We didn’t quite know what to do next. This was new territory for us. We had always prided ourselves on being cautious, sensible people.
Buying a house in what was essentially a foreign country without even having seen all the rooms didn’t seem to fit neatly into either the “cautious” or “sensible” category. In fact, most people would have filed it under “insane.”
Some tiny voice told us this was our chance—maybe our one and only chance ever—to squeak into the Vieques real estate market before things got too expensive for our modest means. Also, we didn’t have time to make endless trips to the island on the off-chance that a realtor would deign to show us more properties.
In short, this felt like an all or nothing game.
In the past, we would have played it for nothing—in other words, we would’ve walked away. As much as we may have fantasized at various points in our lives about severing the surly bonds of employment, or winning PowerBall, or joining a rock band, in truth we were mid-level managers in jobs that paid moderately well and offered excellent benefits.
In short, we were not, in any sense of the word, gamblers.
But here we were hovering at the edge of the real estate roulette table, our sweaty palms clutching the chips that would determine our future, agonizingly uncertain about whether to stack them up on the green baize square labeled “shambolic house with ocean views” or simply take a pass.
We talked it over, in a fashion. But talking over momentous decisions, I have learned, is more or less a waste of time. Sure, you can talk over getting your chimney swept or your carpets shampooed.
But with most big decisions, you’ve already made up your mind before you sit down to formally discuss them. Trust me on this. All the hoopla and drama that follows is just one person trying to talk to the other person into seeing his point of view.
Luckily, we were both a little punch drunk by the time we sat down for this particular pow-wow.
“This is insane,” I said.
“Absolutely,” Michael replied.
The phone rang. We ignored it.
“I think we should make an offer.”