Many, many years ago, the husband and I bought a house in a very religious city, in a whitey-white American town, in a conservative area, basically, in a place we never quite fit into. I mean, we're not building tributes to Burning Man on our lawn, but we do tend to listen to a lot more Public Enemy than our neighbors. That kind of thing.
The main reason - the only reason, really - we moved to this city is because of its schools. The district has the only gifted magnet program from 1st grade on [which gets less delightful as time goes no, but that's a whole other post] where the nerd kids are in their own school being nerds in all classes, from math to art to gym. I highly recommend it as an elementary school program.
Anyway, we moved here when the girl was in preschool, because her preschool was in the area and we liked the city [leafy parks, nice swimming pools/clubs, good neighborhoods] even though it had no soul [no real downtown, 1970s era school buildings and city hall]. The people were nice. I mean, not all kinds of demented fun and they tend not to swear as much as I do [but then, who does?], but nice people. Churchy. Conservative, but not in that Newt Gingrich-y sleazy kind of way. Just whitebread America.
So we bought the house and a few years later, our house had appreciated [remember when houses did that?] and mortgage rates were dropping, and we decided to refinance for a lower rate. Smart, sensible, what everyone else was doing.
Well, in order to refinance, your house has to be reappraised. I made an appointment with the appraiser and set a day and time. At that point, I was working part time and going to grad school [totally worth it!], so my schedule was more flexible than the husband's. Also, he hates dealing with people, so I'm usually the person who has to make appointments and call for carry out and send emails to teachers.
Anyway, the appraiser shows up, and I start showing him around the house. He says, "I think I know you from somewhere."
I think, "Great. I'm getting either hit on or ready to be fileted, neither of which is a great option right now." I say, "Hmm. . . I'm not sure I recognize you."
He says, "Oh, our kids go to preschool together. My daughter is Blond Girl."
Oh. Sure. Fine. I've been president of the cooperative preschool for about 3 years and know his daughter, and I'm kind of whatever. Small world, yadda yadda.
We continue our tour through the house and head down into the basement, which has been refinished into a really nice rec room area. There's thick carpeting, drywall, and block windows that have been trimmed out with blinds hung from them. There's also a fuse box that has been trimmed out with blinds covering it.
Him: Can you show me the electrical box?
Me: Sure, it's right here.
I walk over and pull on the cord for the blinds, yanking them up and displaying the utility box and:
|Yeah. Pretty much this. Source.|
At which point I die.
And grab the giant VHS boxes and say, "Huh, I'm not sure why these are here," and stuff them behind a blanket on the couch.
To give him credit, the man continued his appraisal in a very professional manner.