My mother-in-law and I were bonding. This was a good thing, a happy thing, something to cherish and savor. Suffice it to say I had not been her ideal daughter-in-law, was not the one she would have chosen for her favorite son, her baby, yet she was gracious and temperate and kind. She understood that he was happy, so she came along to have a second look at the apartment with me.
The apartment was a good thing. It meant that her favorite son, her baby, would not be leaving the country with his foreign wife. It also meant that her favorite son, her baby, would walk right past her apartment on his way to and from work every day.
We got lost. We took a back street I had discovered on a map. I freely admit I have no sense of direction. My mother-in-law will tell you she’s not from here. She lived only two metro stops away. But she wasn’t born here. So she could never find her way around.
Pot calling the kettle black. Sorry.
There were two real-estate agents waiting in front of the building, clipboard in hand. They let us in, then stood aside while I gave my mother-in-law the tour. The apartment was nothing to speak of, standard, old, needing work. The terrace was its crowning glory, even in its stained, chipped, peeling state. It was glorious.
The lady agent said that other people were interested. The man agent said we should not let this opportunity escape. So we called her favorite son, her baby, to let him know how urgent it was to put some money down for the right to purchase this small, dirty unremodelled piece of property.
“We are in no hurry,” he said to me in his stern, deliberate tone of voice. “If the apartment is not there tomorrow, we will find another one.”
My mother-in-law and I looked at each other in desperation. We raised our eyebrows. We shrugged shoulders. We bonded.
333 words for including DELIBERATE 3: slow, unhurried, and steady as though allowing time for decision on each individual action involved