Friday, March 5, 2010

Tease Now, Play Later

Today – March 5, 2010 – is a tease.

Look at the sunshine. Consider that sky. Feel the hint of warmth in the day. Listen to the birds chirping. Wait – is that a crocus peeking out? Is it possible that spring really will come again?

Or maybe today is not a tease, but a belated valentine for my friend Joe Hanrahan, who said earlier this week in an email: “We need to break the 50-degree mark and get Spring Training going!”

And then we did. That’s what today is all about. Good thing, too.

“I apologize for being crabby,” said my friend Carol. I was mystified. I was sitting next to her at lunch yesterday. I was crabby too, and it had not occurred to me to apologize. The cold weather, the Party of No, the earthquake victims in Haiti and now Chile, the news from the war fronts, and a betrayal heading my way (and aimed at 149 other Post-Dispatch retirees, as well) from Lee Enterprises regarding our health insurance costs all have conspired to upset me and a lot of people around me.

One friend, stressed about juggling two high-pressure jobs, said on the phone just this morning: “It’s amazing how clear the connection is here on the Titanic – I can hear you perfectly.”

All the gloom and doom swirling around so many friends right now reminds me – though admittedly few others – of part of the opening paragraph of Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick.” Here it is:

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos [anxieties] get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off – then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.”

We all know that damp, drizzly Novembers of the soul can occur even in February (maybe especially) or in March, and that last bit gets to the heart of one reason I am crabby.

Remember the reason for this blog? Last May, I put the condo on the market so I could start a whole new life in San Francisco by my son and his bride and the sea. I called the blog Late to the Haight because I missed being there for the Summer of Love by four decades and then some. But 10 months after listing the condo, here I still sit in Creve Coeur. The new issue of San Francisco magazine arrived yesterday, but otherwise I am no closer to living in the City by the Bay.

With that in mind, today is a tease in another sense. Today I signed a contract with a new realtor, my third. New realtor, new price, new forms to fill out – all that somehow encourages me, makes me think that maybe my dream of moving to San Francisco is not just a wild fantasy after all.

Ten months ago, I read a list of sure-fire ways to sell your home. One of the items on the list was “work with a third realtor.” The tongue-in-cheek reasoning was that by the time you sign with a third realtor, your place has probably been on the market long enough to actually sell. Ha. Ha.

We all know that today's weather is a tease, that more cold, dreary weather is on the way. That’s inevitable – it’s March. And I know that it’s highly unlikely that suddenly hoards of condo-seekers will rush to my place and fight over who gets to buy it.

But hey -- spring will come, and eventually, the condo will sell. I know this because sometimes a tease really is a promise of what's next.

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