But My Emails

I am leaving today for the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop. I cannot express how excited I am. I am like the bee girl in Blind Melon’s No Rain video, where she looks for her people and when she finds them, she is happy and dances.

I will be happy and dancing.

I am not prepared because my time has been spent at work or working on the house. But that’s okay. I’ll wing it. Because winging it doesn’t cause much anxiety.


Everything will be fine.

Deep breath.

Speaking of the house, by the time we are finished, I am pretty sure our real estate agent, Brett, will think I’m a crazy person. Which, in his defense, very well may be true.

Here are a few of my email exchanges with our agent, Brett.

Me to Brett after looking at 4 houses:

Okay, so I was slightly disheartened to look at those houses..holy crap, none of them would have really worked. The one in Newport was the closest, but still.

So…I freaked out all day yesterday because obviously we are going to be homeless and this isn’t going to work.

I still want to look in the price range we spoke about, but just in case, I want to raise the limit by 15K. Not ideal because we’re looking to significantly lower our mortgage..on the other hand, we have no desire to live in a shithole.

Anyway, it was good to see you and at least we’re getting started.

Oh yeah, I forgot to give you shit about the grout cleaning. O M G…I used a manual tool, got a third of one shower done and then couldn’t use my arm for two days. I told Randy that I blame you.

Brett’s response:

Don’t worry just yet – typically the best properties hit the market and sell quickly.  A lot of what we were looking at were homes that have sat for a while. Don’t get discouraged just yet!

Sorry about the issues with the grout – definitely should have recommended getting a tool!  You’ll thank me later when you punch Randy with your new muscles and he really feels it!

Look forward to getting together again soon!

Me to Brett asking for guidance for piddly issues, which was just a ruse to fret over there being NO houses available:

Hey Brett

In our fridge, the two crisper drawers at the bottom are broke ass. We never replaced them. Would it make a material difference to replace them? Or is that unnecessary?


(this is me freaking out, not me holding you responsible).

So, tell me again…new stuff will be coming up soon and I should just calm the hell down.


Brett’s response:

Hey Michelle – Can you send me a pic of your fridge drawers?  It might help me understand how broke ass they are…

So new stuff will definitely be coming on in April.  The selling season really doesn’t start till April/May.  I’ve never had a client NOT find a house.  Your criteria may change slightly but I know we will get you into a better home/location.


The fronts are gone. We just throw shit in the holes. Not actual shit. That would be dumb.


You could replace them, or just not put any food in them.

Side note: I am choosing to not put food in the drawers. We are going broke trying to sell our house. Damn.

Me, after looking at what appeared to be an awesome house in our price range:

Okay, this one is amazing. I can’t tell from this if there MIGHT be parking in the back. I kind of doubt it. Also, I guess it’s a foreclosure. How big of a pain in the ass is that to deal with? If it is, then just forget it.

Then I immediately followed it up with:

Never mind. Just noticed it’s been on zillow for over a thousand days. It’s probably trashed or something. Or haunted by Hitler maybe.


I do look forward to your emails.

So, in conclusion, I’m forgetting about buying a house for 3 whole days. My real estate agent is probably worried about Randy. And there are still no houses on the market and we will probably be homeless soon.

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  • Michele,

    The house we just bought was on the market for a couple of years and it’s lovely.

    Plus the seller was eager to finally sell, so willing to negotiate. Maybe that last house is worth considering.

    Good luck!

    • It’s not. My real estate agent looking into it and the inside is destroyed. The pictures were old (and GORGEOUS). And we can’t take on a project like that. If I have to paint all the walls, I will…but we can’t actually BUILD the walls. haha

      • How dissapointing. We saw a few like that ourselves. It’s great that your agent is willing to do some advanced legwork for you.

        I’m sure your new home is out there and you’ll find it. 🙂

  • I’m already in Dayton and all geared up for the workshop. I really want to meet you and tell you in person how much I enjoy all your posts. Don’t be scared. I promise I won’t stalk you. Well, maybe just a little bit, but I’m harmless. I promise.

    • I am so much looking forward to meeting you! I won’t freak out over all the people until Sunday. I plan on staying in bed all day and watching Buffy. I am picking a few people up at the airport and will probably get there around 3:00, which seems impossibly long from now.

