Keep Calm 

Moving on and stressing out.

I need to calm down. I know this, because about a year ago I bought a new house and sold my old house and was told to calm down two or three or 11 times during the process.

The biggest concern was that the old house would not sell, and, indeed, one of the involved parties who had told me to calm down more than once also felt the need to share what another party said about the possibility of a sale happening: "I mean, have you seen her house?" (emphasis hers).

On the big matters — the buying and the selling — everything went exceptionally well and quickly, at that. It was all of those small steps along the way that were so, so hard. Just hours before the first closing I was told a wire that was sent could not be found. One institution refused to give me a letter I needed for the other closing. And, while I can't prove it, I believe I was made to drive out to Bartlett first thing in the morning by yet another institution simply out of spite.

Meanwhile, there was a scary straight-line storm, which left a branch dangling from a massive oak at the old house. That branch then fell, and though it wasn't huge, it was big enough that I needed to find someone with a chainsaw to cut it down so the city would take it. That's when the rabbit showed up.

It was a dead rabbit, on the sidewalk, next to the tree branch. I called 311 to request that the city dispose of the animal. After being on hold for 45 minutes, I was told that they would pick up the animal and that it would need to be in a bag on the sidewalk. And that's when it occurred to me that they thought this rabbit was my pet, and then it also occurred to me that the city will pick up your dead pet (!) as long as it's in a bag. I assured the lady that this rabbit and I were strangers, so she didn't press the bag thing.

The day before I was to close on the old house, a guy from the alarm company came over to take care of a dead battery. He had a heck of a time finding where the alarm plugged in, finally tracing it to an old weird fuse box, the door of which had to be pried open with a screwdriver. So, the service guy said to me, "Miss Ellis, what you need to do is go to Home Depot and buy a fuse and get those gloves you wash dishes with so you won't get shocked, but ones that have never been wet, and then you screw the fuse in and close the door real quick in case the fuse blows up and crank that handle there and then you take this transistor, you see that tiny screw there? ... " It was around this time that I told him I wasn't planning on touching it.

Now the day of the closing, my realtor kindly agreed to electrocute himself and take care of the alarm system battery for me. He got the fuse in without incident, then ran up to the attic to change the battery and then, and then, we discovered the alarm system box was locked, and eff it all, there was no key*.

All this to say that by the time the movers broke a leg off my dining room table, I had become impervious to such tiny traumas. Yep, I kept calm.

*It turns out that the key was on top of the alarm box all along.


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