Checks all the boxes

It was about 10 months ago. At two in the morning. A phone rings. Not my office cell phone, it’s not an emergency call for me so I am mostly back asleep in seconds. On the periphery of consciousness, I hear my wife speaking to someone. I was not aware that she had left the room, but she had. She had gone to the kitchen and was speaking with someone in what can only be described as an energetic way. I am still about 80 percent asleep as she walked on tip toes back to our bedroom. Suddenly I am awake. Awake enough to ask a question.

About a year prior I won the debate with my wife. We have access to a residence in Jerusalem but were not comfortable with the building and its owners. I convinced her to consider Netanya. To be near the beach with a somewhat Anglo but not totally English-speaking community was my goal. After 20 years of back and forth she agreed to consider it. So, we spent six weeks there. A gracious family, friends of ours, allowed us to stay in their apartment in Netanya. The community had everything we both wanted. Unfortunately, at the time working with three different real estate agents yielded no available apartments. We left the area upset at our lack of success, concerned that nothing will turn up but hopeful.

At 2 a.m. in New York, it is 9 a.m. in Israel. Remember, I am still half asleep at this point, she is trying to be quiet and wants to slip back under the covers without waking me up. But even in my somnolence I am awake enough to ask, “Did you just buy an apartment?”
Calmly she answers, “Yes, I think. I will go and check it out in a few days.” And off she went.

Just to be clear, we are citizens with the longing to own. Finding the proper living space is not just a desire for a pied a terre. We need a certain number of rooms and some basic amenities. We are not from the pish posher class, but our necessities include room for children and grandchildren to visit and sleep on an air mattress, an area for a work desk, things like that!

Just a few days later I get a call and pictures of what looks like a warehouse more than an apartment. Not in size but in clutter. The rooms are overflowing with the normal items one would find in most homes. Here these items are not only in drawers or closets but on top of furniture as well.

“It’s got so much potential. The location is fabulous and it’s in our price range.” She is excited in a controlled way.

“Go for it” I tell her. And she does.

It takes two months more before I get to see our new living space in Netanya. With a bit of trepidation and a great deal of “I hope you like it” she takes me to see the apartment.
I meet the current residents, we speak briefly. They told us to come at this time but are preparing to sit down for dinner, so I feel like I am intruding. Nevertheless, they are polite. Guess they want to make sure we are taking the place so they can afford to move. I do a quick patrol of the area and create a punch list in my head.

We walk out.

“So do you like it” she cautiously asks.

“Let’s see,” I say. “It’s smaller than we wanted, it needs a lot of renovations and it cost a fortune,” I pause and add “What’s not to like.”

She visibly exhales, smiles, takes my hand and we walk to the beach.

About the Author
Dr. Michael Salamon ,a fellow of the American Psychological Association, is an APA Presidential Citation Awardee for his 'transformative work in raising awareness of the prevention and treatment of childhood sexual abuse". He is the founder and director of ADC Psychological Services in New York and Netanya, the author of numerous articles, several psychological tests and books including "The Shidduch Crisis: Causes and Cures" (Urim Publications), "Every Pot Has a Cover" (University Press of America) and "Abuse in the Jewish Community: Religious and Communal Factors that Undermine the Apprehension of Offenders and the Treatment of Victims."
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