Tuesday, May 29, 2007

there goes the neighborhood

I just drove my son to school, wearing my pajamas and dark glasses lest someone recognize me, for his sake ... I mean, I'm wearing pajamas and dark glasses, not my son! I'm wearing them because I hate to change clothes to run him to school, and wearing the dark glasses because I look ghastly otherwise. I haven't had a chance to put on my face. Who would recognize me? His friends? Who cares. My neighbors, maybe. Certainly no one else. But I wear them just the same because I like feeling incognito.
Anyway, he finally consented to cutting his long, ringletty, Howard Stern style locks... even donated them to Locks of Love. Be still my heart! He's growing up. I just realized I should clarify something; (I meant Howard Stern the controversial radio fellow, not Anna Nicole's lawyer, boyfriend ... whatever.) My son looks nothing like Howard Stern, thankfully. And now, he looks more jockish than rockish. Not sure what he was going for. Maybe just to see the road, or his guitar neck, or his feet when he skateboards, very possibly the page of a book so he'll be a better student.... nahhhhhh. But he can't seem to stop looking in the mirror so either he can't believe he has eyebrows or is wondering what those two things on the side of his head are ... ears? So, today no one will know him at school and although he didn't say, I'm sure he was a bit nervous, being shy at heart. But ... so I took him to school. The car didn't break down so no one had to see me hiking up the hill in my pink, poodle dog PJs, and I'm sure my teenager was deeply relieved.

On the way home, I swing around the corner at the end of my road where they are building these new houses. They are selling for a mild $350K . No yards to speak of. And windows that look in on each other since the backyards consist of nothing but a 3x5 patch of dirt. The front of the house is so close to the road you can see inside the cars that pass. And I'm thinking... people will buy these little boxes and become slaves to the bank for the next 30 years because we all want the American Dream.
But who really wins here ... the banks! Wait a minute, let me hike up my skirt and get up on my soap box ... ahemmmm....now then, I realized, housing costs have gone up some 200% and yet salaries remain the same. As a corporate recruiter for 17 years I usually offered pretty good salaries. But working for a staffing agency more recently, I had the wonderful & ever satisfying job of offering heads of households jobs that paid a measly $10 an hour! Now I ask you, How in the heck can anyone other than a teenager with no expenses survive on $10 an hour! I know what you're thinking ... obviously she hasn't lived with a teenager lately. I know, that was off the cuff. No teenager could survive on that. But, as I was saying ....It's rediculous! Oops ...Was I screaming?

What if ... I had this idea you see ... what if all the people got together and decided they would not buy a house for a whole year. Who really NEEDS to buy a house anyway, there are plenty of living options... camping is always nice. Apartments. Mobile homes. Your car. I knew a guy who lived in his car and he did quite nicely. His father was a doctor and he wasn't even embarrassed to admit it. He had a much better car than me AND he ate out quite often... he smelled nice, too. And he recycled ... don't you think they would be forced to lower the cost of housing so my friend (and everyone else) could move out of his car? What do you think? Yeah ... not a bad one.

I bought my house back in 1986 for $40,000! Can you imagine! It's an old timer from 1928 ... I call her Girty. When there's a big storm and the trees start swaying (lovely 100 foot cedars out back!) she gets a little nervous. Now Girty, I say, don't get your knickers in a twist! They were here longer than you. She's persnickity. Very northwestern shaped ... pointy 12-pitch roof, 3 floors, daylight basement, coved ceilings, arched entries, fir floors, steeeeeeeeeeep stairs, one bathroom .... Okay, so she's not perfect nor did I mean to imply she was (shhhhh , she thinks she is), but she sure has character and did I mention acreage. Ahhhh ... the A word in real estate lingo. Thankfully, I've been able to garden my heart out over the years and not be too much of a pain to my husband because of it. Whoever buys the houses down the road will get about 3 weeks of gardening room. Now that's just ... disheartening! So ... in 20 years ... housing has gone up, let's see ... $360 divided by 40 ... mmmm .... where's that calculator? You see what I mean? I think.... oh ... for heaven's sake ... the tea kettle is singing. We will have to have this discussion later, dear friends ... join me in a cup of tea?.... lora

ps. I meant to tell you... the shop was closed so I didn't get the beads. And I'm still drooling. Think I'll go climb up on the deck and drink my tea. Oh ... one more thing ... tum da da dum... the stairs are done! Now we just need a door! Oh, and some railing. Bye. Gotta catch the sun.

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