Saturday, December 23, 2006

Our first Christmas apart

Or, to punctuate that more specifically:

Our first Christmas. Apart.

I'm in Iowa with my family for the holiday weekend. The boyfriend has to work. So we're celebrating together in different cities. Which is actually fine. Christmas is really just another day, and (Warning! Noxious sentiment ahead!) every moment with the boyfriend is like a major holiday to me. We celebrated five lovely years months together yesterday doing what most couples do to mark special milestones: making an offer on a condo.

Peggy Sawyer Gardens, the condo we made the offer on on Tuesday, fell through. The developer, whose Realtor repeatedly described as "willing to negotiate," bottomed out a whopping 1.0137% below its list price. Assuming my math is correct. So we're moving on to a cheaper place with smaller bedrooms ... and more charm, better views, a rooftop deck, a fireplace and gated parking. And two-year-old bathrooms I hate as though they were the pope.

My drive to Iowa this morning was uneventful, but challenging on two fronts: First of all, we got up at 4:00 so I could take the boyfriend to the airport on my way out of town. I am a morning person in the same way Dubya is a good president, so I had serious sleepy issues on what was an otherwise painles, traffic-free four-and-a-half-hour drive. The second front is something I'm thrilled about even less. I've always been Cap'n Camelpee, the guy who could pee once in the morning and once before bed and be pretty much unencumbered by a need to find a bathroom the rest of the day. But as I'm inching toward my 40s, I'm finding I need to pee more often. Like every three or four hours. And when I'm trapped alone in a car with nothing to think about except how much I have to pee, I make a lousy travel companion. Which is why it's probably a good thing I'm alone when I'm alone.

But I'm here, and I accomplished an entire season's Christmas shopping in one afternoon today -- finding everything that is sold out in Chicago abundantly stocked on the store shelves in Iowa. I even ran into my fifth-grade teacher, who seemed genuinely impresed to find out I grew up to be a big Broadway star with seven patents and an eponymous line of grooming products for incredibly handsome men. But she was probably impressed mostly because I knew the word eponymous.

Enough about me. I have to get back to my uncommonly photogenic niece and nephew.

Happy holidays!

LATE-BREAKING NEWS! As of 10:00 tonight, the boyfriend and I became the proud owners of Our Very First Condo! Well, the proud owners of a piece of paper stating that we're going to buy Our Very First Condo for $25,000 less than we would have spent on Peggy Sawyer Gardens. The closing date is January 19. We'll let you know when to show up and help us move.

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