I ain’t afraid of no ghost–because I own a house

While home sick this week, I decided to take the opportunity to do something I never get to do now that I’m married. I watched a horror movie.

It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but the Hubby can’t even handle the evil queen scenes in a Disney movie. The second there’s scary music and a darkened room, he’s out. When I started watching American Horror Story, I had to shut it off before he would even enter the room because the opening credits were too scary for him.  (Granted, I haven’t been in our basement since watching Murder House.  But the Hubby doesn’t need to know that!)

But he’s cute and he puts up with Downton Abbey, New Girl, Game of Thrones, and Orange is the New Black, despite claiming to hate all four of them (which is clearly a blatant lie, but whatever). And I prefer horror books to horror movies anyway, so I didn’t consider giving up my scary movies to be much of a sacrifice. And I can still watch them when he’s not home, which makes them even better because then I get the additional fear factor of NOT having him there to protect me from the evil monsters in the television.

So I sat down (okay laid down with Rosie, a cup of tea, and a box of tissues—I WAS sick after all) to watch The Conjuring. And wound up browsing Wayfair on my phone for living room furniture, the prices of which scared me more than the movie.

It’s not that I’m unscare-able. I’m quite scare-able. I still haven’t watched the clown doll scene in Poltergeist. I know the kid lives. I know the doll isn’t real. But as soon as it’s off that chair, I’m out. Too scary.

I think the real problem is home ownership. The premise of haunted house movies SHOULD terrify home owners. You’re moving into a new space and you have no idea what else could be living in there with you.   And that’s basically how every haunted house movie starts.

Although I’ve definitely gained a greater appreciation for why the family always stays in the house.  Like as a kid, I’d be yelling at the screen for the stupid family to just move out.  But now, I get it.  We sank our entire life-savings into our house, plus all of our wedding present money into fixing it up.  I don’t care if the walls bleed, there are monsters in the closets, or some demonic voices telling us to GET OUT.  I’ll tell them to either shut up or get out themselves.  We’re going nowhere!

However, since buying our dream house a year ago, I’ve discovered that there are far worse problems that a house can have than a couple of malicious spirits.

Like the toxic mold in our air vents. While the Hubby claims that I’m sick from October to April, that’s typically not entirely true. Yes, as a teacher, I get sick a little more often than the average professional (thanks, kids, for sneezing all over my computer keyboard every time you sit at it. I appreciate that oh so much). But I’ve had a chronic cough that no course of modern medicine or even good, old-fashioned chicken soup from my grandma will fix since we moved in. So the Hubby decided it was time to get the air vents cleaned. I agreed, bought a Groupon, and a nice Israeli man came and ripped all of our painted-over vents off the wall (thanks previous homeowners) and cleaned one square inch inside each one, then showed us what the rest of our vents looked like and told us the exorbitant sum it will cost to get that scum out of our house.

Pretty sure an exorcism is cheaper and more effective than that.

Not to mention the other problem that the air-vent skimmer showed us. Apparently our dryer vent was made of paper. Not metal. Not even plastic. Literal, flammable-as-all-hell paper.

Which, while scary, was not entirely surprising to us, because we have long-since discovered that the previous homeowners were the cheapest people on the planet. Mr. Previous Homeowner considered himself quite the handyman, and he therefore he did all of the wiring and electrical work in the house himself. Which means that everything is a fire-hazard. Our electrician’s eyes literally displayed dollar signs when he saw what was going on in our unlabeled fuse box.

But the fire hazards didn’t disappear when we fixed the wiring. When we pulled out the old, hideous wood-burning stove insert in the hopes of having a working fireplace, we discovered that there was no fireplace liner and that all of the 1970s tiles that predated liners in our chimney were cracked, coated in creosote from numerous chimney fires, and basically guaranteed to burn our house down if we even attempted to build a fire. Twenty-five hundred dollars later, we had a working fireplace.

Of course, the working fireplace was a necessity because every time the wind blows, a tree falls down in our backyard. Which was terrifying because many of those trees are close enough to our house to cause severe damage, but also because sometimes the trees don’t fall entirely–instead they have massive severed hanging limbs waiting to fall on poor innocent Rosie while she sniffs out the herds of deer and foxes that inherit our yard. And adding to the fear factor there is the price-tag that comes with any tree work.

Because as handy as Hubby and I can be, shimmying a tree with a chainsaw to hack off dangerously dangling limbs is not in our repertoire.

But the working fireplace is necessary for more than just the burning off all of the surfeit of wood that now takes up ¾ of our half-acre yard—because possibly one of the scariest things about home ownership is the cost of heating our house in winter. While I know that ghosts are said to lower the temperature in a house, they only do it in the rooms that they’re in. And our house is cold in all rooms. We replaced the ancient French patio doors that literally had gaps at the top and bottom and we put on fireplace doors, both of which helped. But keeping the house above 62 degrees costs more than a ten night Springsteen stand at the Meadowlands.

The bottom line of which is that I would gladly trade some poltergeists for certain elements of the realities of home-ownership. Granted, ghosts can interfere with a good night’s sleep, but I’m an insomniac anyway. And a haunting would provide excellent fodder for a new book, which could eventually help assuage some of the costs of our typical household horrors.

At least until we have kids. Because that looks like it hurts a lot and the cost of college these days is the scariest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

Dear everyone: Stop asking me where the ring is. If I knew, it would be on my finger, not in his sock drawer–I mean–wait–what?

Sorry for the lack of blogs lately folks—it’s been a whirlwind of activity at Casa de Goodman between getting an awesome agent for my newest book (which is currently “out for submission”—love it!!!), school starting back up, and, in much sadder news, my grandfather dying.

