Yesterday I had somewhere to go, so it was not a big deal that I had to be out of the house ahead of a realtors’ tour at 9 a.m. Today I have nowhere to go, and I still have to be out of the house around 9 a.m.
All right, it’s not that I have nowhere to go. There’s always work, where I should be going in at 7 a.m. and staying until 10 p.m. to make up for the amount of time I have spent not working over the last year, when this New House nonsense began. It’s just the notion of leaving the house when other people want it of me rather than on my schedule that leaves me feeling adrift.
By now, you and everyone in town know that our house is for sale. Audrie warned us that there would be “a lot” of interest the first week and a half, but I didn’t really understand that meant we would have three showings in the first 25 hours.
Lynn, Oz and I had to find something to do last night at 7, there’s showing at 9:15 this morning, followed by one at 10 . . . I keep remembering the house Lynn and I looked at sometime before buying our lot, when there was a 15-minute window for us between other showings. They might as well have put up velvet ropes and taken tickets. Well, now “they” is “us.”
I’m actually expecting a downturn in activity, despite Audrie’s warning, because Spring Break is next week. If you’ve never lived in a college town, you probably don’t understand the significance of that.
While everything in Gunnison will close for a day for Thanksgiving or Christmas, we become a shell of our usual self for an entire week every March. Probably the largest turn-out for a school board meeting ever came the year people belatedly realized the K-12 school district had not set its calendar to align with Western Then State’s, and there were separate weeks of Spring Break. It almost cost seats on the school board — that’s how serious we are about our spring get-the-hell-out ritual.
And when I say “we,” I don’t really mean “me.” During the decade I worked at the paper, covering the schools, everyone I encountered just assumed that their schedule was the world’s, and I would get asked, repeatedly, what I was doing for Spring Break. “Working,” was always my answer. The newspaper did not offer Spring Break. And neither did the bookstore nor the airport, where we were usually quite busy processing Spring Breakers from south, coming up to ski. And you won’t find Spring Break at Pat’s Screen Printing, either.
But if you add up the employees of the K-12 system, multiply by the college — I mean, university — population, don’t forget the parents who use their children’s vacation as an excuse, carry the two . . . you get a genuine exodus out of Gunnison. Not, by the way, from Crested Butte: they stay put, entertaining those people who get tired of their warm weather and decide to escape to the ski slopes. But good luck finding anyone up there the second week of April.
Which is a long way around of saying there may not be too many people in town to want to look at our house, or even to show them our house.
Already it is feeling less like our house, because we are keeping it for Other People. Not pristinely, mind you, but with far less clutter than I’m used to steering around. I’m not even sure, at this rate of showings, when we’re supposed to find time, other than perhaps weekends, to continue clearing clutter.
Although weekends might not be sacrosanct, either. If showings can take place at 7 p.m., why not any time of any day? We already had a showing on a holiday, when Audrie brought clients through on New Year’s.
And, I would add grumpily, those viewing our house last night left every single light in the house on, plus the garage. Audrie, who is already supposed to be on her Spring Break, tells me via e-mail this morning that the realtor is supposed to turn lights back off as they go.
Oz and I are now at work, walking through colder but clearer weather to get here, and I have made progress toward the final phalanx-legion conflict. (I probably failed to mention that I managed to buy a month in which to continue reading my history group book because our founding member ended up with a scheduling conflict. But now I have pledged my copy of the book to another member who couldn’t make it on the March date but can in April, so I still have to hurry up and finish.)
The world is also now a darker place, and I wonder about offering this piffle when church-going people have been slaughtered in New Zealand. But if — and that’s an if — I am going to say anything in this space, I would prefer it to be more thoughtful and less reactionary.
So for now I will just hope for you that you get a Spring Break to offer respite from the weary doldrums of winter, and perhaps the even more wearying doldrums of a new world disorder.