Thursday, December 22, 2005

Okay, I finally feel sure enough about this to reveal what all the mystery and busyness has been about lately: I’m closing on a house on Friday morning.

The act of actually buying a house for the first time feels strange. It’s such a grown-up, mainstream thing to do. And frankly, it's made me uneasy. I have strutted naked on stages in front of a crowd, I have made personal revelations to hostile audiences, I have done deeply intimate things with people whose names I didn’t know, I have looked into a stranger’s eyes and made a split second decision about whether or not I could trust them with my safety. None of those things make me particularly nervous.

Sitting across a desk from a mortgage broker made me nervous. That's why I've been unwilling to blog about the whole house-buying adventure step-by-step, because of my feeling that the mortgage process might very well go sideways at any moment. Max reassured me, and so did Roman. "These people want to give you a mortgage, really they do," they both told me. "When you get a mortgage, they make money." Well, that's a motivation I can certainly understand.

But still...I am not the kind of person banks like to lend money to. Don’t get me wrong, I pay my taxes and my bills. But my life simply does not fit into those little boxes on their forms. Dealing with banks makes me feel like Supergirl confronted with Kryptonite. The powers that serve me very well in most of my life do not work in the offices of financial institutions.

Except one – my ability to generate and save (reasonably) large chunks of money. Banks like that. Hence the recent hectic schedule.

I was on track to buy a house anyway – but I was thinking, oh, March of next year. Then in late October my landlord called and said “We want to sell the house – how soon do you think you could move out?” So my plans had to be fast-forwarded. I can do fast-forward, though, if I have to. So I did.

Of course, I had help. A lot of my guys were extra-generous during this period. But one particular guy - even more so than all my other really fabulous boys - was my angel in this matter, and for that, he merits special mention. He knows who he is so, thank you to him!

The other thank you goes to my terrific real estate agent, Ted Allison. I am not your average home-buyer, to put it mildly, but when I told Ted what I wanted, he listened without raising an eyebrow and got right into the spirit of it. He never tried to push me when I said, “It’s nice…but it’s not quite right”. And he worked really hard to get the deal I wanted on the house I wanted. He’s just been great, and I’d recommend him to anyone.

A point of clarification for my friends: I’m not moving out of Max’s house. The house that I’m buying will serve as the headquarters and private dungeon of Mistress Matisse, Inc. Note my use of the first person singular pronoun - I have always felt that in the same sense that good fences make good neighbors, having some separate financial investments makes for good relationships.

Now I have a new place for my dungeon, which I am looking forward to. And now I have to pack up the dungeon and move it, which I am not looking forward to. My new place isn’t far at all from where I am now, so those of you who know the way won’t have to learn a whole new route. Just go about half a mile further south, is all.

So now you know. I’ve always been something of a capitalist. But Friday, Mistress Matisse becomes part of the land-owning bourgeois.

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