Life right now is a little on the stressful side. We are trying to sell our apartment, and I can tell you that I now understand why it is they say that selling a property/moving homes is up there on the list of the three major causes of stress in one’s life, followed by death and divorce. Some of the real-estate agents that we have chosen are not exactly…well, let’s just say that I sometimes wonder how they fell into this career.
Instead of drawing attention to the positive qualities of our apartment, they use extremely negative language to describe what we have done to our place, and will make such ridiculous statements as: “Yes, the owners have STOLEN from the living room area in order to create a larger kitchen.” I think most people will agree that perhaps a more positive word could have been used instead of “stolen.” Off the top of my head, how about “MAXIMIZED THE SPACE,” “MADE USE OF THE SPACE.”
And if the person who is looking at our apartment comments on a negative feature, the agent nods meekly, and quietly mumbles, “You are right.” I stare at the agent, willing him to rebut the comment, and use the opportunity to show the client the plusses of such a feature, but no. Stone-faced silence. It gets to the point where Josh and I intervene and let the agent do what he wanted to do from the beginning – stand on the sidelines and watch us do his work for him.
As a result of our experience in trying to sell our apartment, I have discovered a new hobby amongst Israelis. Let’s Go Looking at Apartments For the Fun of It Even If We Have No Intention of Buying. A ridiculous amount of people come traipsing through our apartment, entire families with cousins, friends, neighbors, you name it. (It very much reminds me of when I gave birth in Shaarei Tzedek hospital with my little girl, Tzofia. I shared a room in the post-natal ward with another woman, who ten minutes after being carted into the room after having given birth to twins, was visited by at least fifteen of her family members. Take note that this was midnight, and the woman had given birth to twins. A whole procession of Israelis marched into the ward, and just when I thought there possibly couldn’t be any more family members, yet another, and another, would walk in. Only in Israel.) They make it abundantly clear both through their body language and their comments that they have about as much interest in buying our apartment as they do a museum.
It is truly an emotional rollercoaster, but hey, at least our apartment is always clean. Josh and I have it down – when an agent calls up to say s/he is arriving in twenty minutes, we go into fast-forward mode. I take one part of the apartment, Josh takes another, and we go into automatic pilot and zoom through the apartment. (If you are English, imagine Supermarket Sweep, but not in a supermarket. If you are not English, don’t worry about it. It was a stupid comparison.) When all this is over, perhaps Josh and I can hire ourselves out to people who are selling their properties, and need that quick finishing touch.
It is times like these that I think back to my childhood days when my biggest problem was deciding which friend to invite over to play (which invited the larger problem of which board game to select – would Scrabble or Monopoly win the day?), or which sibling to torment in my quest for treats.
I wish I could convey in four-year-old terms to Eliana that adulthood is not all it is cracked out to be, but in her mind there is nothing she wants more than “to be big”. On the way to gan this morning, she declared that she “wants to eat lots of chips so my tummy will get bigger and then I can have a baby in my tummy and the baby’s name will be Daniella but not the Daniella from shul a different Daniella.” (When Eliana speaks, there are no punctuation marks; she blurts out her sentences without any pauses or hesitations.) I told her that she will indeed get a larger stomach from eating chips, but that there is no direct connection between eating chips and getting pregnant. I guess that’s a subject we will have to put on hold for another ten years.