Who didn't play this game as a kid? It's so great because you only need a pencil and some graph paper. (And if you're desperate, all you need is a pencil and regular paper and you can make your own graph paper.) You draw the perimeter of your dream house, then you start plotting out where you're going to put the menagerie, the dirt bike collection, the bourbon fountain...and so on. (Okay, hopefully no kids are wishing for a bourbon fountain--that's just me.) Then you show it to your buddy and he tries to one-up you with his own castle.

"Millionaire Mansion" is one of my favorite stories with Jessi and Janice because it shows that what Janice lacks in imagination, she makes up for in sweetness and smoothitude. I'm posting it this week to celebrate the fact that I just got my very own castle, this adorable two-bedroom pad:

Buying a house is crazy stressful. I mean, that's what people say, but I never believed them. I always thought you just pick out a house, write a check, and start living there. (Or, I don't know, draw it on graph paper and wait for it to materialize.) I took a psych class in college that assigned numeric values to different kinds of stressful events, and buying a house was right up there with losing a loved one or being unemployed. Bullshit, I remember thinking. Typically American, to be stressed out over buying something. Boo hoo hoo.

Well, after a couple of months of waking up early to look at properties, trading offers, sitting by the phone biting my nails, sending the mortgage company every piece of paper that my name has ever been printed on, and more nail-biting--I finally understand. We had every advantage: Great agents, nice sellers, and a solid buyer's market. It didn't matter. This is exhausting stuff. Besides all the legwork and number-crunching, there's a lot of psychological stress that can result from not knowing where you're going to be living. "Where's my home, where's my home," my mind says. "I want to go home and I don't know where that is right now."

Finally, though, I have my dream house. The part I'm most excited about? I'm getting a library/art room, so I can draw at a desk like a real artist and not in bed or on the sofa with a drawing board balanced on my knees.


emelie said...

I must say that i really LOVED that strip. You are really great at this.

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