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Kitchen Confusion

The couple sitting at my conference table were poised to sign contracts. Pen in hand, she turned to him and said, “Should we specify that the garbage disposal be in working order?”


Pen no longer in hand, he said, “There isn’t a garbage disposal in this house.”


She told him she was positive that there was a garbage disposal, and the switch was on the wall next to the backsplash. He was clearly puzzled, and said quite slowly, “There’s. No. Backsplash. In. This. Kitchen.”

I asked them to each describe the kitchen, and his was different than the one she described. He was positive that the house they were buying had a beige and brown kitchen, she was positive it was mostly white with “touches of blue.”

He called the real estate agent from the table, who confirmed that the kitchen was white (with some blue) and indeed had a garbage disposal.  Turns out, they had looked at lots of houses before deciding on this one. Since he worked the longest hours of the two, she went alone to the pre-contract home inspection.


In the 10 days or so that elapsed between the last time he saw the house and the time he came to my office, the many kitchens he saw all morphed into one beigey-brown one in his mind.  I suggested that they sign the contracts, but that I would hold them until he could take one last look at the house and confirm he really liked the kitchen he was getting.


I got an e-mail late the next day from him, “It is the house I liked! I just forgot the kitchen, because, well, it’s a kitchen.”

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