Twice in the past two days I have purchased alcohol (no judgment). And both times, I’ve had pretty much the exact same thing go down. I take my preferred beverage to the front (last night it was beer from the bodega across the street, this afternoon it was wine from the wine shop down the street) and give it to the guy. He rings it up, runs my credit card and then asks: “How old are you?” I respond “27”, the guy’s jaw drops and he says something like “I would have thought you were under 21.” I offer to show my id and the guy declines.

I find this so odd. I mean, a) wouldn’t it make more sense to just ask for my id instead of asking how old I am? This eliminates all confusion. And, b), if you really thought I was under 21, wouldn’t you ask before running my credit card? I can’t decide if I think this is some elaborate trap they set for the under-21 crowd in NYC or, if these sellers really could care less and just want to make the sale, but “check” just to halfway cover their own asses. Considering the fact that both times the sellers declined to actually see my id even when I attempted to give it to them, I’m leaning towards the second option. Which is really just EXCELLENT news for all the NYU students in the area.

So today is the big day where I finally get to tell you what exactly it is that I’ve been hinting about for the last couple of months. I suspect some people may have guessed or put two and two together as they wondered why exactly it is that it is March and I am still essentially squatting in the Boyfriend’s apartment (those that guessed we were moving in together? Hahaha. Not so much. But that is another post for another day.)

So this is it: I am buying an apartment!!!!

And we are closing in less than an hour.

Obviously, I’ve wanted to tell you all about this sooner, if for no other reason than that DEAR LORD this has been a process, including dealing with incompetent sellers who take a month (A MONTH) to return the signed contract of sale, a tenant who enjoyed playing fun games like locking the top lock so the appraiser couldn’t actually get in the apartment (that was a fun $75 fine), and brokers who hid the fact that the tenant had a 60 day notice clause in her lease and said notice could only be given on the 1st of the month. (Surprise! Even though you all came to agreement on Dec. 2, we can’t give notice until Jan. 1, so the soonest the tenant wil be out is March 2! Oopsie!), BUT with all these fun little hiccups, I didn’t want to push my luck and jinx everything. Now, though, I have the keys and, even though the last 24 hours have been full of the ridiculousness that has characterized this whole process, I feel pretty comfortable spilling the beans. No celebrating just yet, but I feel like that’s close too.

But let me tell you about the last 24 hours…I hired a lawyer who was recommended to me as competent by a friend who said that said lawyer (“Urkel”) who is generally awkward and twitchy and likes to talk about how he is looking out for me because he thinks of me as a little sister, but then fails to back that up with action. Urkel has been promising all week to send the closing breakdown, but didn’t finally send it until about five last night (it is always somebody else’s fault and NEVER Urkel’s) and that is when the fun really started.

In retrospect, I think that between me, the Madre and the Boyfriend we could have handled this just fine without Urkel, but everyone said that I needed someone who was familiar with New York co-ops and the process and the law, so I retained him in a burst of “better safe than sorry” logic. I have no doubt that we are, in fact safe because Urkel is generally competent, but sorry is another question entirely, because, frankly, dealing with Urkel makes my head hurt.

So anyway, as it turned out, Urkel had made some mistakes. There were small ones (none of his math actually added up) and big ones (he got the purchase price wrong on the final documents and these documents cannot be changed. So now in all the filings while I (we-my parents helped SO SO SO much with this, but it is technically my apartment) paid X for the apartment, it appears we paid X + $3,000. Luckily, this doesn’t really have an effect on anything, but STILL). He also sprung on us that, OOPSIE, even though he had assured us that the sellers would take a personal check, it actually has to be a certified check and that’s not a problem, right, when you are writing the check from a brokerage account, OH WAIT. Yes that actually is a wee bit of a problem.

But bygones. We sorted that out (with no help from Urkel). Then, my favorite: it turned out that even though Urkel told us he held firm and got reimbursements from the sellers for the $75 fees from when THEIR tenant refused to let the appraiser in, it turned out that he is a big old WIMP and basically convinced my broker to reimburse me out of pocket. Obviously, that is not how these things are supposed to work.

As a result of these issues, we spent about five hours trying to call Urkel, but he was clearly avoiding us. The Madre sent Urkel an email detailing the issues. It was pretty calm, although she did end it with “I am disappointed with your handling of this matter.” The result of THAT was me getting a call from my broker at 10 to midnight saying that Urkel was “scared” and that could we please, please let the reimbursement thing go because it was totally cool with him.

SIGH. Clearly, some people do not have the personalities necessary to be lawyers.

And, seriously, to those of you out there who have taken PR, doesn’t that just sound like a bad PR case? “Lawyer is called before the Board for because he screwed up and then avoided client calls for five (5) hours because he was scared.” Clearly Urkel has forgotten everything he learned studying for the MPRE.

