"I refuse to overpay for this house," the skeptical Buyer said. "I bought in San Francisco in 2007 and then rode the market all the way down until I sold for a substantial loss."
I feel your pain; I do, although I take issue with the concept of "overpaying for a house." You are not 'overpaying' for a house, you are paying 'what the market will bear.' "
"What's that house you sold worth today?" I asked.
"About a million more," he said.
"Then I respectfully submit that the problem wasn't when you bought the house, the problem was when you chose to sell it."
I should have been suspicious when our Backroad's troop leader, Luca, explained "There are three kinds of fun . . ."
"There's the kind of fun you have in the moment."
"There's the kind of fun you have when you reach the top of the hill."
"And there's the kind of fun you have when you reflect on the trip afterwards when you get home."
To quote Scooby-Doo, "Ruh Ro."
"I don't mean to complain," I said to Paolo, the desk clerk at Hotel Plaza Lucchesi, (In fact, that's exactly what I meant to do.) "but my room looks nothing like the photos on your website."
I'd come to Italy alone to attend a writer's retreat with Lisa Clifford and Matthew Ferrera, (because, why not?) and had already changed hotels twice due to location and availability. In short, I was struggling to get it right. (Note to self, take a room in the suggested local.)
This wasn't my first morning in front of this crisply-starched young Florentine who was looking at me with a mix of bewilderment and compassion; it was my THIRD(!), and now I had become the proverbial "fly in the ointment."
"My husband is arriving by train early tomorrow morning," I said. "I'm afraid there's no way his things are going to fit into the small room I've been assigned." And then with my sweetest, most conspiratorial voice I added, "Is there anything we can do to make him more comfortable?
"I'll go just have some breakfast while you work it out."
WHEN IN DOUBT, BLAME THE SPOUSE.
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 600 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.