Liberated / by Susie Lubell

That ghostly figure in the background might be Elijah the Prophet.
The two bottles of wine in front of my husband are definitely empty.

I think it was Eisenhower who said something like Planning is essential. Plans are useless. Boy if that doesn't just smack of reality right now. I don't even know where to begin, except that on Monday we had an offer on our house - one that annoyed me because we had already lowered the price considerably and the offer was even below that. But we took it. It was the first night of Passover and all I could think of was redemption from slavery. And we had become slaves to this house over the last three months. So it felt like the right time to move on. Dayenu.

And we had an epic seder that night. Elijah the Prophet showed up and the kids went wild. This time all I could find was a twin fitted sheet and some kind of head wrap plus Mr. Rosen's tallis. So we wrapped up my oldest brother and he danced in all hunched over to cover his bare chest where the sheet didn't quite fit, drank some wine and got out of there before any of the kids realized that Uncle Aaron and Elijah never seem to be in the same room at the same time. And on my mom's suggestion we each wrote some Passover poetry and read aloud at the table. All attempts were well received and some made me cry laughing, mostly my brothers teasing my husband - a family pastime.

It went mostly over his head though because by then Mr. Rosen was quite drunk on the four (maybe seven) cups of ceremonial wine. But he had good reason to drown his sorrow, and not just because we were once slaves in Egypt. In fact on the way over he had received a call from our agent to say that there was a complication with the offer. The buyers were pulling out because the property was misclassified at the county. Two years ago, in a panic over our home value and soon to expire 5/1 ARM, I had asked if it was possible to change the designation from a condo to a single family home since the property is half a duplex and the only other people in the Home Owner's Association are Fred and Susan, owners of the other half of the duplex. A nice, pushover man at the county said that was fine. He never bothered to mention that it was for county tax purposes only and that the legal description of the property would remain a condo. And so would the records at the city level. So our buyers were very concerned and rightfully so. It was a clusterfuck of biblical proportion. And might require parting the Red Sea to undo.

My husband only mentioned all of this the next day so that my family could enjoy what may be our last seder together for some time because that is the kind of ridiculously awesome person that he is. And the two days after that were spent making calls and going down to the county to ask for records to be changed so that all legal documentation could be matchy matchy. Our buyers agreed to submit a new offer but at a much lower price. We tried to negotiate, because that's what we do. We're Jews. But this couple couldn't take the pressure anymore and withdrew their offer completely. No counter. Nothing. Apparently their parents, who were bankrolling the 50% deposit, were not happy with all of the hoopla and the young couple who adored the house crumbled.

And we couldn't be more thrilled. Because it's over for the time being. We get to have our baby in this amazing little house and stay here until all is settled down and we are mentally prepared for our next move. The stager came on Friday and took all his stuff away and the sign came down. And we spent the weekend putting a few things back in our house and enjoying all of the space. We also stayed home all weekend. No open houses. No showings. No previews. I didn't even make the effing beds. We played music and ate Nutella on matzoh on our porch and didn't give a rat's ass about the crumbs. We even planted sungold tomatoes from the farmer's market which we'll be enjoying all summer. In our home.