Monday

Toy poodle or feret on steroids?  You decide.Photo source: Yahoo!

Toy poodle or feret on steroids? You decide.
Photo source: Yahoo!

Most Mondays, I question that I chose working as a career.  Why couldn’t I have majored in vacation?  I am really good at sitting, eating, smiling, enjoying, relaxing, drinking and sleeping.  Basically, I bring all the skills needed to be the CEO of Vacation.  Yet, nine years post college, here I sit (in a cube no less) every Monday daydreaming about five day weekends and two day work weeks, asking myself, why?  

Usually to make myself feel better, I take a five minute break here and there to catch up on the latest and greatest on the interwebs.  Yahoo!, known for its groundbreaking reporting and stories, is where I typically start.   This morning was no different and as I perused the carousel I saw a headline that read, Man buys toy poodles, discovers they are actually ferrets on steroids.  Um, yes please – tell me more.  

As it turns out, there is a market in Buenos Aires that sells “puppies” that are actually ferrets and rats.  They pump varmints up with steroids, fluff their hair and scam people.  Now, I’ve seen both rats and ferrets.  They are both disgusting, smelly animals that I am shocked could be mistaken for puppies.  But then I thought about it for a bit.

If I were the CEO of Vacation, Buenos Aires would definitely be on my list of destinations.  I would sleep in, eat a lot and drink more.  Then, after I had a substantial buzz, I would wander around the city taking in the sights, which would most likely include a visit to La Salada, Argentina’s largest bazaar.  In a vacation high, I would wander up and down the aisles of the market seeking out the cutest puppies.  I would pick them up and cuddle them, disregarding every red flag like the weasely movements and hissing. 

“What a cute puppy!” I’d exclaim to my vacation employees. 

“I want one.  If I could just hold onto him.”  I would look around as the puppy shimmied out of my arms.

“Do you sell leashes?” I’d ask the booth owner.

“Perfect!  I’ll take both puppies and two leashes.”  Then, my vacation high would be replaced with a puppy haze of happiness except that they weren’t really puppies.  They were ferrets.  And ferrets are weasels.  And weasels are gross and mean.  I would feel like the dumbest CEO of Vacation so I would try to hide the puppy scandal from everyone around the world.  I would fear getting fired from vacation. 

Then, my work phone rang and snapped me back to reality – maybe a career in working after all isn’t so bad.  I hate ferrets.

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Growing Up

Growing upI lived my twenties as a free spirit.  I had a lot of fun.   After all, the only person I had to take care of was myself.  I was an independent, young adult with a lust for life.  I did what I wanted, and only I had to suffer the consequences or so I thought. 

Tom and I recently placed an offer on a condo in the city.  We first saw the condo in January.   It is a large, vintage unit with two floors.   From the moment I walked in the door, I was in awe.  The space was unlike anything I had ever seen.  I wandered into the kitchen seeing our future flash in front of my eyes.  I imagined myself standing at the sink making dinner, hearing the pitter patter of little feet running down the hallway and later in life standing in the same place hearing laughter of teenagers echoing from the basement.  I could smell Tom’s coffee brewing as he shouted to me from another room.  The condo was warm and inviting.  I knew in my heart it was the place we would raise our family.

After we left the building, Tom and I excitedly talked about everything we liked in the unit.  It needed work but the bones were good.   Plus, Tom needs a house with projects.  The unit had the original woodwork from the early 1900’s and quite frankly, we were never going to find another place that size in the neighborhood we were looking.  There was only one issue, it was slightly more than we wanted to pay.  

For the next three months, we looked at more places comparing it to “the one”.  We looked at it online every night to see if it was still available or if the price dropped.  We talked in length about what we would do to the place if it were ours and more importantly, did we need that much space?  We did everything we could to talk ourselves out of the place, even placing an offer on a different condo, but in every scenario, “the one” was staring back at us.  

After consulting two of our sisters on what we should do, we decided to make an aggressive offer.  After some negotiating, the condo was ours and thus begins the rest of the process.  The process of buying house is a lot of work, and there had been one piece I was dreading – the finance piece.  While I had gotten my act together in the past few years, I had made some mistakes as a free spirit.  And while it wasn’t a surprise to Tom (seriously, we have no secrets), I felt terrible.  The consequences of my actions weren’t just mine anymore, they were Tom’s too.  

I took an afternoon off from work so we could go to the bank.  I was a bucket of nerves the entire day.  

“I’m nervous.” I said grabbing Tom’s hand as we walked into the bank. 

“It’ll be fine.”

We sat in front of the broker going over every detail of our life.  Every rock was turned over and bumps in the road exposed.  I sat there face flushed.  In comparison to Tom, I had a long ways to go.  While he’s 29 going on 60, I’m 31 going on 28.  

“Elyse, don’t worry.  It’s not bad.”  The broker had gentle eyes and a kind smile.  I looked down in my lap and Tom squeezed my hand.  It was my worst nightmare, as she asked more and more questions. 

“I’ll be right back.”  She said walking off to get something.

“I’m sorry, Tom.”

“Don’t worry about it.  It’s not bad…just promise me you’ll continue to make good decisions going forward.”

“I promise.”  I bounced my feet as I waited.  My heart was beating ninety to nothing.  One of my biggest fears in life is letting Tom down. 

The broker came back with papers in her hand. 

“Congratulations.  You are approved”

My heart leaped out of my chest.  Buying a home had suddenly become a reality.  I didn’t have to hide behind my fear anymore.  I didn’t have to be skeptical that it wasn’t really going to happen.  I could relax and get excited.  We were going to buy a home…together.