"Umm...lying down and weeping for awhile?"
"I thought you seemed off."
"I just don't like judgment."
* * *
So the judge I faced today wasn't exactly Pontius Pilate. He was a cheerful middle-aged man named John. Still, I felt compelled to approach him with the bitterness-tinged ingratiating demeanor one reserves for people you don't necessarily like but who hold your fate within their hands.
John was a home assessor.
We flew around the house this morning preparing for his 10:30 visit, cleaning and tidying and cataloging every irritating flaw in the house, minor blemishes that now seemed to swell puss-like and red on the face of our humble abode: The sliding glass door that's missing a handle; the unprofessionally finished edge of our kitchen's chair rail; the unpainted risers we added to our deck stairs; et al.
The man was by all accounts lovely. Unintrustive, friendly, I might even say quietly jolly. In short, very smart. Because the last thing
I know what the house is worth to us. I pity the assessor who walks into a house like ours, because in my opinion the value of our home can't be quantified with a measuring tape and a balance sheet of improvements and defects. Certainly my scale isn't practical; I'm not sure the bank would accept a high score on "coziness" or "representative of homeowner's independence" or "yard provides hours of fun" as marketable qualities.
Still, I'd feel better if I could submit an essay to supplement John's official assessment. Actually I'd feel better about most things in life if attaching an essay were allowed.
Ethan, of course, has put his stamp on the refinance at every turn, from expressing his artistic urges on the mortgage manager's expensive leather bag to calling John "Stinky Pete" several times throughout his brief visit (always genially, I should add).
I can only hope they'll take pity.