This past month has been an uphill battle. When I start to feel overwhelmed in my working world, I hear my mom’s clear warning: “never let them see you sweat”. She was and still is a big proponent of looking like you have everything together, all the time…at least business-wise. For her, there really is no mountain high enough, no valley low enough and certainly no river wide enough that she isn’t brave enough to take on.
Growing up and watching her work was not all that different than watching Diane Keaton’s high heel hustle through “Baby Boom”. Mom was a real estate machine taking on every deal in sight. She turned away no buyer, seller or house. Mom worked tirelessly for the most demanding; sat impossible homes open until they eventually sold; and even housed a family while finding their dream home. That was awkward. I guess the promise of a good commission trumped virtual strangers living with us. Not really strangers. I’m sure they had to have been referred by a good friend…at least that’s what I’m telling myself now.
Rookie of the year, she carefully applied red lips, hot rolled her Texas hair and put on the full length, black mink coat through much of her 1980’s career. As the admiring daughter, I liked what I saw but I’d be lying if I didn’t mention the disappointment with each persistent ring of the phone, frustration beyond belief when hushed for a “very important client” and loathing the cart along to see yet another new listing on the market. God forbid she would drag me through it. I’d much rather be in the car, tuning the world of real estate out while listening to my best friend’s latest mix tape masterpiece on my Walkman. Whitney, Starship, Michael, Madonna, Heart, The Bangles and Cyndi Lauper…these treasured tunes took me away from buyers, sellers and escrows. Did I just lose half of my readers or did any of you grow up in the 80’s?
Mom will tell you that she worked like a dog because she had to…that’s a whole other story. I think it was always inside of her, busting to get out. She was a savvy, independent business woman from the start. If Beyoncé had been around then, mom would have been shaking her thing and waving her finger to “Independent Women”. There, I got all you millennials right back into the loop.
While I’m not high heels and fur, I’d like to think I have a little bit of her grit. I’m not afraid of the mountains, valleys or rivers. That sort of bravery comes when you’ve watched someone else take them on and have success. I’ve also had enough experience to know that if I really work hard enough, I can handle them. The irony of annoyed daughter of real estate Queen is not lost on me. After some reluctance and push back, it didn’t take long for me to get hooked on the sweet taste of real estate. I’m going on 16 years now and still hungry. The deals never get bland.
Mom and I do differ in our styles. There are times when I let them see me sweat and I try my best to go “real estate light” on my three children. In a perfect world I hustle my heart out while they’re hard at work in school, but there are times when they’re subjected to a drive by, construction site or phone call quiet game. Regarding the sweat, I’ve had plenty dripping off me since June, but the last month’s sweat has been the teeth grinding, nail biting and head aching kind. I’m most always an open book and allow my personal world to creep into the business side. Obviously…you’re reading the blend. I like authenticity, hate games and believe that the more real we all are, the better. So here goes, the sweat story in full color…sorry mom.
Lately, I’ve been climbing the mountain to wrap up Mr. 1960. Just when I think my footing is sure, the rocks slip out from under me. “The plans aren’t finished.” “You can’t have the cooktop there. Venting will be impossible.” “That beam has to stay, otherwise the ceiling will fall in.” “The plumbers got hung up at another job.” “So and so is sick.” “We need two a/c units, not just the one.” Sure, all of these things are temporary slides, but I’ll get up faster with direct candor. Save the sugar coating for someone else. I want full, megaphone communication to get the hell up this mountain.
So here’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Mr. 1960 is a few weeks behind. It kills me to admit it out loud. I’ve been sweating, literally and figuratively because I’m impatient, competitive with my own schedule and most of all…I want him dressed and ready for the party! In my mind, the party starts mid to late October. The weather will break. We’ll feel our Arizona fall in the air…a low 90 something degrees and maybe even some 80’s sprinkled in. Outdoor patios will flood and home buyers will experience the ease of getting in and out of a car without heatstroke or chugging endless bottles of cold water.
In all honesty, I’m not surprised. There’s always a lag or hang up with every guy. You’ll eventually face it. Some men are complete nightmares (walk away) and every once in a while you might be shocked to hell and come across a guy who doesn’t miss a single beat (enjoy every minute but brace yourself). The vast majority of men have at least one hang up. It could come during the negotiation (casual dating), inspection (serious dating) or financing (committing). Low and behold, don’t count out construction (you’re now an official item) without a headache. You’ll eventually reach for the Advil. Everyone does. Do yourself a favor and make sure you’re stocked.
In the end it might all work out as it should. While I’m noticing a shift into fall attire for much of the world, we are still in the triple digits here. As I write this I’m suffering in jeans. Yes. Jeans. I’m wearing sandals and a short sleeve shirt but I just can’t take the full, summer regalia for a second longer. It’s hotter than hell but I’ve got fall on my mind. A mid October delivery may be just right for this guy.
Here’s the bright side…and you know I love a bright side. I have been able to think and rethink without being rushed. I have worked and reworked tile patterns, lighting locations and wall designs. I’ve agonized over cabinet placement and faucets. Paint colors have been swirling and the landscape design has been tweaked and tweaked again. Fortunately, I had some welcomed distractions with two inspirational trips to the new and old Mexico…Santa Fe (think an earthy, rugged, organic man) and Punta Mita (a Mexican, mid-century modern hombre).
There you have it. Mr. 1960 is running a bit behind. My contractor assures me that we’ll make up the time. I keep mentioning those damn Extreme Home Makeovers and ask how in the hell they do it in 48 hours? If Ty Pennington can pull this off, why can’t I? Regardless, I am quite certain that even if Mr. 1960 walks in a bit later to the party, he’ll be eye catching and feeling his best. This guy is going to be good and letting go of him won’t be easy. I should be so happy to have extra time with him. So listen baby…ain’t no mountain high, ain’t no valley low, ain’t no river wide enough…to keep me from finishing you babe.