January 8, 2009

It was like…being kicked in the stomach

I laid on the bathroom floor and stared up at the ceiling above, while Justin flossed his teeth in the mirror. I just needed to be near him.

Too exhausted to stand, I curled up on the floor and found my home on the brown rug we bought at Ikea. From this angle, the walls of our bathroom took on a whole new shape, like a place I’d never seen before, and from here I could see everything from a different perspective. Huh. I never knew how much lint that vent really gathered. Never paid any mind to the flaking paint on the ceiling before. Wouldn’t have even guessed that the underside of our window frame had never been painted. Cheeky landlords. I squeezed my eyes together and tears streaked out the corners, down the side of my face, and into the little puddles forming in my earlobes below. I wasn’t so much crying as I was….leaking…..and I was more than ready for it to stop.

Just three hours earlier we had gotten the call. The house that had been ours just yesterday…the same one that we had toasted with champagne and jumped up and down for…yea THAT house had just gone to another buyer. Their offer was bigger, they could close much faster. I get it. It happens. But right now it was happening to us.

Justin leaned over me and his tired, smiling face filled the frame. “You know they were right, don’t you?”


“They.” I sighed and gave him a confused look.

“I dunno. They. Whoever THEY are. The people that are always saying things….as in, you know what THEY say.”

” Ah. Well what do they say hon?”

“You know… all those super cliche things that they always say about buying a house….don’t get too excited…don’t get too attached. And whatever you do, don’t fall in love. Yea…well, it turns out THEY were right. Rookie mistake, huh?” And he smiled as he gave me his best Tom Cruise circa Top Gun wink.

I just smiled and rolled my eyes, as he knelt down and grabbed my face with both hands. “It’s gonna be ok. You & me. We got a lotta fight left in us.” And just then Cooper came jingle jangling in….never one to want to be left out of ANY family discussion…and licked the tears away. Almost like they were never really there.

And with that, I was ready to pick my self up off the floor and get on with it.

Because as it turns out, setbacks like this are a WHOLE lot like getting kicked in the stomach. It hurts. Nobody will deny that it hurts. It’ll knock the wind right out of ya. And you may even feel like throwing up. You just want to lie down on a cold floor til the world stops spinning, til you can get the tears out of your eyes, and you can see everything clearly again. But here’s the thing…THAT kind of pain….it passes quickly. And in the end, it never causes any real kind of damage. It’s swift and it’s sharp and it hurts like hell, but it won’t be with you long. And then you’ll just wipe your eyes, pick yourself up, and get back in the game.

Because you…you came to play.

  1. BetsyPhoto

    Oh, I’m so sorry for you guys. :( ‘Sounds like you’ve got a great support system, though, between your man and your dog! :)

  2. Katie Slater

    Sorry for the loss guys but like everything else in life… everything happens for a reason. Cliche? Yes. But incomprehensibly true. You have great things in store for you, I just know.

  3. Val McCormick

    Oh Mary, I am so sorry. I was so excited that you two got to do the happy dance yesterday. I know how you two felt about this place and I know you don’t want to hear this right now but everything happens for a reason and something better WILL come along. Big virtual hugs from me to you. You have what’s most important of all. An awesome husband and a handsome son to wipe your tears away ;-)

    Love Ya
    Val xoxo

  4. Jacob Bergmeier

    OH… I am so sorry. I have hope it will work out better in the end!

  5. Julia

    Oh Mary… I’m so sorry. What a huge, crushing disappointment. But I KNOW there is a better house out there for you. I just know it. THE house. The "one. I truly believe in what Val said… that everything happens for a reason. I have proof. ;) You guys are the best and deserve to find the "one." It’s out there. MWAH!

  6. regina

    Oh, sweetie! That totally sucks! But as everyone has said, there is an even better one out there! Don’t you watch HGTV? Here is your homework: Property Virgins and My First Place. They come on a million times a day. Watched a chick in ATL loose 3 houses in a row the other day – all while editing mind you. BIG HUG! and another BIG HUG just for good measure. WINK!

  7. Gwen Tundermann

    It’s so easy to fall in love with the houses up there. I hope you find the one that is truly meant to be yours soon. : )

  8. Ashley Rose

    Oh that is heartbreaking :( but you have to believe that it wasnt "THE ONE" you know?
    It will be a perfect house when its THE ONE :) Dont pups just make it all better!!! :)

  9. Feuza

    This is beautifully written and ironic enough I am having a very hard time selling mine, in foreclosure actually and than there are people dying to buy. loved this entry, buying a home is very hard, you will find the one and it will be yours for good.