But anyway, we did everything settled and we CLOSED and as of Thursday around four pm, I am now officially a homeowner (well, co-op owner if you want to get all technical about it). Now the real fun starts-fixing everything up to move in! I’m hoping to document the process with pictures here so stick with me. I hope to get some “before” pics posted in the next few days.

*Also, as you may have figured out, I started this post on Thursday on my way to the closing, but while at the closing got an email asking me to come into work. I went straight there from the closing and then didn’t leave until about 1:30 Friday. I proceeded to go home and sleep for about 17 hours before coming into work this morning. Oh, the very exciting life of a corporate lawyer! Besides, it is letting me be a homeowner, so I can’t complain too much. 🙂

So the Boyfriend is home right now for the first night in several nights. Yesterday when I was out on Long Island returning the moving truck with his parents I picked up an order of penne alla vodka and some rice balls at a place we like for him to have for dinner.

He told me when he got home that he could not engage in banal conversation with me because he just has too much on his mind. I have been reading on the couch while he ate and played around on his computer.

He just asked me if I was upset about something (I wasn’t) because I haven’t offered to do anything for him to “make his life easier.” By this, I infer that he means heat up his dinner for him, do his dishes and rub his shoulders for more than the five minutes I did (I prob. could have rubbed longer but his dinner was ready.

I am seething right now. We have groceries because I bought them yesterday. We have water because I picked it up. The apartment is clean because I cleaned it Friday night after I got home from work. We will have clean laundry tomorrow because I will do it, just like I’ve done it by myself for the last three weeks. Obviously I do these things to contribute to our life in the apartment and not to get thanked or keep score.

But seriously? I don’t think I’m a bad girlfriend because I didn’t heat his dinner up for him.

So the truck has been loaded and the Boyfriend et. al. are in transit from the G.C. I have completed my Very Important dual duties of “Requester of the Keys” (I had to show I’d and everything!) and “Inspector of the Apartment” and am now just hanging out in the lobby waiting for the assorted troops to arrive.

You may be curious as to why the Boyfriend’s Sister is not, say, inspecting her own apartment and that would be because she is not actually going to be present for said Big Move as she has been in Miami all weekend for work and is scheduled to land in Newark at about 3:00 at which point, barring any unexpected incidents/I find out we are actually also expected to unpack everything as well, the Big Move should be complete.

Some people might, I don’t know, wait to schedule their move for a day when they are actually around to MOVE, but the Boyfriend’s Sister does not roll that way. Instead, her big contribution was to send around a powerpoint “presentation” (Can you call one single lonely ppt slide a presentation? I think no.) Detailing what time we all needed to arrive and what we needed to be doing at different times. I kid you not. Highlights include:

10:30 – fifi arrives at apartment
10:40 – fifi begins apartment inspection

And my personal favorite:

10:15 – Boyfriend’s Sister boards plane in Miami

Specialness.

Anyway, the Boyfriend thought this was all clever and awesome as evidenced by his “My sister is so good at organizing! Look at this awesome powerpoint presentation she made to help us!” email he used to circulate the ppt.

I forwarded it to my mother. She emailed back that she was laughing so hard she couldn’t breathe. She may be full of awesome, the Madre is, but she is not always full of empathy. Particularly when it is related to ridiculous situations the Boyfriend’s Sister gets us into.

—-
Update: Shortly after I finished that paragraph, the Boyfriend’s Cousin and his wife showed up to help so I was forced to pack away the snark. The Boyfriend’s Sister ended up getting in around 1:30 as we were finishing up and was her usual cheerful self and proceeded to be bratty to her mother who was innocently trying to help organize things. (MA! Ugh. That is NOT where I want that box. MA! You’re doing it wrong. MA! etc.) Charming.*

*I mean, yes, this is a different strokes for different folks situation, but all I know is that if the Madre volunteered to unpack and set up my kitchen for me, I would be all: YES PLEASE. But that is just me. And I also know she would do an awesome job.

I’m going back and forth on this one people.

The Boyfriend has had a horrible, horrible week at work this week. We are talking insane levels of ridiculousness here – I don’t think he got home before 1:30 a single night this week and there were two nights where it was definitely more like 3:30. In contrast, I’ve had a pretty easy week after my craziness of the previous three weeks. So I completely understand that he is suffering and tired and miserable and I feel bad about that.

I am having a joint birthday bar gathering for myself (Happy Belated Birthday Self!) and one of my girlfriends from work (and it looks like, even though he will be working up until the start, he will make it. I told him he doesn’t have to come  because I do know he’s exhausted and needs sleep, but he said he will try and be there and I am glad about that because he invited a lot of his friends (as I like to call them, my friends-through-the-Boyfriend) and while I am quite fond of most of them, they’re not really my friends and I know most of them are really coming to see the Boyfriend and so I don’t really feel like dealing with that potential awkwardness on my own.

