Monday, April 30, 2007

Momma Always Said...

Momma Always Said 'Smart Girls Know When To Play Dumb'

I signed a one year lease on an old, neglected house. The paint was completely peeled up. the yard was rockhard Georgia clay. Me & my 2 dogs shared the house with ferocious squirrels that would race & fight in the attic, knocking the losers into the walls.

I painted the trim, shutters & front door barn red. I ignored the profanities & cop lights that continuously buzzed around my next door neighbors' house. I tilled the yard & threw grass seed. I used my Singer to whip up patchwork curtains, made from scraps of old tattered scrubs. I built a parkpad.

'You'll never grow grass. This whole street has been dirt & rock for 20 years' said an elder in the hood.
'I don't care. I just like to dig in the dirt.'
'Women who live alone shouldn't have red doors. It's like leaving the light on, right?' asked the elder.
'I don't know but the light fixture doesn't work'
I fixed the light fixture & watched the grass grow in the wee hours of the night.

Three months into my 12 month lease, a real estate agent showed up at my door, lockbox in hand.
"I'm putting a lockbox on the door. The owner is selling & gave me a key."
"But Nothing! You're just a tenant! The owner says he's done a lot of work & wants to sell."
"Oh......Ok, but I have two who's ferocious. And I live alone. What if you or even worse a prospective buyer, gets bit by my dog? Does the owner have good insurance?"
"Ok, we'll show by appointments only then."
"Who will?"
Eyes roll..."Who will what? Show the house?"
Heavy sigh..."I will."
"Then why the need for a lockbox? You have a key right?"

Within a week, the phone rings. It's the real estate idiot. He has someone from Florida who wants to see the house ASAP. I tell him to come immediately. It's not a good time for the agent, he has a two o'clock appointment elsewhere.

'Well, send the buyer on over. I'll show it. I'd hate for you to loose your first prospect just because you don't have the time for him.'

The prospect came and stayed for about an hour. He loved the grass, loved the front door, the fake brick wall I had painted in the kitchen. I raved on about how great the location was & pointed out how local sales had been sky-high and that this house was a I'd love to buy it myself, but just couldn't afford it. He was renting a pay-by-the-week place until he could buy a house. I told him we could do a ten day close.

'Really, a ten day close? But what will you do?' asked the prospect.
'Well, I will move. It's no big deal.' and I beamed will peaceful assuredness.


He put in his offer from my living room sofa. Appointments were made to draw up the papers.

The next day the real estate idiot called.
10 days to close. I needed to be out in nine.
'No problem...what's in it for me?'
'What? Didn't you tell the buyer that you would move?'
'Yes & I will. But what's in it for me?'
'What do you mean?'
'Look, if I broke the lease agreement on you, I'd have to pay for the remaining 9 mos. I could refuse to pay & you could take me to court. Then I would have to pay the remaining 9 mos plus court costs. Time is of the essence, I believe, is the legal jargon on my lease. So you're breaking the lease & I just want to know what's in it for me?'
'Let me call you back'
An hour later the phone rings. The landlord has agreed to buy my lease out, but I have to be out in 9 days.
'I don't know, I'm really going to have a hard time finding a place on such short notice. That's a bigger problem than buying out the lease'

A huff & a puff...'Let me call you back.'

10 minutes later he calls again...
'OK, the buyer has agreed to give you thirty days to get your stuff out and the seller has agreed to buy your lease. Deal?'
Hmmm... 'Let me call you back' I said.

At about 10 pm I called him back.
I lied. I told him I had called my uncle. I told him that my uncle had told me to be suspicious of him. It was all so fast & this was a man who had wanted to put a lock box on a single womans' rental. I told him I had been advised that a landlord had no right to show a property until the final 30 days of a lease. He breathed hard into the phone. Finally I told him that I was an honest person & would not go back on my word, but I needed him to put dates & figures in writing. If he could do that & have it to me at my place of work, where a notary worked, by 9am then it was a deal. I like to waifer back & forth but if I had a legal obligation, he could rest assured that I would not flutter on this one. Otherwise, I was following my uncles advise.

