We had it all planned out: look at the houses, choose one, buy it, then move into it. Easy enough. Sort of. Olivier & I had both been through the bullshit & hassles of home buying before, though this was the first time we’d be trudging through the muck together.

Finding the house took a couple of months of searching. We got up early every weekend to drive an hour away & wandered through some very cold, damp & creepy houses. Oh… & there was that incident involving my urine. Then, some time during the month of February, we found our house.

So, we started making plans: we’d sign the papers closing the sale of the house on May 27th. We’d move in on May 30th, since there was a family scheduled to move into our apartment on the 31st.

“Damn,” I said. “That’s cutting it awfully close.”

Hell, of course it was too fucking close. You know what they say about how the best laid plans always get shit on.

It was May 25th, just a couple of days before the closing when we found out that our banker had shit the bed – since he didn’t process our paperwork when we sent it to him BACK IN APRIL, money couldn’t be transferred to where it should be in time for the closing. It would have to be postponed. For at least a week.


Ok, so we’d be without a place to live for a week. That sucks, but not as much as trying to figure out what to do with our furniture, dozens of boxes of books & other piles of assorted objects.

Lucky us. We bought our house from a nice guy who rented us the house for a week. As a storage unit. We were able to move our stuff here, but weren’t allowed to live in it yet.

As the movers were dumping boxes & furniture into our house, I walked the cat around on her leash so she could have a nice puke in what would soon be our front yard. I walked her around to the back of the house & right away, I could smell the strawberries in our garden. Cat sniffed around at the enormous rhubarb & the rose bush. “I can’t wait to live here,” I said, pouting at the cat as she lurched & heaved, preparing to spew forth a new wave of barf.

We decided, since the banker would be paying for our lodging, that we’d at least put ourselves in a decent bed & breakfast instead of some dingy hotel. Finding a place that will let you stay for a week with your cat’s decorative & aromatic litter box is no easy task, but we did eventually find a place, just 6 miles from our house.

It wasn’t ideal, but we had our own room, living room, bathroom & even a wi-fi connection. Every morning, we had breakfast in our tiny living room, just outside the door of our bedroom. Not too bad.

Well… except for the two screaming kids, thundering up & down the stairs every 5 or 10 minutes. But, hey… they’re kids. Sure, they were teenagers & probably a bit too old to be bouncing & screaming like monkeys on PCP, but… they were kids. I guess they really weren’t as annoying as the owners wanting to get into the bathroom while we’re taking a shit or a shower because their washer & dryer is in the guest bathroom… or just walking right in while I’m picking a winner at the bathroom mirror to ask, “Um… so, when are you leaving?”

It was a nice enough place, but not the most relaxing bed & breakfast experience we’ve had.

Luckily, during the week we spent there not relaxing, the banker’s blunder had been taken care of & the closing could go on as planned. It went off without a hitch & we were even provided with some comedy at the notarial office when the guy looked over our papers, saw my occupation & asked, “You’re a writer? You write what? What? What have you written? Oh. Okay.”

I think he asked me this about 6 or 7 times during the 20 minutes we were there.

After stopping by a bar to have a drink with the seller of our new house, we bought a couple of pizzas from some surly dude in a pizza truck & went home. To our new house. With no water.

Uh-oh. The water was supposed to be on. Now that we had a home with TWO bathrooms, Olivier & I were looking forward to our first simultaneous poo in the new digs. The poo party only had to wait for one day because a very tiny & adorable old man from the water company came out the next morning.

Now we only had to wait a few more days for the phone. Two guys from the phone company came out later in the week, ran around our property, in & out of our tool shed, up & down the driveway & even in a goddam tree several times before telling me, “c’est pas possible aujourd’hui… la cable est kaput… on dois revenir plus tard.”

Translation: your phone line is fucked.

We made another appointment with France Telecom to replace our cable. They didn’t show. When they called Olivier to tell him they were having “car trouble,” it just got worse.

“I took the morning off work to be here,” Olivier told the guy on the phone. “Can’t you send someone else?”

“No. Not possible.”

“Well, tell me when you think you can get here. I’ll wait.”

“I don’t know. Call France Telecom. They’ll give you an appointment.”

So, we called France Telecom to make an appointment. They said they would call within 24 hours. Some consider 24 hours to be equal to ONE day. At France Telecom, it’s about 3 days.

We listened to the voice mail. “We were calling to reschedule your appointment since you weren’t at home the last time we sent someone out there.”

Um… what?

Ok… just to be clear, we are getting the stellar customer service from: FRANCE TELECOM.

So, in the meantime, we’ve been making trips to McDonald’s, where I sift through my rejections from editors among the shrill sounds of screeching toddlers & their nagging parents while the scent of greasy death wafts around my nostrils.

Or, on really special days like today, Olivier leaves his cell phone at home so that I can hook it up to his annoying laptop (ugh… PCs) to obtain a painfully slow, but adequate mobile Internet connection. (If you’re wondering why this post has no photos, there’s your answer.)

We still have no idea when we’ll have a normal Internet & phone connection again, but there are no screaming children or screaming anythings around here. No obnoxious neighbors knocking on my door to ask me about trivial shit, or hammering on the wall & using power tools during my writing time. It’s peaceful.

All of the strawberries have been eaten, but we’ve got 2 enormous cherry trees in the front yard & every few days, we collect a colossal bowl full of cherries, which means that every few days, we eat another colossal bowl full, so we’ve had plenty of opportunities for those simultaneous poos that we love so much.


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