Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Come Get Me When It's Over

The only thing more stressful than buying a house and moving, is attempting to maneuver your way through a Trader Joe’s parking lot on a weekday at 5:00 pm. 
We have until August 15 to be out of our rental.  We have until August 15 to transform a
"70’s interior huge mistake" into a diamond.
Almost 9 years ago, I remember when my partner told me she had the perfect new ‘home’ for me; that I just needed to “keep an open mind and look at the potential.”  She drove me out the 156, past rows of evangelical churches tucked back in weed fields, dilapidated barns and sparsely placed houses, each with 30 foot poles boasting American flags in their front yards, to a place called Prunedale. 
But that wasn’t the worst of it.  As we turned up a steep incline off the ‘main drag’,
I saw the sign that would soon become the story of my life for the next almost 8 years:
                                                   “Summerhill Mobile Home Park” 
Now you can say it, spell it, dream it anyway you damn well please, but it still comes out
“Trailer Park”  and when I saw that Fleetwood (single-wide) I about shit.
                                                    Fleetwood model that wasn't ours.
My partner, the eternal optimist and queen of calm, who balances life like a tightrope walker balances the wire, persuaded me to take my hands off her throat and at least get out of the car and walk around the pavement with her.  She used her hands a lot to describe lush gardens, Zen-like walkways and hidden “designated areas” that she was going to create all around this piece of crap, and all for me. When we later got the keys and went inside, again, she gave me a full-on, detailed artistic description of how she/we could transform each room into a Buddhist sanctuary of warm colors, harmonious specifications and modern appeal.  Then she had the nerve to say, “YOU have such a knack at creating something beautiful out of something ugly.”
HA!  That reminded me of the time 30 years ago, when my friend, who was just learning to cut and dye hair at the time, left me with a head the color and texture of a bowl of cooked Top Ramen and she said, “If anyone can wear it, YOU can.” 

There is actually a list of 30 reasons why one should buy a Fleetwood Prefab.
I, however, am also happy to supply you with my own personal list of 150+ reasons why one should not buy a f@*king Fleetwood Prefab. 

We moved in that next month and the rest IS history; a 7+ year history as Trailer Park Manager and Queen of the Ever-Flowing Septics.
                                                  Summer Hill Park Trailer Park Manager
Last week, however we signed our lives away, and purchased a new home (complete with a foundation) and I couldn’t be more elated and more overwhelmed.
I’d like to run away right now; drift to a fluffy cloud, lie down for the next four weeks, and suck on a giant Valium Popsicle. Just come get me when it's all over; when the swan wallpaper has been
removed from the bedroom wall, the American flag contact paper ripped out of the bathroom drawers, the purple, apricot and canary yellow walls have all been re-painted and the sheer, butterfly curtains burned.
You see it’s far more complicated than just packing and boxing up the pots and pans. It requires far more than simply lifting heavy furniture and scrubbing grout…
It’s hearing my sweetie’s voice once again say, “Keep an open mind and look at the potential.  
YOU can make this place the poster child for Dwell magazine.”
It’s nice when someone believes in you.
And, I acknowledge that beauty does exist and often times, exists in hidden crevasses, unrecognizable at first glance.  I see it all around me and I suppose I see it in this new place that
I hope to call my “forever home.”  You see, I wanna grow disgustingly old here.
And when I die, I want my sweetheart, my pals, my family, my acquaintances, my neighbors,
the strangers I’ve learned to appreciate...I want y’all to throw a crazy, wild party and throw my ashes off the back deck while Stevie Nicks belts out “Landslide” from the living room.
Hell, yes!  Invite her too!  Basically, what I’m sayin y’all is “I AIN’T MOVIN AGAIN!”

