It's time I confessed. I have a thing for old men. It's true. Nothing oldophilic or anything, I just think they are SO cute!! The shaky handwriting, the genteel manners, the hesitations, the careful walking style, the loss of hearing they try to play off. My dad's dad, Grandpa T was the cutest of the cute old men. He came around to push my chair in when we dined together. He never criticised my teenaged driving style, he would just quietly brace his hands against the dash and the windowsill as we approached any corner.
What does that have to do with the house hunt? Why am I distracting you with anecdotes at such a crucial time? Because I have an appointment in an hour to meet 'my' cute old man here.
The first night I got here I looked at a place in Burlingame. I drove an hour from my friend's home in Santa Clara to get there. On the way back I drove down El Camino Real, an artery road chock full of strip malls, fast food, and random apartment buildings. As I drove I would take random turns to check out likely looking apartment buildings. I wrote down names, locations and phone numbers.
During one of those side tours, in Menlo Park (just north of Stanford), I used a driveway to turn around. As I turned in, the headlights illumined an "Apartment for Rent" sign. I jumped out of the car, to the consternation of a passing jogger, and got close enough to read the shaky, old-man handwriting. Slanted, trained in penmanship, but with the slight quiver of the old man. It said, "2 Bedroom, available October 2nd, please repeat number 2x when you call".
I called the next morning.
He had to ask his wife about the dog.
They've been recently burned by a yappy dog tenant.
I chattered on and on about how she's so friendly, she doesn't bark, she doesn't know she can push open doors so she doesn't claw at them, etc. He seemed hesitant but said he'd get back to me with a verdict.
That was Thursday morning. By Friday afternoon I was freaking out. We signed a lease on a 1 bedroom, cottage style apartment as a comfort blanket. Right after I did that, my old man called me back! He'd received permission to show the apartment. I was en route to Belmont to check out an in-law apartment (which was sorta workable, and sorta awful--but that's another story). He said he'd call me in the morning to set up a time to view the apartment.
I'm meeting him in an hour. I'm so excited! Will he be adorable? Will he let me and the cute pictures of my dog persuade him? Is the apartment any good? Will he let me sign a contract today?
It's a perfect location. Two blocks from the Menlo Caltrain station. I could be in San Fran in 45 minutes. I wouldn't need an extra car. It's near the library, a park with a pool, Stanford and my friends down in Santa Clara. We could meet for dinner in Mountain View and wander along Castro street.
OK. OK. I know I'm buzzing and I need to calm down. Deep cleansing breaths! I feel like I'm going on a first date. Am I clean enough? Do I look like a sweet young thing? The kind any old man would rent an apartment?
I'll let you know...