Memories, Like the Corners of My Condo

There’s so much stuff going on with life right now. Some of it I can’t begin to write about because I don’t know where to start and if I started it I don’t know if I could even end it. Some of it I’d LOVE to write about but can’t because it would probably be used against me. But it would be awesome to.

One thing I can write about and couldn’t possibly be used against me is the ongoing saga of Project: Sell This Condo.

We listed our place to sell it and move some place bigger in the beginning of June. We still haven’t sold. Oh, eeeeeverybody loves our condo but just no one has made an offer. I’m ready to scream. I know they’re not just blowing smoke with their positive feedback because back when I was trying to sell our “matrimonial” home we got PILES of negative feedback. So, the nice comments are awfully nice but I feel like saying, “Kiss my butt. Make me an offer. Thank you very much.” Because my mama raised me to have manners.

Besides the frustration with not selling (look, I know we haven’t been listed very long, the market’s not hot right now, bla bla bla) is that while we ARE trying to sell, it’s paramount to keep this place looking, at all times, like no one lives here. Quite the challenge with my mini-roommates.

I spent about 3 whole weekends cleaning, painting, washing carpets, de-cluttering, de-personalizing, taking stuff to donation, taking stuff to storage, etc. All just before listing. Every day, I have to leave our home looking like no one woke up here, no one had breakfast here, no one gets their little handprints all over the windows and the glass coffee table and the bathroom mirrors (seriously: there are other places to put your hands. I’m this close to investing in gloves for these guys).

So, now our condo sits here, pristine, nicer than it’s ever looked, given that the comfy, lived-in look of a home where a young family actually makes their lives does NOT sell condos, and every day while I do my last-minute inspection of every detail in the place before heading off to work, there’s stuff I notice. Like:

