Unfinished business and tying up loose ends


“We’ve got a lot to take care of, Manny. A place to live, school and work for starters.”

“That sounds overwhelming, Selma. Why don’t we just buy a couple of tickets and fly back to Amsterdam.”

“Not an option, my love. I need to finish the degree that I’ve spent a lot of time and energy on. And you need to get busy providing the living you promised for both of us until my education kicks in.”

“Such much. What’s first?”

“I’ll call the philosophy department at BYU tomorrow and get ready for my orals.”

“OK, and I’ll check in at the office at Walmart and let them know I’m back.”

The meeting with Selma’s Graduate Committee at Brigham Young University for her orals on the dissertation went well. None of the committee members really understood or knew enough about the topic to ask relevant or pertinent questions. So after a brief review of generic previous philosophical papers the committee members themselves had written, they all gladly signed off on her topic and subject matter. After the meeting, she got to work on finishing the piece, publishing it and buying two copies, one for the University Library and one to show to friends in case anyone ever asked what she had been doing lately.

Manny’s return to work at Walmart was equally uneventful. His annual salary review netted him a miserly pay increase and an unwritten promise of a future promotion into the corporate ranks of the management hierarchy. Armed with the result and still looking for options, he decided to call the bank to check on their resources again.

When Manny’s curiosity about the status of Selma’s inheritance got the best of him, he went into the bank to find out if the collection department had been able to find anyone to take over the mortgage on the Dead Sheep Saloon. The loan officer told him that an immigrant couple from Guadalajara, Mexico was planning to take it over and get a new loan for remodeling. Their business plan included a new business name for the place down at 165 S. West Temple. They were going to call it the Resurrection Bar & Grill. With twenty rotating taps for local and foreign beers, plus the usual cheap California wines and a full bar and a new menu offering “the best Tex-Mex Eats North of the border and West of the Pecos”, their future from the bank’s point of view looked promising. Signers on the note were Oskar Diego Ortiz and his wife, Guadalupe Maria Ortiz. O.D. was going to be the owner/manager /bartender and Lupe planned to be the co-owner/ Bookkeeper/cook. The bank’s disposition of the saloon removed buying it back as an option for income from Manny’s list of possibilities.

Now resigned to his fate of being the principal breadwinner for this newly formed union, Manny decided to make an executive decision and find a place for them to live.

“I think it would be a good idea to go back to the bank and see what kind of a loan we can get to buy a house.”

“Wouldn’t it be a better idea just to find a place to rent first?”

“Renting is like poring sand down a rat hole, Selma. When you are through doing it you don’t have anything to show for your efforts. If you are buying, you can, at least, build up some equity and eventually own it.”

“I’m not convinced of that, Manny, but I’m tired of arguing.”

After another visit to the bank to make sure they would be able to pre-qualify for a new mortgage, the newly-weds went house hunting.

With the help of a local real estate agent and the internet they found a plywood palace version of a Victorian middle class monument to suburban mediocrity. It was located in a new construction subdivision called Daybreak Cottage Courts in South Jordan. The three-story floor plan had at least three bedrooms with one for them, one for a shared office space and one for the new addition they were anticipating. The sale price was $275,000 and they were able to get a 30 year fixed conventional mortgage at 4.75 %.

Since Selma had already moved all of her personal effects out of the apartment over the Dead Sheep Saloon before going to Amsterdam and Manny had nothing much to move from his bachelor studio apartment to the new house, they got it all done on the weekend and went shopping for furniture. They found very little disagreement on items, colors or interior decorating.

As twilight in South Jordan dimmed to darkness, their future was looking a little less dim.



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