Monday, May 8, 2006

If These Walls Could Talk

We bought a house (and sold ours, as it usually works). We spent some time at the new house this past weekend, and met a set of neighbors who were generous enough to give us a little bit of house history.

We found out at closing that the house has previously been in foreclosure three times. The house is just shy of twenty years old. Great vibe for a paranoid MzMannerz. And even better, we now have the details on those foreclosures.

We don't know anything about the first one. The next two both involved nasty divorces. Apparently the house causes people to scream at each other, throw things, and summon the police on weekly basis. One guy decided he'd had enough. He moved his wife out, and his mother in. This was not an improvement. Apparently his mother, originally from Puerto Rico, still cursed him out regularly, only this time in Spanish. She also called the police with alarming frequency. Eventually, the man moved his mother out too, and then buckled under the weight of three mortgages. If I'd known him then, I would have had this advice: apartments.

Next came a woman already in the throes of a divorce. The proceedings were hitting her hard, so she came up with a most uncreative way to pay the bills: prostitution. From the house. Apparently she had trouble building and retaining a solid customer base. Our new house is in the 'burbs, and I think it's safe to say that the demographic group most likely to use a prostitute doesn't want to drive fifteen miles outside the beltway to find her. If I'd known her then, I would have had this advice: metro accessibility.

It is therefore no wonder that the new neighbors greeted us with extreme enthusiasm. There we were, normal people, mowing the lawn, speaking to each other in our inside voices and gainfully employed. They invited us over for cocktails and barbecues within the first five minutes of acquaintance, apparently drunk with relief that perhaps this time, they could live next to regular boring people.

My husband and I made a few pacts in an attempt to avoid whatever karma the house is handing out. He agreed to never encourage his mother to 1) learn Spanish and 2) move in. I agreed to not ask him to buy me a seperate home.

We both think things may work out just fine, but I'm still calling my preacher father in to bless the house.

Just in case. I'm really too old to become a hooker.

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