  • The big empty spot on the living room wall. About a year ago, my daughter and I were watching TV and this commercial came on that I only ever saw a few times, and have no idea what it’s trying to sell because all I could ever think about was how sad it made me. It’s this guy sitting on a rooftop in this big city, and all over the city these, like, kids’ drawings pop up, of big alien spaceships on the city streets, flying cars, maybe flying people, I can’t remember everything. Every time I saw it, it gave my heart a pang because I realized that my kids had just passed that magical age where all the make-believe stuff is possible to them. It’s like mourning the passing of the innocent age, where all that stuff you imagine can be REAL. I actually said out loud, “this commercial kind of makes me sad.” My daughter asked why, and I told her. Her bottom lip quivered and then she actually all-out cried. I felt like the world’s worst mother. She said, “Mommy, I still believe in make-believe.” And she grabbed a bunch of markers and paper and started to draw, flying angels, walking spaceships, clouds and buildings. Then she cut them all out and taped them all over our living room wall. It was a formidable mural. Our little city full of make-believe. It stayed up until a few weeks ago. I took it all down and kept it – but I miss looking at it. A lot.
  • The gouge in the coffee table, precisely the size of two baby front teeth. Three years ago, the kids were in the living room and I had just gotten up to do a load of laundry. My son was taking karate and we’d just gotten home from his class, had dinner and were relaxing. He was still wearing his gi, and my daughter asked for some pointers. I encouraged this because I felt like my son was proud to show what he knew, and he’s also a really patient, good teacher. Well, it turned out my daughter was really only interested in jumping right into serious karate, complete with high kicks and yells of, “high-yah!”  BT dubs, they don’t actually say “high-yah” in karate. Anyway, general but harmless horseplay ensued, and like I say I was just around the corner doing the laundry in the hall closet so I to this day don’t know precisely what happened, but it went a little like this: *Thunk*. Deafening silence for 2 seconds. Then, “MoooooooooooMMMMMMMMYYYYYY WAAAAAAA!” For 1/10th of a second the irrational urge to pretend nothing happened and not look crossed my mind, but then I sprang back into the living room. There stood my little girl, blood and tears covering her terrified face, and me going, “you’re okay! You’re okay!” I took her into the bathroom to wash her face so we could see what we were dealing with, meanwhile my horrified son who can NOT handle the sight of blood was wavering between passing out, running into the street, and tearfully explaining that he didn’t do it, he hadn’t done it. Turns out the blood was all coming from her mouth, her two front teeth were kind of caved in but no teeth were broken as far as I could see. But she was in a lot of pain. I packed both of them up to make the trip to the emergency room, and my daughter calmed down a lot, my son was relieved we all agreed it was just an accident, and my daughter got to explain a bunch of times to different strangers what had happened. She was prescribed some painkillers and we went home, I took her the following day to the dentist for good measure, he explained that it was just her baby teeth, the grown up teeth behind them had not been compromised, and he wasn’t going to pull the baby teeth out, but they’d be falling out a few months before they would naturally be due to. So she spent the next few weeks with dangly, askew front teeth and a story to tell. She adapted beautifully, using her molars to bite food and got more ice cream than she would normally have been allowed. The gouge in the coffee table is there as a memento.
  • The empty spot beside the kids’ bedroom door. At turns, for the 4 and a half years we’ve lived here, it’s proclaimed loudly in pencil, “DANGER: HONTED HOUSE” or “Girls only!” or “This Way to Singing Tryouts” or “GRYFFINDOR. NO SLYTHERIN. SIGNED HARRY, HERMIONE AND RON.
  • My bedside table, where I now throw everything that doesn’t have a proper place. But sitting at the top of the stuff in the first drawer is the birthday card I got this year from the nicest guy I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. Enough said.
  • In the second drawer I have a little pile of traffic tickets. Well, not “tickets” per se, but rather, warnings. I’ve gotten a few. The cops around here are super nice and refuse to make me spend my hard-earned cash on tickets rather than, say, my children. The latest one was for not stopping at a stop sign. According to the cop. I’m sure I at least slowed down, and obviously wasn’t driving like a dangerous maniac because I got a warning. We went later that day to the barber for my son’s haircut. The barber’s is the place my son knows he has a great audience, and proceeds to loudly tell whomever’s cutting his hair, and thusly anyone within earshot, our latest family hijinks and anecdotes. Once, he boldly told the barber to just shave his head. The barber said, “Really?” and my son replied, “Well, maybe not this time. But it would make your job easier. It’s so easy, my mom used to shave my dad’s head so he wouldn’t have to waste his money getting a haircut.” The barber asked, “What happened?” and my son replied, “They got divorced.” Then he also told the barber that I was single, and how old I was. Mortifying. The other patrons were enjoying the show, however. Anyhoo. So this particular afternoon after the stop-sign warning, my son was regaling the rapt barber-shop audience with the tale. How I had told the kids that I was sure to get a ticket this time, I couldn’t get away with another warning yet again. And he said, “And she got another warning!!! My mom NEVER has to pay tickets.” The fella in the seat to his left muttered, “ooooooof COURSE she doesn’t.”
There’s more, like the dining room table that if you look closely, has 4 little blobs of glitter-glue which I’m now convinced is made out of industrial strength super glue, because it will never, ever come off. There’s our fireplace mantle, bare save for the beautiful orchid plant to one side. It used to be covered in Habs hockey cards, a miniature Stanley Cup, an Oscar statue that we bought at Universal Studios that says “Best Family”, and tons of little pictures of the kids. The window sills, where my little girl had all her wares for when she played “Store”, complete with all kinds of items she made and other items from the apartment that she relocated to the windowsills, with price tags on them (mostly negotiable). The windows, which routinely were covered in paper that had been taped up there, so whatever was taped directly beneath them could be traced. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

All gone now, or stored away for when we can see them again when we move. If we ever move. It’s funny, because as desperately as I want to sell our little condo because we’ve simply outgrown it, it will be terrible to say good-bye to it. It’s the first truly happy home I’ve lived in with my kids. In the very back of my mind, I think, would it be the worst thing in the world if we had to stay for another couple of years? But no, we really have to move. It’s time.

Pssst, wanna buy a 2-bedroom condo with a view? Please?



  1. Great read Veronica. It is amazing how many of those things we accumulate over the years, that make our homes a home and not just a house.
    I hope you sell soon, get your new place, and while you will miss the condo, you will be making new memories in your new home.
    Best of luck!


  2. Aww… that’s sweet. I like your “life is good” posts, which usually only appears in the off season 🙂


  3. I already have one, sorry.

    Good luck !


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