well! All this for only $640,000.

Man, I need to make more money, or move to a cheaper city.

So, my pound of flesh. In the bedroom on the second floor, there was one of those crawl spaces you get to by pulling down a ladder otherwise recessed into the ceiling. Unable to resist, I pulled the string down to reveal the ladder, and the rather completely uninspiring crawl space above. I didn't feel like crawling up the ladder, so I figured I'd push the ladder back up. Woah, strong springs! The ladder proceeded to retract back into the ceiling with alarming force, and with my fingers still captured in the string, well....

I pulled the better part of my left pinky nail off.

I didn't realize that the pain I felt was actually more than just pain until we got outside. I discreetly asked for a tissue or something to cover my bleeding finger. Of course, I tried to be discreet, but my friends noticed. I had to eventually make my way to a Starbucks and ask for a cup of ice to numb my finger.

My finger's not hurting as much now. It only hurts when I accidentally directly touch the area that was erstwhile covered by the nail. But I will note that it's an absolute bitch to type when you can't type "a", "q" "z" or the capital letters of anything on your right hand without moving your left hand off the home keys.

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