  10. Zach & Jody Gray

    aw! So sad!!!! Hoping you guys find your dream house super soon and that it actually becomes YOURS. -JG

  11. Cynthia Brown

    Hang in there guys! My husband and I went through this same thing twice before we were offered the opportunity to buy my childhood home. Something better awaits and it’s worth mustering up the patience for.

  12. dawn b

    Dogs always seem to know when something’s up! I bet you’ll find a house even more freakingly awesome than that one!

  13. Dad M

    You are unbelieveably incredible. I am so proud of both of you, especially because I felt the same kick. We will find "the" home for you, maybe even this weekend.

  14. Danielle Fuller

    Ohhhhh guys!!!!! I’m so sorry that happened to you. But you know what "They" say….."Everything happens for a reason!" You’ll find te one. And it’ll be so much better than that one, that you’ll look back and laugh at this whole "kickedin the tummy" thing!

  15. john waire


    without time like these though…we would never appreciate the truly good times.

    good luck in the new search. you will pay admission for that roller coaster ride yet again…and it will be filled with the same excitement.

    in the end, the right one will present itself…when the time is right…and all will be perfect, as it should be.

  16. Derek

    Well you’ve got everyone behind you, and you’ll find the one. That was your slammer then went flying back, you knew it was a Grand Slam, but then the wind shifted, and the ball landed on the wrong side of the foul pole. You’re still at bat, and you’ll always swing for the fences!

  17. kribss

    totally feeling your pain! just went through the process ourselves, lost 2 houses that we both loved and 2 lots to build on but am happy to report we found a way better house in a way better location. even though its hard to believe at the moment but what "they" say is true…if its meant to be…….

  18. Erik Maziarz

    aw bummer! i like your attitude though . . . you’ll find that dream house sooner or later!

  19. jeramy

    ahhh……i get it. totally. hang in there. the right one will come your way. it WILL be ok….take care.

  20. Samantha Jones Harkins

    I feel your pain. We had a house we were absolutely in love with too and it didn’t work out. In retrospect our current house is a much better fit, but at the time I was too blinded by love to see the good things. :) Hang in there. You’ll find the right one!

  21. Emily Mason

    I’m so sorry it didn’t work out. We are going through something very similar right now and it’s hard=( But it will work out for the best! I bet something you love even more will come along!

  22. Kellan

    Been there, lived that TWICE! It sucks big time but "they" are right…something better comes along, it did for us after both heart breaks and in the end when we drive by our original houses we contracted…we turn our noses up and thank the Lord for the BETTER house we got. Thank goodness for level headed husbands, they always seem to be the voice of reason.

  23. Joy Moody

    You guys have a ton of support, look at this comment box!!

    The right house will come along. I didn’t celebrate until AFTER we sat down with the sellers at table during settlement and everything was signed. Its hard when something comes up and years of watching HGTV taught us well.

    So this wasn’t the right house after all. There will be a better one. You will find it, I know you will.

  24. Talia

    aw guys, it sucks but for some reason "they" ARE always right. You will find another future home, you will love it even more and you while I can’t tell you that you won’t look back and wonder… b/c we all always wonder about the house that could have been, you will be happy and fulfilled and love the home that becomes yours too. hang in there!

  25. Loree Rowland

    Hey you guys, I don’t know you at all, you just have reached out to me and been so kind in the couple of emails we have written back and forth, that I just want to reach out to you in turn. I am so sorry to hear this news. It is such a blow to the heart. Such a disappointment. But just remember that the best things come to those who wait!! There is always a reason for things. There are no coincidences. We may think that something is right for us, when there is actually a bigger and better surprise awaiting around the corner. Just keep believing!

  26. Melissa J Copeland

    so..while this post was you being let down…i think its my favorite post that you’ve written. it was just so detailed.. i actually could see you laying on the floor and every detail of your bathroom.. while justin flossed…haha and of course I totally picture Cooper licking the tears away..my dogs do that too. and they especially hate being left out of important family meetings. hehe
    anyways…sorry you lost the house…i’m sure a better one will come along that you’ll fall in love with and you’ll be glad you didn’t get this one.
    good luck.

  27. Jessica

    Oh you guys, I’m sorry! I know how that feels, and it totally sucks. The same exact thing happened to me and Lu…but don’t worry, just like everyone says, you WILL find "your" house–and it might be one that you least expected, just like our new one is. Keep your heads up, and keep on keepin’ on! :)

  28. Eileen Broderick

    Oh, crappy day. Sorry to hear. But I absolutely admire your attitude. Not to belittle your disappointment, but this will work out in the end and you will never look back. Chin up! XOXO eileen

  29. Jasmine*

    Oh, friends, I’ve been there…my heart is with you. And you know what THEY say…your perfect home is out there for you! :)

  30. Sharon

    OH! I want to give you a big hug! And I have never even met you!
    I’m so sorry you didn’t get this house. I’m sure you will get an even better home, and you will have a great story to tell about your journey.