But anyway, despite the fact that work is crazy crazy insane, the Boyfriend is taking tomorrow morning and afternoon off (how sad is it when you have to use the phrase “taking off” in regards to a Sunday?) to move his sister. That is a story and a half in and of itself, one that will get it’s own post one of these days, but ultimately the point is that that is his number one priority.

So I have things outside of work going on these days as well, all leading up to an announcement of some VERY BIG NEWS that I hope to share at the end of next week as long as all goes well and there has been some prep work necessary. This needs to be done by tomorrow and the Boyfriend has been promising and promising he would help me with it today.

I’m sure you see where this is going.

When he got up this morning, he said it wasn’t happening because he had to work all day. And I get that, really do. And this is something I could do on my own, but really wanted his help with.

So I was a brat and was pissy this morning. I tried to explain that I was just really frustrated with the situation and he told me I was selfish. I recognize that there is some truth to that, but at the same time, it doesn’t change that I was counting on him and he knew I was counting on him and I guarantee you that even if work calls tomorrow and is like “Screw your “family thing.” Get into work ASAP” he won’t go until every last thing is complete and perfect for his sister. And I KNOW that right now work needs to come before everything else, but it just doesn’t feel quite fair.

So he called a bit ago and told me that when things are hard for him, I need to be more supportive or else it’s not fair to him and I do understand his point, but I don’t know that burying how I feel is fair to me either.

So that’s where we are right now. I’m frustrated and annoyed and not sure if I’m being a 100% unreasonable bitch or if how I feel is actually okay and valid. Clearly tonight is looking like a super-fun night. Awesome.

I thought – hey, I have a FULL day with NOTHING to do – I can finish at least one of the half finished posts I have up here in my drafts folder.

OH WAIT.

Nope.

The berry started blowing up at 2:30 and I am now reviewing documents. And it is, of course, AWESOME.

Although I should say that I am reviewing said documents on my own computer while sitting on my couch while wearing my favoritest sweatpants, so it could be much less fun.

Subtitled, Why yes, UPS, you ARE welcome for the free and totally unsolicited advertising.

This Christmas, I ended up with four presents that couldn’t be delivered in person for one reason or another, but namely geographic issues. One, for bestie Jill in DC, was small enough that it could be sent first class mail, and, as I figured at the time, how badly could the USPS screw up first class mail to DC? Especially since I was sending it over three weeks before the holiday. Another, to Godson Z, was going to Philly, so even though the package was a bit bigger, I assumed that, again since I was sending it WAY in advance, the post office could manage to get it the two hours to Philly in a timely fashion.

There was no way, however, that I was entrusting the other two packages to the USPS. One, to other bestie Rachel, was going to the great state of Texas and the other, to my favorite girls, absolutely had to get to DC in a timely fashion since they were insanely lucky and got to celebrate the holidays on the beach in Florida (not that I’m jealous or anything!) and I wanted it to arrive before they left.* Rachel’s package also included her birthday present, so I was on a tighter time frame there as well.

I have been nursing a wee grudge against the USPS since Christmas 2007. Rachel was pregnant with Godson Z at the time (his birthday is Jan. 8 – happy birthday, Godson Z!) and, for a variety of reasons, she wasn’t having a baby shower. I had been out in Texas right before Thanksgiving and was going back for Godson Z’s birth (a story for another post, dear readers) and between finals and the holidays, there was no way I could get back out there to throw her a shower. So I did the next best thing: I made her a baby shower box:

and I bought a ton of presents (baby presents, like onesies and pacifiers and such, are relatively cheap, so you can buy lots!) and the Madre bought a ton of presents (because she is awesome like that) and I coerced the boyfriend into contributing a few presents and even Jill and Liz, who had only met Rachel once when Rachel kind of unexpectedly joined our annual Labor Day on the lake in 2006, each contributed a present and a card (because they too are awesome like that and knew it was important to me).

I put a ton of time into the box (SO much more fun than studying!) and wrapped everything individually and generally tried to make it as nice as I possibly could. Rachel’s birthday is right before Christmas, so I wanted the box to get there before her birthday and before Christmas so she could appreciate it and wouldn’t feel like she was being overshadowed in all the baby excitement. So, first of week of December, I took the box to my local post office (which, to be fair, was kind of a crappy post office – if you had to go there, you always wanted to make sure you had a book or something with you because you could be in line forever) and paid something ridiculous like $30 for priority mail to guarantee that the box would get there in two to three days. I repeatedly asked the person at the post office when the box would get there and told him how important it was to me that the present get there in a reasonable amount of time and the man repeatedly told me “two to three days. two to three days.” OR SO I THOUGHT. BECAUSE THEY LIE.

