Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Surreal Mondays

Things Cheryl Shouldn't Do
1. Scrape paint off of a garage in the middle of January in Wisconsin.
2. Paint a garage in the middle of January in Wisconsin.
3. Do this while wearing her only winter jacket (wool).

Yesterday was one of those surreal days where you don't know whether to scream, cry, or huddle under the blankets and wait for the day to end. For the most part, we did the huddling under the blankets thing. We had MLK day off from work, but day care, bless them, was open. So Ben went to school, and we came back home and napped. No. I'm still not feeling well.

Our mortgage lady called and said that the garage at the new house needs to be scraped and painted before the FHA inspector will sign off. So that's what we did. We didn't want to put bets on the seller getting around to it before Friday. He doesn't live there anymore, and he's not around often.

It was cold, icky, dirty job to scrape old paint off of asbestos-fiber-board siding. We only had to do the east side (the back), but it still sucked. Painting was the messiest, though. Chester ruined completely one half of his winter coat (it's a two-in-one thing, so we only had to throw out the shell), and I got a bit of paint on my cuffs and my elbow of my nice wool winter coat. Kind of depressing, but it's not like we keep old winter coats around in case we need to paint in the middle of January. OUTSIDE.

We survived. And then we got some really upsetting news. So Chester's debt with MBNA was sold to a collection agency when MBNA merged with Bank of America. And when we were all set to offer a settlement last month and be done with it, the collection agency "made a mistake" and "had to cancel his account." And no, they wouldn't put anything in writing. So Wells Fargo (our mortgage lender) has a credit restoration company they work with, and this company tried to contact the collection agency for a month. No answer, or when there was an answer, they'd get transferred and then dropped. When they finally told us of their failure, Chester gave them the secret combination of phone numbers and extensions to get someone who would talk. And they got a hold of someone. And instead of telling this credit restoration company that the account is closed and canceled, and Chester's balance is zero (which is the line they've been giving Chester for a month), they told this company that the debt was returned to the original creditor.

FUDGE. Yesterday afternoon, we waited while our file went to the underwriters again for the final decree. They definitely had an "out" and could have denied us the mortgage. There's no way we could settle the debt in less than a week. The process takes a month. And our closing is Friday!

So we napped and pretended that everything was just fine. And we waited for the phone call from our mortgage lady. It was tense. She finally called at 5:30, and it was good news. The underwriters said "sure," and our closing is scheduled for 10 am on Friday. It's all very exciting. Chester said he didn't remember a time when his shoulders felt so relaxed. All I can think about is the hell of moving.

I am looking forward to setting up house, though, and then trying to convince Chester of paint colors. He has this horror of what he considers dark paint colors. I find darker, muted tones to be very cozy and comforting. I think this is one of the cases where Chester should just defer to my wisdom.