The next morning he was waiting for me in the parking lot.
He chuckled, 'I made it real simple, so you could understand it yourself & not have to call your uncle.'
'Oh, Good. I hate to bother him'

DONE DEAL! On 3-30-2000, Skinny was to move out of the residence on Scott Drive & would receive a lump sum of xx$ for early termination of her lease by such&such dip-shit real estate company.

Days later, the phone rang. The buyer couldn't qualify. I could stay.
My reply? 'Time is of the essence. I'll be out & I expect my check as agreed upon.'
'You have only got a couple of weeks now. We can go month to month if you like.'
'No need. I'm buying a house & close in a few days. That will give another 10 days to get my stuff out. I expect my check on the 30th.'

Silly man.... just because I am a skinny little blonde does not mean I am not my mothers' daughter.


Slick said...

LOL, stick it to the MAN! I'm impressed girl :)

Can I take you with us when we decide to buy a house?

Hammer said...

Good for you! I wish I was that slick :)

Anne said...

What a great story, Skinny! Wow, I had no idea you were so sneaky! ;) LOL

Matt said...


I too have been the bane of landlords' existences, beginning w/ my first college apartment.

One time, i came home drunk late at night and started cooking some macaroni and cheese. During this time, I passed out on my bed--naked. As smoke billoughed out of the apartment, neighbors banged on the door and I answered--drunk, confused AND naked.

I put out the small fire and returned to bed--naked.

The next day the landlord shows up. Um, he's a volunteer fireman and, aside from fire safety, this would have hurt his reputation at the fire station.

And what's up w/ the bathrobe?

vicci said...

I LOVE the hell out of this post Paiger! YES! ANYONE that really KNOWS BLONDES...knows that WE are NOT stupid!....and we are just like out Mamas !!!!! :-)
Love you Girl!

singleton said...

Laughing, loving, smiling! P.S. Just emailed this to your Landlord!
It's so "keepsakey" I thought he might like to have it!

skinnylittleblonde said...

Slick ~ Lol, no doubt...Momma raised me right! Smart girls know when to play dumb.... my brother calls me the pitbull. LOL.

Hammer~ I really briefed it up but the man was downright degrading from the word go. Such an idiot, he didn't have the seller sign crap so he & his real estate company took the hit. And he made it 'so simple' that it was contigent upon one thing ... the date.

Anne~ I wasn't being sneaky, he was. I was just playing along with him. He knew the laws better than me. I had to research it.

Vicci~ Thank Gawd for our Good Mommas! ILY2G!

Singleton~ Hmmm...really now sister? Who might that be and will he fix the hole in my laundry room wall? Could you possibly be talking about this daughters' mothers' hubby? LOL.

Bardouble29 said...

OMG, I laughed hard when I read this...I love it when us girls can show them who is "the boss"

JR's Thumbprints said...

Good for you! When someone tries to jerk you around, it's good to see them choking on their own "wheelin' and dealin'."

Scott from Oregon said...

I would have fell for it...

I can't see a train comi' till it toots...

Mel said...


SLB=skinnylittleblonde not stupidlittleblonde.

Ya done good!

skinnylittleblonde said...

Bardouble~ Glad you got a chuckle. I often thank this man for his cocky abrasiveness (he was much more demeaning than this post lets on) because he was the impetus for me to become a homeowner.

JR~ I actually kind of felt bad for his deal falling through...but not bad enough to allow a retraction on the agreement. He had no mercy with me & I had done all the work, not the landlord.

Scott~ You wouldn't have fallen. He was tooting his own horn, rather aggressively.

mel ~ TY!

skinnylittleblonde said...

Matt, Matt, Matt ~ Exactly what is up with the bathrobe?

Fuzzylogic said...

It always pays to listen to mom:)I'm impressed Skinny,this is priceless masterstroke! I'm glad that seller got what he deserved. You go girl!

she said...

so funny and inspiring!

"Silly man.... just because I am a skinny little blonde does not mean I am not my mothers' daughter."

-love that close.

SpongyBones said...

