The One with a Few Life Lessons

Oh my God, so let me tell you about last Friday. Friday--well, let me go back to Thursday for the purpose of this story. So, originally, we were going to sign the lease for our new apartment today (Monday) or tomorrow (Tuesday), but my parents--the same ones that paid $35 to overnight the guarantor forms to me per the broker's request--were all, "That is a metric ton of bullcrap. You tell that broker you want to sign the lease on Friday!" And so, clutching my desk for moral support, I called the broker and asked to move the lease signing up. (My parents have been big lately on the whole, "You are a young woman. You need to stand up for yourself! Stop eating Spagettios and be a proper adult!") Instead of sassing me yet again or acting like his life was Too Busy and Too Important to be dealing with us, pesky little fleas that we are, the broker was really nice and was all, "Sure thing! Let's meet on Friday. Bring me your paperwork and all of your money. Oh, and your firstborn, if available, otherwise a contract for your soul will do nicely."

We had to bring in the broker's fee (just over $3000) and first month's rent ($2150) and a security deposit (another $2150). And that wasn't a problem, because both J and I have savings for this exact reason. Only, to backtrack a bit more, I have a separate savings account from my normal bank account, with two different financial institutions. (My logic is that if someone were to ever gain access to one, they wouldn't necessarily have access to the other. I think this is the same logic that, when I visited Paris all by myself, compelled me to lie about where I was from and what my name was when approached by strangers, thinking that it was "safer" than giving out my real information, only to realize later that if something HAD happened to me, no one would ever have been able to pull a Liam Neeson in Taken and tracked me down. But, tangent. Anyway.) So I went into my checking account bank on Friday morning with a check for my needed funds from my savings and was kindly informed that because the deposit was greater than xx amount of money and was coming from an outside bank, it would take 24 hours to process and they wouldn't be able to issue me the cashier's checks* I needed.

(*Oh, how I LOATHE cashier's checks. I understand why people want them [the bank is basically guaranteeing the funds are available when they issue them], but when you have my tax return forms and my past two pay stubs from work, can't you just take my word and personal checks instead?!)

Life Lesson #1: If you deposit money in an account that's over $1000, your bank will likely put a 24 hour hold on it.

So, yikes. Definitely would not have been able to sign the lease without the money, since that's the way of the world. I called my parents and was all, "Am I screwed? Please tell me I'm not screwed." Any money they might have lent me, their sad, fake adult child, also would have had a hold, so that wouldn't have worked. My dad then suggested that I do a cash advance on my credit card and after my initial, "A cashawhat advanceawho?!" that pretty much emerged as the only option. I have some pride, you know. I wasn't about to call the broker back up and be all, J/K, let's sign on Monday!

Life Lesson #2: You can get a cash advance from your credit card and use that towards cashier's checks, especially if the credit card is through the same bank as your debit/checking account.

So I went into a different bank branch (One that was closer to me, since I did a bang up job of searching for branches and ended up wandering around in 110 degree weather instead of googling before I left the office. Also, I was weirdly embarrassed and I thought the first woman who had helped me was going to be all judge-y.) and the teller was super nice and helpful. I walked him through the two different checks that I needed and everything was going fine until... the bank declined my cash advance.

Life Lesson #3: There is a limit to the cash that can be advanced off your credit card.

And that limit, for me, was $3000. And I was asking for $3398. So the system declined me because I asked for too much and then locked me out. The teller kindly informed me that I would be locked out for a 24 hour period and that there was nothing I could do about it.

Life Lesson #4: The teller is not always right.

My dad called me to check in and make sure everything went smoothly and when I told him what had happened he was all, "Butterflies!* That's flowering** ridiculous! You march back into that flapping*** bank and tell that anteater**** that you want to speak to the branch manager and have him take off the hold!"

* Not the word he used. ** Also not the word he used. *** See above. **** Ditto.

Life Lesson #5: If you want something done, you have to find a financial adviser

So I went back in and basically hijacked a financial adviser. Really. He had just finished shaking hands with someone and I sat my butt down in his chair and did a, "Oh my God, you are not going to believe this!" like I was talking to my BFF. He helped me get everything straightened out and we had a beautiful bonding moment together when we called the bank's customer service line. I got a little talkin'-to on the phone from the customer service lady who was annoyed with me that I hadn't changed/updated my address.

So, it all worked out in the end. I got knocked around a bit by the school of life, but there you go. We went in and signed for the apartment in the owner's office and, let me tell you, it was terrifying. The broker was perfectly nice, but when we went into the owner's office, he was on the phone with some contractor (correction: he had the contractor on one of four desk phones, and some other guy on his cellphone, and he was hosting about three conversations at once). I have never, in my life, heard someone eviscerate another grown man like that before. We just sat at the other side of his desk and signed where the broker told us to, listening to him go on about this guy who had cost him thousands of dollars and what he was going to do to him if he didn't rectify the situation. By the time J and I got into the elevator we kind of clutched one another and made solemn vow to never, ever, ever be late with our rent to avoid this guy's wrath.

Anyway, anyway. To end this on a slightly random note, did you guys see that they've set up a Royal Wedding exhibit at Buckingham Palace? The Duchess' wedding dress is on display, but it's all a bit... creepy. Like, I half expect the ghost of Anne Boleyn to stuff herself into the dress and start roaming the halls again.

royal dress 25jul11 10

The dress has such gorgeous lace detail, and they decide to put it on a white mannequin, so no one can see it?