Monday, February 6, 2012
One Last Kick in the Ass Before We Left
One last thing before we left Virginia was Slow Bob extorted us. Three days before closing he said he’d just realized that he still had to pay rent in his rental house for every day he occupied the place (duh) and therefore he thought I should give him some things I was selling that he’d agreed to buy, for free. What does that have to do with me that he had to pay rent where he was living?
In our contract we had agreed that Kurt and I had two weeks to vacate the property after closing. I told everyone who I showed the place to before they even set foot on it that I needed a whole month to move out and Slow Bob agreed to that from the beginning. I actually had another offer floating around at the same time but those people would have had to take possession on closing day. Bob said, “No problem!” when I told him what the deal was. So we took his offer.
When I was drawing up the contract, I thought, ah, Bob’s going to be excited to get into his new place, we can probably do it in two weeks, and so I told him, “I’m putting in ‘two weeks’ instead of ‘month.’” That’s how nice I am! And yet, in the end, he still screwed me. This is what he said when I didn’t answer him right away when he told me he thought I should give him my stuff. I saved the e-mail.
“if you are not willing to give us the washer/dryer and patio furniture in exchange for you guys being able to stay for 2 more weeks, I WILL call off the sale, we can find somewhere else to move. I think this is being more than fair. I know you guys want to move to NJ, don't try me any further on this matter.”
I was in shock. All this time I’d been defending him to everyone about his inability to close and how this was dragging on for months. Kurt thought he was up to something because his stories about not being able to close on time were crazy! The bank was making him change jobs. His ex-wife filed her income taxes one day late. He needed to get a tattoo that said “Southern Mortgages Rock.” I’d say, “Nah, he’s just a laidback southerner. I don’t think he knows how to do this—this is probably only the second house he’s ever bought. He’s not up to something. He’s real nice.” But he wasn’t nice. And so I stopped feeling like being nice.
For example, I promised to leave them all the hay I had leftover. His girlfriend was very concerned about getting the hay because she knew it would be hard to move in and then have to hunt around for hay in the winter. I offered to let her buy whatever I had left for what I paid. Already hauled and stacked. It was really nice hay that I got for $2.75 a bale. Now I knew I couldn’t trust them and they weren’t going to pay me in the end so we took 60 bales up to New Jersey and we gave away the rest of it. Didn’t leave them a flake.
Then I was going to leave them a bunch of extras. I’d included in the sale all the kitchen appliances, the woodstove, the round pen (inclusions not always a given in Virginia, especially in this price range), but I was also going to leave them things that I didn’t put in the contract and didn’t have to leave legally or morally, but just felt like it out of the goodness of my heart—the box fans on the stalls, my halter hangers, the cross-ties, dog house, shelves, the brand new heaters I bought for the other buyer, extra hoses, the rocking chairs on the front porch, the curtains Slow Bob’s girlfriend loved, firewood…. Stuff that equaled out to way more than I was selling my washing and dryer and the deck furniture for. We took it all. We took everything we could. We even took the chains on the gates. They’re lucky we didn’t take the gates themselves. They’re lucky we didn’t take the roast beast!
We would have taken more if we could have fit it. But we ran out of room in the truck. As it was, we had to leave things. I gave away what I could rather than leave it for Slow Bob. I told all the neighbors to go into the garage and take whatever they wanted—the gardening stuff, the extra refrigerator, the shovels, the old bottles. I gave away all the leftover firewood. And I told them why I was doing it, how Slow Bob and his girlfriend extorted me and they should know they can’t be trusted. The neighbors were mad. The neighbors know what kind of people we are and they were not happy Bob pulled this.
I also left the place a mess. Not on purpose. And not bad. But I didn’t clean it up like I usually do. Normally when I move out of a place I do one last cleaning—clean the bathroom, sweep and wash the floors, vacuum…. But Slow Bob was pressuring us to get out as soon as possible even though we had contracted for the two weeks (he even went to the house while Kurt and I were in Jersey moving stuff and scared my daughters into letting him move things into the tractor shed and come inside the house—he huffed and puffed and told Jamie when she explained I said not to let anyone inside while I was away, “I own this house!”) So when the last thing went on the truck, we got in and hightailed it out of there without sweeping up one dust bunny.
Here is Kurt squeezing the last thing in the truck—the mattress we slept on the night before. We couldn’t have fit another teaspoon in there.
I also left things I didn’t mean to because he was rushing me so much. Don’t forget, we never knew until we were actually sitting at the closing table that we were really going to close because Slow Bob’s bank wouldn’t tell us. Therefore I couldn’t even pack. I had to keep the place staged so I could still show it just in case. In fact, I had someone coming over that Saturday to look at it because I thought, if they can’t close again, they’re never going to close. So I couldn’t get ready. I couldn’t pack a box. I couldn’t change an address. I couldn’t prepare and do any of the hundred things you have to do when moving because I never knew if we were really going to move! It’s hard enough moving a whole farm to a whole new state (it took four trips alone just moving the vehicles, eight hours each way) but I also had to do things that I normally would have been doing from the moment we had a ratified contract. Now I had to do it all in a two-week period. With Slow Bob suddenly in a big rush.
So I was frazzled. When I was cooking our first meal in the new place I realized we didn’t have any silverware. I’d left the whole silverware drawer! Luckily I remembered Kurt’s mother had given us a new set of silverware as a gift for some occasion a couple of months prior and I was saving it for our new house. We found the box that it was packed in and got out the forks. But I’m really mad I left my nana’s spaghetti spoon, sentimental because it always makes me think of her, and some things it takes time to accumulate like an expensive can opener that actually worked on the big coffee cans and my new potato grater that would shave the paint off woodwork if you needed it for that. Every time I go to do something, I realize some other tool was in that drawer and I can’t scoop out the soup. I can’t imagine what they thought when they opened my drawers and saw all my stuff in there. I was leaving their kitchen all set up?
They never contacted me to ask me if I meant to leave that stuff. The good part is, they rushed me so much I also took what I didn’t mean to. We just carried out the whole file cabinet to the moving truck and when I got to the new place and looked inside, I discovered I still had all the owner’s manuals, warranties and records to all the appliances, the heating system, the new well, the pool, the woodstove, etc. I also had the extra pair of house keys. I figure when they call me to see if I meant to leave my silverware, I’ll tell them as soon as they send me my stuff, I’ll send them theirs. But I’m not waiting much longer. If they don’t call soon, I’m throwing it all in the garbage. Those new knives cut really nice.