  • GO and have fun!!!! Randy has your back and so has Brett, the lucky bastard who gets so much mail from you!
    Enjoy the writingclass, you will shine there.

    • Thank you! I just can’t wait. It’s hard for me to feel a lot of excitement about anything, but I do feel a great deal of excitement about this. I just hope I can keep from shutting down. I will probably have to hide a time or two in my hotel room just to be “people free” for 30 minutes or so.

  • Your agent is one lucky dude! I remember freaking out that we would sell our house and not find something that would fit our needs. Cart before horse timing thing. Good luck! Cant wait to hear about the conference. Wish I was going.

  • I wish I could count the times I have read, “I so look forward to your emails.”
    I AM counting the times I have typed similar queries/justifications/thought processes and qualms…
    I want your Real Estate guy.
    Not for buying and selling houses, but for reliable and consistent (while appearing nonplussed) replies and advice.
    What a little charmer you have there.
    I would keep him in a box out back and feed him and pet his fur the wrong way and rename him ‘George.’
    I think…. and feel, that after you Wow and Awe the Erma Bombeck crowd 😀 you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many houses magically appear.
    Just for you <3

  • Yep, Brett is a keeper, and it seems like he feels the same way about you. I have a feeling he’s a little sad that your working relationship will eventually come to an end but I think he’s both considerate and professional enough that he’s trying to get you through this as quickly and painlessly as he can.
    And it’s really appropriate that you’re taking a break to attend a conference named after a brilliant and funny woman who said, “The grass is always greener over the septic tank.”
    That is when it’s not a broke ass septic tank.

  • Ducking out can be a good strategy, I have found. We responded to the “You can’t be living in this building because it’s not zoned for that” notice by visiting my friend Sara (and her boyfriend Trevor) up in Truckee for a couple of months.
    That’s when I discovered that I had cataracts and needed surgery.
    “Stress. Anxiety. Fear”
    -Fantastic Negrito, “Push Back”
    The following two years were a massive pain in the ass, but I now have a nice place to live, I can see again (and don’t need glasses any more except to read) and have a fluffy, black, cat who still seems to be gaining weight…
    You’ll nail this, Michelle, and we’ll enjoy reading about it.
    So, you know, thank you.
    And have a great time at the conference.
    And for no particular reason, here’s a video you might like. It’s the newest from Fantastic Negrito, he calls it “Plastic Hamburgers” and says he wrote it out of his growing concerns for his children’s safety.
    It has a certain Led Zeppelin-y feel to it, and it made the hair on my arms stand up the first time I heard it:
    The album is called “Please Don’t Be Dead.”

  • Holy shitsnacks, woman! You found a house haunted by Hitler and didn’t buy it? I don’t understand you. I’ve always thought we had a connection, but this?

    First of all, IT’S HAUNTED. How fucking cool is that? Haunted! Like, with an actual ghost that you can blame things on and will chase off unwanted visitors and those damned meddling kids. Not to mention Scrappy Doo, in case he ever shows up. (I put out poison and bear traps, which I wouldn’t have to do if I had a ghost.)

    Second, ghost of Hitler! It’s kind of the ideal scenario, because you don’t have to worry about feeling sorry for your ghost or trying to solve his unfinished business so he can move on—you don’t want him to move on, and you know what his unfinished business is and want no part in it, right? So you have your whole life to just fuck with the ghost of Hitler. Blame him for the bulb that just burned out and the fact that you only washed one of your fuzzy socks, and when he gets snippy about it? You get to remind him that it’s illegal to display a swastika in Germany now.

    Is it too late to change your mind? Call Brett!

  • Reading this is the first time I have laughed since Sunday night. It is now Friday night. You are the best. Thank you.
    “We just throw shit in the holes. Not actual shit. That would be dumb.”
    HHHAAA! hahahah!
    Real estate note: we had to move to a place we had never been because job. I stayed behind with kid, Hubs went to work and looked for house on his own. Houses here either sell in two days or 2 years, depending. We kept getting out bid in bidding wars. Agent called hubs on a Thursday night and said to meet at 8 am Friday to see a house thats not listed yet. I got texts of photos. We put in an offer at 2 pm. There was a bidding war, and by noon Saturday we had signed an agreement. This is a normal, smallish, older house. The place is awesome.
    You will find your right home.

By Michelle


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