So what do I do while my partner gets that demon-possessed look in her eyes and puts the gears into over-drive and the pedal to the metal?
What do I do while she’s prepping walls, removing nails, ripping down curtains, clearing debris, making “to do” lists, calling locksmiths, contractors, movers, measuring spaces, researching good deals on reclaimed products and materials?  What do I do?  Well, I do what any woman who walks a fine line between reality and insanity; I go have my haircut and colored, attend an exercise class, work on
an art piece I haven’t worked on in months, entertain old friends, see a movie, write thank-you cards,
some poetry and a blog.
Some of you may relate to this:  I do not need a map for Denial Avenue.  Nosiree.
I know every tree, every crack in every sidewalk, every house and every painstaking person
on the block.
I used to fight it; the denial character flaw whose seed was planted when I was a wee lil trailer girl.
Just like I used to fight the flaw of falling asleep while someone was in mid-sentence.
But, no more.
I embrace those parts of me just like I embrace and accept that the lines to the sides of my eyes
are not really called “smile lines.”  They’re chiseled there and are the direct result of growing old.
It sucks.

Seriously though, I think we just bought a house with good bones and one day, I will call it “home.” That is, after I sand the cupboards in this room and peel away wallpaper in that room and scrub the shit out of it and get the dead bugs and dirt out of the window tracks… 
But right now, it just feels like a cheap motel room on Route 66 that you're required  to stay in
because all the good ones have no vacancy.  
But one day, after we hang a few photographs, place our very cool, Modern Danish, reclaimed table on that very cool Asian throw rug, build a fire in the fireplace, set up our ‘50’s console and place the needle (with the penny taped to it) on a Three Dog Night album, pour a
Gin Ricky...
One day, we'll relax.
We’ll relax and then we'll take our 'bubbly' to the deck;  the deck which overlooks a
Garden of Eden so lush with banana trees, hanging wisteria vines and overgrown ferns.
And beyond that deck, a natural wildlife preserve complete with a frog pond where the frogs
ribbit ribbit us to sleep each night.

I’m anticipating a white-picket-fence-frame-of-mind in the near future. You know, two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard kinda thing.  Some day, but not today. Today feels like an airless, crowded elevator. Today feels like bumper-to-bumper when you were supposed to be there 20 minutes ago. Today feels like hell without a hand basket.
But, one has to stay in the moment the best she can, yet plan for the future, right?
How the hell do y’all do that!!!  
If you have hidden “how to” secrets, do tell, because I am havin a bit of breakdown in the process. 

                                                        This is our agent. She kicks ass. 
We introduced her (our agent) to our friend, Nina this last week.  Nina, btw, is this fiery brunette; beautiful, genuine, a burst-of-fun-kinda-girl who digs doggies and belly dancing.
Anyway, Nina's mom lives in a trailer park, though she prefers to call it a "modular home community."  Cheryl, who’s a progressive Catholic, which means she's pro-choice, votes Democrat  and doesn't hate gay folks, is remarrying next month. Nina's lips were sealed tighter than a Ziploc about the whole thing.  She refused to give me the juicy details over email or Facebook, but rather insisted on waiting until we were together in a booth at our favorite taqueria, eating tilapia bowls with verde salsa.

The news caused me to fall out of the booth:  “My mom’s marrying a Mormon.”

In an election year?” I choked on the pulverized green tomatoes.    

Yep, in an election year and it just so happens that today, the lucky bride's trailer park pal, Priscilla, is throwing her a bridal shower “park style.”  The satisfying specifics of the event will certainly be the subject of next week's blog. 
Stay tuned. ;)


  1. Great read and great news, again I think you've found an interesting muse in your move and yes, it will be over soon- in the meantime if you want to feel better try something like hitting your head against the wall... "it's not the destination, it's the journey"!! XO

  2. Ah, yes, the journey! Here! Here! Thanks for that reminder! And btw, I love your name.

  3. I like how this 'crisis' brings out your humor. Hope it's not too long till you dump Denial for Ms. Acceptance. Becky was my realtor too and still a friend. You described her well. I'm curious what made you leave the t-park. Christine

  4. What can I say? A breath of fresh air like no other...a laugh-out-loud blog that nailed us procrastinators to the wall. But Top Ramen dyed hair? Priceless! And Wonder Woman? Yes, that's you and your partner. Besides the fun part, I so loved the part about "wanting to grow disgustedly old here." That resonates! But Denial Avenue stole the show...how much more graphic could you get? We've all been there and can so identify! If you weren't such a great blogger and poet and now new-homeowner-on-a-mission, I'd say you'd make a terrific stand-up comic! (Just add that to your procrastinator list for sometime down the road when you have too much to do and too little time.) May we expect more house-renovating news in a future blog? Hope so.