The family moves to New York.
I was feeling increasingly like a fish out of water in the math department and had accepted a position as Associate Professor of Mechanics at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn.
Now, to figure out the song.
Decisions, decisons, decisions. The big one, “to move or not to move” was decided, but then:
1. How to move? Moving van.
2. What moving company? Mayflower. Turned out Mayflower only brought our stuff to New York then turned it over to a local company for final delivery. Major hassle between two companies when we reported some damaged items. (Note to self: be sure one company handles entire move. Second note to self: never pick Mayflower).
3. Buy now or rent now and buy later? Buy now; couldn’t stand the thought of making two moves.
4. Where to buy? Job is in Brooklyn. Don’t want to live in city, so it’s Long Island. Don’t want too long a commute, so it’s Nassau County. Highest priority: Good Schools.
5. How to proceed? Thea and children stay with my parents in Rockville MD. Good friends of Dad in Roslyn Estates accept his invitation for me to stay with them and househunt. Day 1. Talk to school superintendents and principals in various districts. Consensus is that Roslyn, Garden City, and Rockville Center are best districts and are equally good. Days 2 – 4. Talk to real estate agents and look at houses in those three school districts. Consult with Thea nightly by phone.
6. Which house? Best choices seem to be in Garden City. Narrow it down to two houses, A and B. Slight preference for A, but agent tells me asking price is firm, but B might be amenable to offer. Offer much lower than asking price, and offer is accepted! Turns out offer was made on owner’s birthday!
7. Which doctor? Which dentist? Which orthodontist for kids? Which lawyer? Which barbershop? Which bank? etc. etc. Orthodontist was Dr. Fenton who had straightened my teeth a generation before! All others were new. Meanwhile, back in Los Angeles, we were selling a house. Financial situation such that we had to receive certified check from LA before we could write certified check to close on house in GC. Closure was at 3 pm. Check from LA arrived in 11 am mail delivery that day! Went to bank where I had opened a local account with $25 cash. Went to cashier’s window, identified self, handed her check for 10K and some $ for deposit, and check for 9K and some $ to be certified. Clerk looked at second check first, looked at my $25 balance, and said with a perfectly straight face, “I’m sorry sir, but your balance won’t cover that.”
9. We (and the mortgage company) own a house. Moving van arrives and unloads. We unpack. Where to put things? Decisions, decisions, decisions.
It is late in the evening. Everything is sort of put away. The children are asleep. We sit on the couch in our new living room and look into the black night through our bare windows. Thea says, “I can’t decide. Do we want curtains, shades, venetian blinds, or what?” We talk a few minutes and are no closer to a decision. We get frustrated. Finally I say, “The trouble is we have made so many decisions that we are out of them completely. Let’s accept it. We will make no decisions for a month.” For a month we lived with bare windows. Then we easily decided to go with curtains, found some material we both really liked, and in no time at all Thea had cut and stitched and I had bought hardware and hung, and suddenly our little nest was as cozy as could be. MORAL: Always put off ’til tomorrow what overwhelms you today.
In case Aaron hasn’t figured it out yet, the song is the preamble to “New York, New York”.
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