My friends, our offer on the house was rejected. We had offered full payment of the house, with the concession that seller pays for closing. The other couple offered full payment, but that the seller pays for half of the closing. We were beaten by a couple of grands! I’m really bummed out. I was having daydreams of that backyard, where our kids—whom we have decided to name after mushrooms—could play: “Chanterelle! Portabella! Get your brother Button off that tree! Come inside! Tofu loaf is ready!”

I’ve never been so depressed before and am going through all the stages of grief, including Denial (“What? No. Call them back, Al. It must be a mistake.”), Bargaining (“Oh, Lord, if we could get this house, I promise I would donate more to charity”), and Anger (“Argh! Stupid sellers, accepting the other bid without asking us to exceed it!”). Right now I’m in Depression. (“Our dream house is gone. There will never come another one. There is no point left to trying to buy a house. We might as well live as nomads in the desert.”)

But instead of whining about it, I’m going to be mature and do what I should have done over Thanksgiving, which is to count my blessings. We were so busy chasing after houses that I’ve lost a little bit of perspective on how lucky I am. Here are things I’m thankful for, in no particular order:

  • Financial security: Sure, we lost our best chance of getting the perfect house at an amazing price, but I am thankful that we can actually even consider getting a house, any house , in the first place. Not many people in the world are fortunate enough to think about buying a house.
  • Good oral health: I went to the dentist for the first time since getting a root canal in Vietnam six years ago, and was told I have no cavities! They said I have good oral hygiene. I asked for a Care Bear sticker.
  • Friends: You all are awesome. And even though I know how very far apart we are, it helps to think we’re wishing on the same bright star. And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby, it helps to think we’re sleeping…underneath…the…same…big…skyyyyyyy!!!
  • Family: They’re like artichokes: Thorny and rough on the outside, but then you peel back the layers, and you realize it’s also thorny and rough on the inside. But if you really, really dig at it, you get to the heart, which is scrumptious, and only slightly messy to put up with.
  • All my senses: Each year, I am thankful that I can still look out and see the ocean, hear the sound of waves crashing to shore, smell the distinct scents of the water, feel the ocean spray on my face, and taste the sand.
  • Interesting, meaningful work in the field of nonprofit: It’s stressful, and now we’ve put up cubicles, so my work space is about the size of a small closet. But I’ve never learned so much in one place before. And I feel like my efforts do matter to the community I live in. Kind of.
  • My mentors: Freya and the others, who put up with my constant whining about work and life.
  • Jack-in-the-Box commercials, which continue to be hilarious. And Flo, that lady from Geico commercials, she’s great.

Most of all, I’m thankful for Jameelah. I heard the bad news first from our agent, Al, and felt sad, thinking of how disappointed she would be. She really wanted the house. When I told her our offer was rejected, she went to the organic store and bought some Tofurky jerky and some soy yogurt, thinking it might cheer me up. I don’t know about you, but that’s pure love to me.

With so many blessings, who needs the stupid house with its stupid 180-degree view of a lake and fully finished basement anyway! And that fully remodeled bathroom, it’s just silly with the sink that looks like a stupid crystal bowl sitting elegantly on the stupid dumb counter.

If you’ll excuse me, I need to go crawl under my bed, where I’ll be counting my blessings until next Friday.

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