KATHERINE CHANG – San Diego – 2013

March 9th was a delicious Saturday, which means I woke up at my prearranged biological “work-time” (7:00 a.m.), let the dog out to piddle and fed him breakfast. Nate had passed out on the couch the night before (he does that a lot in front of the TV) so I checked up on him to make sure he didn’t fall off or get strangled by blankets or anything. He was fine. I staggered back to bed at around 7:30 a.m., but instead of falling back to sleep, I toyed around on my smartphone in a wholly uncomfortable supine position. Neck at a 60 degree angle, pillows mushed ineffectively below me to help my posture, my eyes squinting at 3.5 pixelated inches of “hey, I can’t wait to go blind one day.” The dog rejoined me on the bed and crammed himself against the wall, snorting heavily.
I checked my usual online haunts:
SFGate.com – Why I have no idea since I haven’t lived in SF for 5 years, force of habit more than anything else. And also probably because the LA Times keeps whiting out my screen and asking me to log into read articles. And I just can’t get into the San Diego U-T.
Facebook – I don’t care about 99% of the people on my news feed, but let’s check out what they did on Friday.
9Gag – Who doesn’t enjoy a good Nicolas Cage meme?
Mail App – Because I’m masochistic and apparently love the sick thrill of seeing if I have work e-mails to deal with on Saturday morning.
I eventually turned off the phone around 9:00 a.m., curled up in a fetal position and went back to sleep. Nate came in at I have no idea what time and told me he’s going to the gym. I groggily bid him goodbye and passed out again.
I woke up at 11:30 a.m. and wondered if I should get up to eat lunch or just stay as stationary as possible to burn as few calories as possible, therefore rendering any eating useless. I chose the latter until Nate got back from the gym. He returned at 12:45 p.m. and I ambled down to the kitchen to pick at last night’s leftovers. After lunch, with another piddle break for the dog, I went back to bed with Nate trailing after me to talk about our house search.
For the past week, Nate and I had gone through a huge roller coaster of emotions. We’d decided at the end of February we wanted to buy a house in San Diego and went on our first house hunting trip on March 2nd. It totally sucked. We found a house, put an offer on it and lost it on March 5th to another buyer. Even on March 9th, I was still pissed about it. Anyways, after lunch Nate wanted to talk about where else to look and what else to do. The inventory in San Diego was slim pickings; nothing was coming out and everything we liked we’d already saw or it was in escrow.
I huddled under the blankets while Nate laid down across the width of the bed. We talked in circles about all things housing related and how frustrated we felt. I forgot how and why but I brought up the idea to move to San Diego city proper instead of just looking in the areas in North County. For the past week we’d only been looking in suburban San Diego: good school districts, nice parks, big lots, strip malls, yada yada. But on March 9th, for some reason I began questioning whether that was a good idea. I mentioned to Nate, “We’re only 26, why the hell are we looking in suburban hell?” Nate gave the very reasonable answer of longevity, kids, home prices, safety, etc. Then I said, “Hey, let’s move to North Park.” and I explained its upsides: near Balboa Park, great little community, walkable, we’d get to experience living in an urban setting, etc.
To my surprise, Nate was into the idea and we discussed how our nice little rational lives didn’t leave much room for doing things outside the box. It’d actually be a tad rebellious to purchase outside our current search parameters (obviously, we lead very non-rebellious lives). Nate began to worry about school districts and things of that matter, but I just said home schooling was always an option and we’d probably move in a couple years anyways. We Googled “North Park” to see exactly what the netizens deign the neighborhood to be like.
The second hit? A Forbes article on “America’s Best Hipster Neighborhoods.” Wonderful. We were moving to Hipster Nation. Nate would have to grow an ironic mustache and I’d shave the left side of my head.
This led to a 30-minute discussion on the real definition of “hipster” and then an hour long Redfin binge on homes in the area. We found a couple we liked including a condo we really liked, so we both agreed to e-mail our agent to try to set up viewing appointments for March 10th. I blasted off a text to the agent at 4:00 p.m. and Nate decided to go downstairs to look up some more homes on the actual computer. I remained in bed, with dog, to tap around the Redfin app and read more about North Park and South Park. I liked what I saw; I had just recently went to South Park for a sewing lesson and found it really adorable.
Our agent didn’t get back to us until 9:16 p.m., after dinner and after I emerged from my hole to walk the dog (finally) and to eventually ensconce myself on the couch to watch some Big Bang Theory. Agent told us he already had obligations and couldn’t meet, but he would call a couple listing agents to see if we could get in on Monday afternoon. The Agent and I went back and forth to arrange something and after it was set, I spent the rest of the night trawling the internet for more property listings, information on Balboa Park and its surrounding neighborhoods, and checking Facebook periodically. Nate fell asleep on the couch mid-Big Bang episode at roughly 10:30 p.m. and I didn’t go to sleep until March 10, 3:00 a.m.