Chris was offered the job in Orlando in December and, as exciting as it was, the first thought that came into our heads was, “The house.”
In case you aren’t aware, the housing market right now? Well, it ain’t exactly jumpin’. In fact, its barley breathin’. Especially in areas like Connecticut where home inflation was really soaring before the recession. Which, coincidentally, is exactly at the peak of when Chris and I bought our home. We over paid. But all the cool kids were doing it at the time and so, like any fad, it seemed like the right thing to do.
So, here we sat with the burning desire to get down to Florida, with a family and a job waiting for us there, and the only thing standing in our way was our beautiful, beloved three bedroom, two bath. What had at one time been our pride and joy was now a giant ball and chain.
We met with our realtor (the same woman who sold us the house, actually) and the conversation was as depressing as the day after Christmas. She confirmed our worst, sneaking suspicions. We would take a huge hit on our house. And that was the best case scenario. Worst case? We wouldn’t even have the opportunity to take a huge hit because we wouldn’t be able to sell it.
So, Chris and I sat down together that night and talked it over. We decided that we had a minimum price we needed to get for our house or else we just simply couldn’t afford to move. And we also decided not to breathe a word of the move to anyone until the house sold. This was mostly because both of our companies were going through difficult financial times, we didn’t want our names to be anywhere near a layoff pool. We were afraid that if word got out that we were looking to leave, they might pull the plug on one or (God forbid) both of our jobs. And the thing about this beautiful, beloved house of ours is that we can’t afford it without our TWO salaries here in Connecticut.
These are the things in life that make me want to curl up into a fetal position and suck my thumb.
In preparation for putting our house on the market, Chris asked the position in Orlando to push his starting date back until May 1 so that we had time to sell our house. They agreed and we called our realtor to tell her that right after the first of the year, we wanted to list our house at a ridiculously high price – higher than what we paid for it two years ago. She tried to talk us down on the price a little bit, insisting that even if we were able to sell it anywhere near that price (and she seriously doubted we could), it would take YEARS. But Chris and I knew we had to get a certain amount and so, we said that was our price. She sighed and said okay. The house was listed at least $50,000 higher than then next comparable house in our neighborhood. It would be optimistic to say this was a long-shot.
That night after the phone call with our realtor, Chris and I laid in bed, not talking, both thinking about the roof over our head that may be the deal breaker for the next stage of our lives. And that’s when Chris turned to me and said it.
“If we’re ever going to sell this house, we’re going to have to do something about Lucy.”
Lucy? My Lucy? My beloved Lucy who I have had since I was a sophomore in college? My beloved Lucy who had traveled the country with me? My beloved Lucy whose internal clock is set to two important alarms: breakfast and dinner? My beloved Lucy who violently attacked Chris the first six months we were married every time he tried to get in bed? Lucy? MY LUCY?
“She’s a barker,” Chris said. “We can’t show the house with her barking viciously at people.”
FIRST of all, vicious is a little bit of an exaggeration. I mean, she’s ten inches tall.
When I asked Chris what exactly he had in mind, he said maybe she should go stay with my parents in Florida for a couple months. And I said maybe he should go stay with my parents in Florida for a couple months. And then he said I was being emotional and stubborn. And then I said he could sleep on the couch.
And we didn’t talk about it again for a while.
But in the back of my mind, I knew Chris might actually be right. At times, Lucy has been known to be…loudly assertive, shall we say.
She’s ten inches of attitude, what can I say? I like her.
But it was becoming increasingly harder to believe that a stranger walking through our house could envision it as their home with Lucy staring daggers and barking like a beast in the background. Sometimes even I have a hard time envisioning this as my home with Lucy barking at me.
And I live here.
So, after three weeks of brooding at the mere suggestion of sending my first born, four-legged child away, I agreed that it was in the best interest of our family as a whole if we sent Little Lucy off to Florida, where she could instead terrorize the retirees in my parents retirement community. In early January, Chris flew down to Orlando to meet the staff at his new job and he packed up the vicious, ten inch love of my life and hand delivered her to my parent’s house.
As much as I have missed her, Big Molly seems to be missing Lucy more than anyone.
She now just mopes around our house. And she’s become a champion moper. She makes Eeyor look like he’s had one too many cups of coffee. And she follows Bean around our house like his shadow, even more than she used to. Everywhere he goes, there she is.
This week, we’ve had to put Bean in his pack ‘n play so he doesn’t crawl off while we are packing and so Molly now feels separated from her only other friend in the world.
After a few minutes of watching Bean in his cage, Molly inevitably turns to me and gives me this look at says, “Why are you taking away all my friends?”
But as hard as Lucy being gone has been on our entire family (the fury, four-legged kind included), its really been the right decision for the following reasons:
1. Lucy loves hot weather and sunshine.
2. Lucy hates the cold and snow.
3. My Grandmother feeds her bacon fat on a regular basis.
4. Lucy loves bacon fat.
5. Turns out, old people are as ornery as Lucy.
6. Our house sold in seven days.
Yeah. SEVEN days. Our house was on the market for SEVEN DAYS. And it sold for $7,000 more than our bottom line. Freak accidents of real estate and divine intervention often look strikingly similar.
If you think Chris and I were happy that it sold, you should have seen Big Molly. When she found out we would be moving to Florida MONTHS earlier than we expected, I swear I think I saw her dance a jig in our kitchen.