I went home and waited for a call from Rachel. And waited. And waited. I didn’t want to say anything to Rachel because I wanted it to be a surprise, so when there was no word two weeks later after Christmas, I called the post office. This is when I first learned that Track and Confirm is crap and that, therefore, the man on the phone couldn’t tell me where my package was or when it might conceivably make its way to Texas. It was also when I was informed that the whole “two to three” days things is not a guarantee, but is, instead, an estimate. The man on the phone also told me that I couldn’t reasonably expect for my package to get from DC to Texas in two to three days because, hello? it was the Christmas season and of course everything takes longer at Christmas.

I was livid.

I mean, I get the whole Christmas thing, I do. BUT THEN DON’T OFFER A SERVICE THAT PURPORTS TO SEND THINGS IN TWO TO THREE DAYS. And, at the very least, have your employees tell the customers the truth when they ask. The package eventually showed up in Texas a few days after Christmas and Rachel loved it and was very happy, but at that point, I could have totally saved myself roughly $20 dollars and sent the thing media mail with the same result.

Of course, because of the whole “not a guarantee” thing, the post office refused to refund my money. Not that I didn’t try.

I first discovered the joys of and headache-free-ness of using UPS (I don’t ever consider FedEx when sending things because I know from working pre-law school how ridiculously expensive FedEx is) when I needed to temporarily move roughly 100 pounds of clothes and books and purses and shoes (whether or not I NEEDED all of that
is, if you ask the boyfriend, open to debate, but I firmly contend it all was, in fact, necessary) to New York for my three month stint as a summer associate and I was flying an airline (ahem USAirways) that was charging BIG fees for checked bags. I investigated the post office, but they were pricey and I was a little skeptical anyway after the Christmas incident of 2007. I was pretty resigned to the fact I was going to have to pay the crazy airline fees, but then my mom suggested I at least check out UPS. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that not only could I send 50 pounds for only $30, (vs $25 for parcel post or $40 for priority mail), but my boxes would get there in only two days because UPS ground rocks.

I did comparison shop with USPS this Christmas just to check, but the UPS prices were roughly the same ($9.95 to send 3 pounds to Texas via USPS, $12.53 to send the same package via UPS) and I knew that UPS would actually get my package there when they said (and actually, it got there a day early-it took three days instead of four).

Also, with UPS tracking is free and by tracking, they actually mean TRACKING and not “we’ll update if we feel like it because we’re actually under no obligation to do so” even though you paid $.75 for this crap service ahem, Track and Confirm, ahem. And I don’t know about you, but I LOVE tracking the things I send out to see where they are. I am weird like that.

Now, in the post office’s defense (and, fair warning, this will be the ONLY thing I say in the post office’s defense in this post), both USPS packages DID get there in an amount of time that the average person would find both expected and reasonable so that is where they TRICKED me and I got cocky. I even twittered about how impressed I was by the efficiency of the Grand Central post office.

After Christmas, I had to send some important documents back to New York that, for reasons I will probably discuss in a later post, had to get to New York before the first of the year. On Monday the 28th, I took said important documents to the Post Office, explained the situation to the clerk, and asked if I should spend the $18 to send the documents overnight. And he said that there was absolutely no reason to do that because I could spend only $4.95 for priority mail and it would absolutely get to New York in 2 days on Wednesday (are you seeing the BIG RED WARNING signs here? because I didn’t). Worst case, and he stressed that he didn’t think this would happen because New York is, you know, SO CLOSE, it would get there Thursday morning.

Would anyone like to take a guess when my super super super important documents got to New York? If you guessed Monday the 4th, you would, in fact, be correct (luckily, I had faxed copies of the documents and the person they were going to accepted those, so we still met the deadline). When I called the post office, the woman on the phone gave the stupid “not a guarantee” line again and then told me that even though all the signs at the post office say “two to three days,” the post office, in fact, considers five days to be “delivered on time.” She also gave me the stupid line about how I shouldn’t expect things to be on time during the holidays.

I’m so glad that your standards are so low, USPS. Really.

So you are all thinking “fool me once…” but it, in fact, gets worse. Last week, my mom had to send some documents to New York and, thinking she would learn from what happened with my documents, paid the $18 to send the documents overnight.

Would you like to guess when the documents were delivered? If you guessed “not overnight,” you would in fact be correct. If you guessed “two days late,” you would be even more correct.

USPS did give her back her money, but I don’t think she really gave them much choice.

I hate the post office.

*Of course, as it turns out, sending a present that early to a five year old and not letting her open it for two and a half weeks is the equivalent of Chinese water torture, so I may need to rethink this plan in the future.