  31. Karen (Mikols) Bonar

    *hugs*, M!

    (and I actually felt like a dork for painting the underside of the windowsills … thinking ‘who ever looks at them?’)

  32. Grandma Ina

    I’m so sorry–but you have a great realtor and I’m sure you’ll find one that’s even better!! The perfect house is out there waiting for you!!

  33. Chantal

    Aww I’m so sorry!! The same thing happened to us when we bought our house….little did we know an even better house was waiting for us! You’ll find your dream house soon!! xoxo

  34. Robin Dini

    Mary….i just adore your writing style. Honestly. I was in that moment with you reading that.

    I’m so sorry you lost your house, but hey, as cliche as it may be, "everything happens for a reason" and no one knows that better than me! :P

    Your perfect home is just waiting for you to find it!

  35. Joey

    You know what "they" say, when something in life passes you by, there’s something even better waiting for you on the horizon. The perfect house with the perfect space in the perfect location is out there to be bought and lived in and filled with more love than any house will ever need. And yes, I mean that. Chins up!

  36. Mary Marantz

    LOL!! "Chins up!" That literally did just make me laugh…out loud. You always know what to say to me friend! I miss you!

  37. Kricia Morris Photography

    I’m so sorry! I actually got tears in my eyes reading this post. I could go into all kinds of cliches, but instead I’ll just say stay positive. It will all work out…big hugs!!

  38. Sarah True

    I am so sorry! I know how easy it is to get attached! Buying a house is so stressful!! I know you will find one you love even more. :)

  39. elizabeth

    Ohh Noooo thats awful.. but I do believe everything happens for a reason.. and I am sure that while you loved that house.. You will find the one that you are really supposed to be in.. the one that you never thought was out there… you know that one.. the one that defines who you are.. sometimes those first ones they seem all great and wonderful and then you find out they are built like crap and there are all kinds of things wrong that are hidden well.. Dont you fret.. You guys will find the perfect house for you.. and if its meant to be.. like everything else it will fall into place perfectly..nothing will mess it up.. hang in there keep looking..

  40. Christina LeMarr

    Well, you don’t want that house anyway…I bet it’s got leaky pipes and the toilets overflow every other tuesday. The ceiling creeks during full moons and the yard has crab grass! Nope..you don’t want that house. *shrug* I’m just sayin ;-)

  41. Mary Marantz

    :) :)

  42. Adrienne Gunde

    So sorry to hear the news but I know you guys will find something even better! And you did such a good job of describing that horrid "kicked in the stomach" feeling that stems from things going awry. Props for picking yourself right back up again!

  43. Paul McNerney

    I can relate, not that we lost a house but the whole thing, and how THEY say things… constantly ringing in your ears. The most exhausting thing in my life was not the 4.5 hour adventure race but the purchasing of a house:p The "picking it out" the "offer" the "money… what do you mean $300,000or more? is that even a number?" So i am glad to hear you have moved on and I am sure a better, cuter house with a white picket fence is hiding around the corner waiting for you to discover it :)

  44. Mary Marantz

    Thank you guys SO much for all of your thoughtful posts the past few days!! I can’t tell you how much it cheered me up to keep reading through them. You guys are AMAZING and I feel so, so blessed to have friends like you!
    so much love, M:)

  45. davina

    I’m so sorry to hear that Justin and Mary! What a bummer. A very similar thing happened to us and I have to say the cliche thing…a much better house that we love much much more came around to us. It’ll happen to you too! And you’ll be so glad it did! Love you both!

  46. carla Ten Eyck

    um…what they all said…me too, of course! xxoo

    and I love the word ‘jangling’

    missin my MARANTZ-i

  47. Jordana

    I hate "them" … mostly because "they" are usually right. Same thing happend to us a few years ago. Perfect place swept out from underneath us. The next week we found a truly perfect place and it was ours :-)

    You’ll find your perfect place. And it will be yours.

  48. pinky

    i know its late to comment, but sorry to hear that =( i’m sure you’ll definately find something bigger and better. and i have to say, i really LOVE the way you write =)

  49. Shannon

    Everything happens for a reason. You just have to remember that. I will be starting the house hunt soon and it is a nerve racking and thrilling experience. Where are ya’ll looking to go, maybe we will soon be neighbors :) Good luck… keep your chin up!!!

  50. Yanina

    Reading this was as if I had just opened a wisdom book in a random page in search for a daily piece of advice… I was looking through your blog searching for wedding details for a friend of mine and came across it… we’ve just went through the same process and felt the same way… how strange! Thanks for sharing your experience… and it’s true, THEY are right. I hope by now you have the house of your dreams! all the best, Yanina

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