Bye, Calypso

One hundred and seventy eight pages of documents to sign--signatures indicated by colorful sticky flags.

A friend is almost a year ahead of us in the renovation journey. Journey is her word.

She’s been at this way longer than us, which makes sense given the (huge) scope of her project. But her identification of journeys seems to have some universality. She has named the design journey, the finance journey, the downsize journey and the journey of the build. There may be more as they are revealed to her. I’m sitting at the foot of her throne of wisdom, waiting for her to drop more knowledge.

Yesterday, we did our finance journey. Or, at least, a major part.

We had one-hundred and seventy eight pages of forms and contracts and acknowledgements and clauses and hold harmlesses and a smattering of goofiness that all needed to be signed.

So, today, I will tell you some of the things we agreed to.

  • We won’t run a meth lab on the property.
  • We won’t do any nuclear energy experiments, either.
  • We will buy insurance to protect against fire. And locusts. And fire hail. We didn’t need flood insurance, so no protection against a river of blood.
  • We will show how we would sign our names with and without middle initials.
  • I wouldn’t demonstrate how I would sign my name misspelled. Seemed counter-productive.
  • We initialed four different documents that said we saw four different credit reports. Each of us did that. That was sixteen of the pages.
  • We gave our lender permission to ask the IRS information about us that we already provided to them from the IRS.
  • We did that a second time, too, but this time as a married couple. So there was a total of three forms saying the same thing to the IRS about information that was already in the file.
  • We said we were not terrorists. And this is true because we signed a form with our drivers license numbers.
  • We signed a paper saying we were married. I did laugh out loud for that one, especially since the Spouse refused to acknowledge our relationship on Facebook for years.
  • We put our initials on a bunch of pages. The Spouse dogged me for missing one. The notary found one the Spouse missed and let me pay his snark back. I liked that guy.

There were many more pages and affirmations and agreements and promises in the finance journey. Yet it is all simply the prelude to the writing of the checks. Now, signing those lines feel like the real Odyssey. Next journey, up. I hope we didn’t piss off Poseidon.


A pile of papers. So old school.

Times have changed. Things are faster. We have the internet. And cellphones. And wireless earbuds.

I can imagine that I’d want to make snickerdoodle cookies because the New York Times emailed me a link to a recipe on their site. And I could realize that I didn’t have a decent cooling rack for cookies. I used the phone that I got the email on and that I read the recipe on to research and order a cooling rack. It will be delivered in less than 24 hours. The transaction–including comparison shopping–took less than 10 minutes.

I got a call today from the loan processor guy. He is different from the loan origination guy, who is different from the loan paper-compiling guy, who is different from the house appraiser guy, who is different from some woman I spoke to who apologized that the cryptic automatically generated email reached me before she could call. Especially because the email said it was following up on her call that she had yet to make. They all seem to like the telephone. They use email to tell me to ring them. 

So the loan processor guy called to say everything was great, and all he needed was a phone number for my HR department. A landline. It was just in case they wanted to do a last minute employment verification. Sometimes the underwriter guys do that. 

I work for a pretty large organization. The company has been working to accommodate a modern workforce. It’s been focusing on building a virtual work environment. I haven’t had a landline myself for four years. I don’t have an office. We hotel–meaning no assigned, permanent seats. Most people work from home at least a few days a week. Some work from home all the time. We’re mobile and flexible. It’s 2017. 

I didn’t know what to say, so I told him I’d email him the info. 

Even though I started the transaction online, I felt like I was stepping into a time warp. It wasn’t that different from the last time I got a mortgage–twenty-five years ago. 

I sent a query out over our Slack channel to get the answer about HR. 

This just seems to be harder than it needs to be. It’s not really hard, but I can’t stop wondering if it couldn’t be easier. I’m sure in a week or ten days, I won’t be thinking about it at all. It will be done. Friction and all. But I kinda want to let them know that 1995 called–to release them.