There’s always something to howl about

House Keeper

Can a man save his face, his ass, and his house at the same time? The moral and Big Board gods claim naught.  But still, rooting through the year end financial rubble atop my desk—the economic equivalent of the Gaza Strip, I consider the question (pondering Realtor that I am).

I tally my Christmas card total while I search the mail pile for fellow holiday survivors. I uncover just three scant acknowledgements this dim Season; one from my parents with a modest check enclosed (made out to my wife, of course); one from my daughter with a nice handwritten note; and one from our missing housekeeper. The latter is a nativity scene, written in Polish, and sent to our house via Air Mail.  I’m assuming it either says ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘I Quit!’ We haven’t seen her in weeks. Perhaps she moved back to her motherland where she can actually make ends meet scrubbing floors. I suppose she just resigned before we had to let her go anyway. (I mean really, who can’t keep their own house clean?)

I turn back to the task at hand and continue sifting through the pulp, avoiding paper cuts, and careful to sidestep 2nd Notices from lesser, non FICO reporting insurgents; my dentist, the Chicago Tribune Classified Section, the lawn service guy who never picked up my leaves this year. I hear a mutter beneath the wrack before electronically mine-sweeping my Schwab account to stave off the more formidable creditors for yet another 40 days and nights (with Grace Period); Bank of America Mortgage, BMW Financial Services, my genius accountant.

I look again at the three lone Seasons Greetings and reflect. I haven’t physically written, licked, stamped or sent out an actual Christmas card in years—not to family, not to friends, not to clients. I’m surprised I receive anything in the mail at all, to be honest. Between Twitter, Facebook, and Harry and David, all I seem to do anymore is Text and order online. Like an iPhone crackwhore, I find myself scrolling the cyber alleys for expired listings and below market abandominiums.  It has to be a cash deal and the john needs to close quickly, if you know what I’m saying.  It has to be instant. I take another digital hit…

I immediately get pinged back. Stocks are up 1.53%  on heavy morning trading.  I just made $1232. I text my broker to do his magic and make the paper gold liquid, once again.  I decide to pay my dentist and my lawn guy but stiff the Tribune. (The Cubs will need to suck a lot less than they did this past post-season for me to pony up in that corporate direction.) Besides, I have three loads of laundry to do, there’s dog and cat hair everywhere and Oprah is on in 10 minutes.  So have a Happy 2009, all. I’d send you a card but as you know, I don’t do that. Windows either, in case you were wondering.


16 Comments so far

  1. Kristal Kraft December 30th, 2008 11:31 am

    OK Geno it’s nearly New Years and you have to shape up, clean up and clean off that desk! BTW a little window washing never killed a guy yet.
    Happy New Years to ya.

  2. Geno Petro December 30th, 2008 11:41 am

    Kristal..thanks for the advice although what I really need to know is how to remove a spot from a carpet!

  3. Kristal Kraft December 30th, 2008 12:43 pm

    Sorry Geno, I’m not allowed to give house keeping tips. Carpet cleaning should be left to the professionals…

  4. Eric Blackwell December 30th, 2008 2:58 pm

    Happy New Year, Geno!

    Kristal, in Geno’s defense:

    Carpet cleaning sucks but is less dangerous (hehe…)


    Happy New Year to you as well, Kristal!



  5. Geno Petro December 30th, 2008 3:29 pm

    thanks E. et tu.

  6. J Boyer Morristown NJ December 30th, 2008 3:46 pm

    Sounds like a dull post holiday morning to me. Happily I have had a few customers keeping me busy this month. In past years December has been my least favorite month due to the slowness of the real estate business around the holidays.

  7. Geno Petro December 30th, 2008 3:53 pm

    ‘sounds like a dull post holiday morning’

    As usual I overstate. I am indeed grateful for the business I did write this year even if it wasn’t enough to keep me off of potato peeling duty.

  8. J Boyer Morristown NJ December 30th, 2008 4:13 pm

    Hi Geno,

    hope that you did not take my comment as pity, it was more happiness that December has been as busy for me as it has been.

    The times of the year when things are really slow just do not sit well with me.

  9. Kristal Kraft December 30th, 2008 4:14 pm

    Eric ~ Are you telling me Geno lives in a high rise? Oops. Geno, forget the windows, just peel the potatoes. I have enough guilt already…thank you very much!

  10. Geno Petro December 30th, 2008 6:01 pm

    J Boyer,

    Not at all. Actually, I had two closings in December. I’m more concerned with all the global turmoil and wondering ‘if it’s all going to collapse soon, then why make another mortgage payment?’

  11. Dan Connolly December 30th, 2008 8:33 pm

    Geno, The easiest method for dealing with a spot in the carpet is to rearrange the furniture….

  12. Kristal Kraft December 30th, 2008 8:37 pm

    Wow! I can see why Dan makes the big bucks! Excellent, low cost solution!

  13. Geno Petro December 30th, 2008 9:57 pm

    Eric, I just clicked on the hyperlink–tragic but funny, too; window washing tragedies. Who would have figured?

  14. Sean Purcell December 30th, 2008 11:00 pm

    ‘if it’s all going to collapse soon, then why make another mortgage payment?’

    Geno, are you channeling Alvie? You remind me of one of my favorite Woody Allen scenes of all time:

    The Universe is Expanding

    “What’s the point?”

    I’m still laughing. Thanks for giving me a great chuckle. Happy New Year Poet Petro.

  15. Geno Petro December 31st, 2008 12:09 am

    Thanks, Dan. Feng Shui noted.

    Hey Sean,

    Thanks for the link. Wow, that was a blast back. I have to forward it on. Best to you as well,


  16. Eric Blackwell December 31st, 2008 3:33 am

    @KK- too funny 😉

    @Dan C – as Kristal said, you nailed it!

    And I had given up on Feng Shui as just so much hokem…and Dan shows us how to use it for REAL-hehe. (read: Eric hopes Jen doesn’t move the couch anytime soon!)

    @Sean -nice link! thx…