Oh hell ya get the man! Stick it to him!

CS said...

Oh, nicely done! You are an inspiration.

Nithya N said...

wow! you are a real adventure. i thought life gets monotonosafter college

123Valerie said...

Oooh Mama, I think YOU'RE the ferocious one. I lurve it!

skinnylittleblonde said...

Fuzzy ~ Those of us that have mom's that share great little wisdom with their daughters are truly blessed :)
Her words, like herself, may be small... but they pack a mighty punch.

She ~ TY, I'm glad you could see the humor in it too. I definitely thought it was funny. Interesting that you would comment on the last sentence...I actually edited it once I read my, thanks! :)

Spongy~ Heehee, I really kinda sat back & let him stick it to himself. Seriously, his words were probably 1000 to my one & he was very cocky & full of crap from the word go... totally into his own greed & power. He even tried to tell me that when he sold the house, and he would do that within 30 days mind you, that my appliances & the doghouse, sold with the house 'because that's they way it's done.'

CS~ TY, but really it is my Mother that's the inspiration.

nithya~ Hmmm...never thought about that, but now that I have...I have to say life is never really monotonous & it definitely expands after college. :)

skinnylittleblonde said...

123Valerie~ hahha...ty & I must say, I definitely thought you sounded beautiful singing. I hear someone like you and am totally befundled as to wtf is going on with American Idol ... there should be a reality show where it's a couple of hippies traveling from local clubs all across America ... not all the major cities, but all the points in between, putting some spotlight on all the real musicians out there working it where they are. Really, girl, you jam. should read the bold print on the String Bikini post. You'd probably get a kick out of it.

kj said...

where is my comment? did blogger eat it?

you are a clever woman, skinny. and subtle. you know the rules of the street (i do too). it turns out that is quite a fine skill to have. who knew? :)

JustRun said...

Ahh, go you! I am much the same way when buying a car, thanks to my mother. :)

skinnylittleblonde said...

KJ~ Yes, the blogger beast sometimes has a mighty appetite...beware, he eats his own. LOL.
Who knew? Obviously, our mothers, thank goodness! ;)

justrun~ Mothers! They rock! Buying a car is something I will never let my own hubby go alone on ;)

piktor said...

Skinny, have you seen the STB blog?

I did the background and part of the head banner.

Orhan Kahn said...

I truly love the last line. Says alot about your mother. I can't believe it was the year 2000, sounded like something that would happen during the 80's. Lock-boxes and terminating people leases, I've never heard of these things here. You just couldn't get away with it. Here we either lease it or let it. The latter being a temporary measure for easier removal of occupants.

You are quite the salesman. I"ve met some who would sell their mothers but never one who was willing to sell the roof from above her head. Another instant classic, SkinnyLittleOne.


it's the little things... said...

Excellent story! However, my house is on the market, and I may need to do some quick wheelie-dealie quite soon.
Can I call your uncle?

Tai said...

Hot damn, girlfriend! I want you on my side next time I have to face down the man.

Oh, and: "Women who live alone shouldn't have red doors" is one of the funniest things I've ever heard.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Orhan ~ Thanks for the evil laughter at the end...I felt that way a bit. We actually have a good deal of renters' rights here, I think he just took me a dumb little girl. Like my momma said, smart girls know when to play dumb! ;)

It's the little things~ Good luck on your house. I say paint the front door & plant lots of flowers! Curb appeal can close the deal!

tai~ Funny you should pick up on that line. About two years later I met another older lady & she told me what was meant by that. Apparently scarletts would paint their doos red to let passers by know that they ran a bussiness from their home! Who knew?! Hahah & I thought it was feng shai

mindy said...

i love this.. if i ever need some legal advise, i'm calling you! :)

Kilroy_60 said...

In two words...

And a great job telling the story. 8-)


skinnylittleblonde said...

Mindy~ Lol, Funny when I got my Bachelor of Science degree I never realized that I would value a degree of BS just as much, if not more!

Kilroy~ Longtimenosee, my friend! Thank you for coming by & letting me know you're still around!