December 09, 2004

My Big Fat Puerto Rican Closing

The maintenance man in my office bought a house recently. I handled his closing last week. On our way to Staten Island for the closing (this after weeks of his stopping by my office 5 times a day with inane questions and making his down payment of $8,000 in $20 bills) we picked up his girlfriend, her mother, his step-daughter-in-law, sister-in-law and an elderly woman of indeterminate relation who spoke no English.

While I thought the family was just along for comic effect, I discovered upon arrival at the mortgage broker's office that apparently, now that all documents had been drawn up, mortgages had been cleared, credit checks had been run and contracts signed by Maintenance M
an and Maintenance Man alone, the impromptu family gathering was actually because all 5 women wanted a piece of the action as well. They all wanted on the deed. 6 people. For a 2 bedroom house in Staten Island. And no mention of it until we sat down at the closing table.

Long story short, I was in Staten Island for 8 hours on what was supposed to be a 45 minute deal, the relatives did not understand that adding 5 people might constitute bank fraud, and was therefore impossible, and I rode back to my office in a minivan packed with incredibly vocal, incredibly disappointed (read: pissed off) Puerto Rican women. Maintenance Man had a new house; I left work at 8, and went directly to
Arriba Arriba where I spent the next hour crying into a frozen margarita, no salt.

Things brightened considerably when Leah and I went back to my place to get stoned and watch old SNL skits on my laptop; unfortunately the brain cells destroyed were not those that housed the painful memory of being seated around a conference room table, listening to the physical embodiment of Maintenance Man's X chromosomes screaming that bad credit and outstanding judgments against two or three of them shouldn't keep them from getting on the mortgage.

The point is that I just ran into Maintenance Man in the elevator. He told me with a big grin that he is planning on buying another house in the next three months. A 3 family house. Taking into account the penchant his famliy has for sharing, I am planning ahead for the inevitable reunion. I have already begun exploratory calls to rent a hall for the closing. Somehow I have been appointed to bring the pinata and potato salad.

If anyone needs me, I'll be in the break room, rocking the vending machine back and forth in hope that it will tip over and crush me.


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