Dear everyone,

Buying a house is like slapping yourself repeatedly in the face with a sock full of melting chocolate: sure, it sounds like a good idea at the time, but once it stops, you just end up sweaty, sticky, and people think you have something else all over your face.

It has been a very, very stressful couple of weeks. Last night, after a painful discussion, Jameelah and I decided to withdraw our offer on the house. We had gone through inspection; I followed the inspector up to the roof and looked over into the lake, a view of which we could have had. All the flaws of the house were rationalized away, since we liked it so much. No washer and dryer plumbing upstairs? Why, we can just install some pipes in the closet of one of the bedrooms! The slanting front stairs? Ha, as long as we don’t get drunk and stumble home, we’ll be fine!

Then the fog started to dissipate around me, like when you’ve drunk too much and everything feels all great ,and then your buzz goes away and you look around you and realize you’ve been overly affectionate with a pillow or something (what, this never happened to you?). This was a huge deal, a decision that would affect us for years to come. Maybe we didn’t really want a house so much as the idea of owning a house, a piece of the American Dream.

But the American Dream should not be giving you nightmares! I stayed up sometimes, thinking of doing what our friends Andy and Helen are doing, living in different countries for one year each and having a blast (sometimes literally, as with the recent earthquake in Chile). It would be hard to do that with a house. No way we could rent it out to fully cover the mortgage, at the full-price we were buying it for. I think of trying to find a tenant. What if we get a bad one? Besides, do we really want to have people living beneath us, making us feel like we can’t play video games at 3am? And do we really want to tie up 40% of our net income in house payments and have to live off of grocery outlet beets and frozen corn?

Anyway, I called up our agent, who has been the nicest, most patient guy on earth. We’ve dragged him through quite a lot, and I would understand if he hates our guts and throws rocks at us if he sees us at Safeway. But we got to look out for our best interest. He faxed in papers to null the deal and retrieve our earnest money.

Thanks, everyone, for all your support these last few weeks. The right house will come at the right time. We’re going to take it slower on the wedding, too, since a variety of obstacles keep getting in the way, such as the house, and my crazy family and their schedules. It’s been quite a ride, and I’m surprised Jameelah still wants to marry me, despite all the stuff I’ve put her through.

Now that the stress is lessening, I can return to my goofy self. I guess I should call Long up and…tell him he was right, and beg for him to help us find a house that’s a good investment. I hate telling Long he’s right.

But, we’re planning a trip to Mexico this summer!

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