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Thursday, June 10, 2004 04:54 pm

Grace About Town 6-10-04

Not ready for adulthood

This is your last opportunity to see Grace Talk #1 (8 p.m. Saturday, June 12, at Stella Blue). Grace Talk #2 debuts at the end of July, but if you wait for that, you'll leave the show saying, "Gee, I wonder what she talked about in Grace Talk #1. Too bad I missed it." I'd hate for you to be burdened with not knowing, so please come to Grace Talk #1.

Last Thursday afternoon at about 3 o'clock, I got it into my head that perhaps I should think about buying a house. I'm not exactly a homeless person, but it seems a house might be a good idea. It'd be a place to keep all my stuff, for example.

Before I talk about this recent endeavor, however, I need to address another issue. This is the early-riser/late-riser conundrum. Perhaps it's not actually a conundrum, although the word sounds nice when you say it out loud. Maybe the issue is more of an annoyance.

Most adults I know get up early. Many have no option because of the demands that kids and jobs place on them. I always express my deepest sympathies to people who are forced to get up/wake others/clean stuff/make lunches/run around like mad/rush out the door.

My issue is with the people who choose to get up early. I recently met a fellow who gets up at 5 a.m. -- just because. He's one of the legion of "morning people," those strange creatures who enjoy the early-morning hours. I'm not opposed to morning per se; I do realize it's quiet, cool, and peaceful in the early morning (judging from my very limited experiences in that world), but the problem is, early morning is just too early.

The real issue is how morning people make me feel. They don't actually come out and say, "Grace, you lazy slob, why don't you get up early and get stuff done?" but I always sense that implicit rebuff. Yeah, I get up at 8 a.m. (really more like 8:34 or so), but, boy, do I get a lot done! I don't even need coffee, because I'm so well-rested.

And who cares how much a person gets done, anyway? Is that the meaning of life, getting things done? I think not. We all need to keep in mind Europe, where they have a much more relaxed attitude about life. Plus they take those long lunch hours, involving truly delicious food, and then a lovely nap.

That is all I have to say about early vs. late rising for the moment, except please, do not judge me, ye early getter-uppers. Sleeping in is good.

Anyway, buying a house. The first part of my quest involved driving around and around looking at them. I'd like to live within jogging distance of Washington Park, and about a billion houses are for sale around that part of town.

I never understand why people get humongous houses. I suppose if you could afford 20 million square feet and an infinite number of bedrooms, you'd also have a cleaning person or two. But I think it'd feel lonely living in a place so big, unless you had a whole flock of animals, plus a big pack of kids and maybe some relatives and hordes of visiting friends. I guess it's all about prestige and power and the display of vast riches. I know a very successful man who lives in a huge, sprawling pile of a house on the lake, and I know he only has the one wife and two children. Do the children get lost at night when they get up for a drink of water? If there was a tornado, would the parents be able to find the kids in time to take them to the basement?

The thing about house-purchasing is the overabundance of mysterious stuff attached to it. Every time I bring it up to anybody, they flood me with all kinds of information about interest rates, points, inspections, and myriad other issues I really don't want to listen to.

After driving around looking, I went to Robbie's on Friday evening to listen to a jazz band called Real Time. They're quite good, and I'm excited about hearing them again. I met the wife of one of the band members; her name is Shelly, and I like her a lot. But when I mentioned the house thing, boy, she had an overwhelming amount of information. I guess I'll call her and write down all the stuff she told me in an attempt to make sense of it.

But on the other hand, maybe I'll just ponder it for a while. Grow up. Get up early, work longer hours, buy a house. I'm very sorry, but I just can't buy into that plan quite yet.

I'll think about it after my nap. I'll keep you informed of my progress.

To see Grace's latest video click here.

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