Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Unwrap it.

Umm, hi.

It's me.

Yeah, I know... it's... well it's been a while. Are you mad at me?

It wasn't that I wasn't thinking about you... I was... I swear.

It's just, well, I've had a lot going. No no no no no... It's not that you don't mean as much to me as that other stuff.

I promise, things are going to change. I'll change.


Are you there?

Good. I thought maybe you had given up on me.

I have something for you. Yes, a gift. Actually, a couple. Here's the first... and I'll give you the others soon. I promise.

Unwrap it.

It's a time of nude beginnings for the wife and I. Oops, I meant new beginnings. New beginnings. New house. New job. New joys in life (who knew the power that a weedeater brings). So let's start there.

New house. First house. And you'll learn about the house soon... but first, the process.

Let's flash back to February of 2007... Beyonce's "Irreplaceable" was number 1 on the Billboard Top 100 chart. The national average for a gallon of gas was $3.06. Peyton Manning led the Colts to a SuperBowl victory. Times were different then.

That's when we began our search.

We had no idea what would happen. Over the course of two months, we saw approximately 37 houses... including the greatness of the infamous "Chinaman House."

As our Realtor, Ronaldo (name changed to protect the innocent), stopped in front of the house near Coit & Park in Plano, I thought, Huh, this looks nice. An encouraging note considering some of the lemons Joanna and I had driven by before.

Sidenote-if you are selling your house, please make it look nice. If you put a tuxedo on a turd some people might not realize it's a turd and want to waltz with it... so if you want to get rid of your turd, clean it up.

Sidenote Sidenote - this does NOT mean you should use photoshop to paint your turd of a house in a good light for a picture online. There was nothing more frustrating to me than having to look online at photos of what I thought was a great house, only to drive by it and think I just drove in to a converted RV Park.

Back to our Chinaman House. We approached the door. All seemed to be in good order. Ronaldo, however, couldn't find the magic realtor box where all realtors can use their electronic spell to provide access to the house... it was no where in sight. So we knock. We wait. Ronaldo calls and finds the owner. He explains he had an appt.

Suddenly, the door opens (insert Gong noise) and a frail Chinamen stands before us.

"Relcome roo my Reautiful home." He grandly bows, presents the living room.

My eyes get HUGE. I look at Ronaldo, thinking surely there's a mistake and we can't possibly be going in.

But by this point Ronaldo is already inside, beginning to take notes in his magic realtor file. And believe-you-me, I can't tell you how many notes there were to take.

Before we proceed, let me provide a disclaimer. I am merely a professional observer, here to observe observations. Any potential stereotypes or likenesses involved are purely coincedental.

Let's start with the smell. It smelled like garlic basted dirty underwear. My eyes began watering the second I crossed the threshold. Not only that, but this poor-man's Miyagi was offering us a guided tour.

"Dis is de rormal rining roo." Yes, I know it reads like Scooby Doo was saying it, but I assure you, this could not have been less clear.

"Dis is rain riving rarea. You like? You like?"

"It's amazing. It's pretty much the most amazing riving rarea I've ever seen."

"Oh res, res. Dis ray, dis ray."

I look at Ronaldo. He's gone to another room to laugh. I look at the wife. She's chip-munking on me, trying to hold laughing in, like a certain Asian Hot Dog Competitor at the end of today's contest... unsuccessfully.

So I am on my own. It's just me, my sanity, my irreverent sense of humor and the fake Kim Jong Il walking me through his reautiful rome.

"Dis is masta redroom."

I see a room covered in tapestries and jars filled with things like looks like pearl onions or eye balls... dealer's choice.

"Dis is my daughter's room. She at unirersity."

"Education is very important" is what I said.

"Lord, if you have to take me in my youth, do it now" is what I was thinking.

The tour concluded with a walk-through what he called a "wok area"... which I am pretty sure was a work area.

We didn't end up buying that house. And I'm okay with that. But you see, that's not the point. There may not be a point... but there is a proclaimation. I have a gift. I can walk in to an empty room and take it for more than it's face value. I can see what something can be... it's potential. I don't see what it is.

But believe me, when I entered mini Hong Kong for a guided tour, much like riding "It's a Small World" at Disneyland, my gift was no where in sight. Things were coming at me from all angles, and I was so disoriented, disgusted and disenchanted by why my trip on "It's a Small World" stalled in Asia, that I couldn't see, hear, taste or feel anything.

I could smell. Remember? Garlic basted dirty underwear. With a hint of old pot-stickers. And I can't imagine living with that smell all around me, all the time.

So, as we celebrate this Independence Day, let us thank America for her beauty, Her grace, and Her ability to let freedom rind, even if it means gross-smelling Asia houses for sell.