I considered writing about him, but this is a humor blog (For anyone who may be new to my blog or who may have missed the fact that the entire thing is intended to be funny, that’s what I’m here for—entertainment value only. Most of what I do here is satire, designed to exaggerate and make fun of myself. The narrator of my blog is a caricature, not an accurate representation of me as a person.  I take events from real life and twist them out of proportion to make them funny through hyperbole.), and Grandpa loved nothing better than a good laugh, so I figured the best tribute I could give him was to stick to my normal posts.

(This was referenced in my uncle’s eulogy because my grandfather was, in fact, buried with his five wood.  And Grandpa would have been laughing the hardest of anyone in the room at the reference.)

And there IS something else big going on at Casa de Goodman right now. I’m just not supposed to know about it.

The boyfriend and I are rapidly approaching the one year mark of our relationship. In common parlance, known as an “anniversary.” And while prior to meeting him, I was staunchly in the school of advising everyone to wait before committing to anything, I’ve switched teams and now hit for camp “When it’s right, it’s right.” (Did I mix too many metaphors there? I feel like I’m yelling, “Hit a touchdown!” at a baseball game… oh well…)

Maybe it’s because I’m a little older. Maybe it’s because everyone I see is checking my left hand with unabashed frequency. Maybe it’s because six (yes, count them, SIX) of my Facebook friends currently have profile pictures of themselves kissing their significant other with an engagement ringed-hand in the shot. Or maybe it’s all of my relatives repeatedly asking “So nu ven?” (Which is apparently Yiddish for, “When’s it gonna happen?”.)

But whatever the reason, I’ve turned into the girl I never expected to be. The girl who is absolutely DYING to get engaged.

I still don’t want a real wedding. My dream wedding is still Rabbi Elvis in Vegas with NONE of you invited. But my best friend has vowed to stalk me and bring both my mother and grandmother to Vegas with her if I elope without telling her, and I am fully aware that if my mother and grandmother are not at my wedding, the level of Jewish-guilt/wrath will make the ten plagues look pleasant. So I’ll probably do some version of a real wedding, but that’s not what I’m interested in right now.

Right now, I’ve turned 100 percent into Gollum (but with better hair and makeup… although I may go on his diet plan if my mother plans to force me into a puffy white dress), desiring nothing more than that precious, precious ring.

Which probably wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t happen to know that he already has it. Yes. Sorry, honey, your secret is out.

You see, like all good Jewish girls, my grandma (or bubbe if you will) has a jeweler friend who has been telling me since I was five to go to her when it was time to get engaged. Actually, she’s probably been saying that since before I was five, but I only remember it starting then. I’m picturing her cooing into my cradle, Sleeping Beauty-godmother style, “And when she’s old enough, I’ll give her the gift of a gorgeous diamond at a wholesale price.”

And while my grandmother claims she’s able to keep a secret, with all the hullabaloo surrounding my grandfather being in the hospital, there was no keeping the secret that she and the boyfriend went shopping.

So now, because I know he has it, and because he knows that I know he has it, the boyfriend has begun an active campaign of torturing me. Okay, maybe it’s not an active campaign, but it feels like it. Because whenever I try to get any kind of a hint as to when he’s going to pop the question, the only answer he’ll give me is that he loves giraffes and monkeys that throw poop.

Like he’s started texting me with emojis of monkeys and poop.

Actual text from the boyfriend.  Which I interpret to mean, “Kisses to you, my angry chicken baby, monkeys throw poop and push penguins into volcanoes.”  Perfectly logical in every way.

Which yes, makes me laugh, but I’m not even sure if he’s ACTUALLY saying these things or if my weirdo girl lizard brain has gone completely Gollum-style ring crazy and if I’m just hearing utter gibberish whenever he ISN’T talking about the ring.

It also doesn’t help that there are a very limited amount of hiding places in our apartment, and when I can’t sleep at night (which is a frequent occurrence), I feel like there’s this odd, pulsating, diamond-like object calling to me from his dresser. I won’t get near it, because I know the pull of the One Ring is strong. But I can sense its presence.

And the only thing that he WILL tell me is that he’s planning something special. And I want to let him do this his way and let him make it special.  So I know better than to go looking, and I’m trying not to talk about it too often.

By which I mean that I’ve limited my questions about when we’re getting engaged to three times per hour. Relationships are full of compromises, people!

Lucky for him, my romantic standards are notoriously low. For which we can thank my parents, who got engaged when my mother told my father to “defecate* or get off the pot.”
*”defecate” was not the word that she used.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is the super romantic story of how my parents formed the union that created me. So I’ve warned the boyfriend that as long as I don’t have to use that particular expression, anything at all that he plans will be magical and wonderful and romantic.

Even if it DOES involve monkeys throwing their poop.

Thank you, mom, for instilling me with such low expectations when it comes to romance.

Which means that until he decides to make his move, I’m planning to wait patiently. Okay, as patiently as I can. But at least he knows I’ll say yes.

And for the rest of you, LEAVE ME THE HECK ALONE! ASKING ME WHEN HE’S GOING TO DO SOMETHING AND CHECKING MY RING FINGER EVERY THREE SECONDS IS TURNING ME INTO A PSYCHOPATH!

 K thanks!

(And if you still haven’t gotten the message that this is satire and are sitting there reading this thinking, “Oh my God, her poor boyfriend! Why does he put up with that girl?”, you should know that he reads my blogs before I post them, totally gets my sense of humor, and loves me for the crazy weirdo that I am—just like I love him for the crazy weirdo that he is. It’s a match made in crazy weirdo heaven. Which makes sense, since my crazy weirdo mom* and his crazy weirdo aunt* set us up. Crazy weirdo yenta-devised love all around!)

*Neither of you is a crazy weirdo. Please don’t hurt me. I love you guys! ❤