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Silent Day, Holy Mess

The buyers and sellers insisted that they close on the morning of December 26. Both attorneys told our clients that this was a bad idea, mortgage-wise.  The lender wasn’t open December 24 -25, so they’d either have to wire the money to their attorney by the 23rd (that was never going to happen) or the money would arrive long after the scheduled closing commenced.

The buyers didn’t want advice:  they wanted to have a New Year’s Eve party in the house. And the sellers didn’t want to listen, either, as they had a ski trip planned. And though the bank attorney thought it was “foolish,” she allowed us to schedule it.

We trekked to a closing at 10:00 am on the day after Christmas, driving through a burgeoning blizzard. Our paperwork concluded, we waited for the wired money to arrive. I had to listen to almost five hours of griping about lousy in-law gifts (“He gets a barbeque, I got gloves”), the stupidity of buying new pajamas just to wear them for an annual gift-opening get-together, and a semi-heated argument about whether maple syrup or powdered sugar was the preferred French toast topping —maple sugar won 4-3, with two abstentions. That discussion veered into an absolutely ridiculous and drawn-out discussion about dipping vs. soaking; augmented by the ludicrous “how you can call it French toast if you make it with Jewish challah?" You’d think gluten couldn’t be that rousing, but I learned that it was brioche or bust in my clients’ family recipe.

I left the closing offices at 2:45 pm, wheels spinning in the snow. I’d had nothing at all to add to any of the Christmas or French toast discussions, but I guess I soaked it all in, like a proper piece of challah.

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