Saturday, February 05, 2005

Shoulda Woulda Coulda

Yesterday morning Smartmom was having a conversation with a mom at OSFO's school. They were talking about this and that. Stuff. Smartmom asked her what she did for a living and she said, "I'm a writer." to which Smartmom replied: "So am I." The woman was interested to know what kind of writing Smartmom did and Smartmom told her.

"What kind of writing do you do?" Smartmom inquired.

WELL, this woman went into a high speed monoglogue about being a screenwriter and how a well-known English director is attached to her project, which is fully financed. She's just waiting for production to begin to get her BIG check. She said she'd only started screenwriting 18 months ago after a career as an art historian and that she's in touch with all kinds of producers in Los Angeles and Europe. A bit of name dropping ensued. Blah, blah, blah.

Smartmom listened.

Real estate was the next fun topic in their conversation. Apparently she and her husband bought a house in Ditmas Park, a Brooklyn neighborhood of large Victorian houses, about two years ago. Smartmom mentioned that she and Hepcat had been close to buying a half dozen houses out there back in 1999 to which she replied, "You would have gotten a steal back then. Now you can't get a house, not even a WRECK, for less than 1.2 MILLION bucks." She went on to gloat how that neighborhood is really taking off. "There's even a good restaurant and a cafe on Cortylou Avenue," she said.

When Smartmom finally got away from this bragadocious babe, she started to do the math on all the money she and Hepcat could have made had they bought any of the houses they didn't buy. And who do you think she ran into? It was Smartmom's old, old friend Shoulda Woulda Coulda.

Good old Shoulda Woulda Coulda (SWC), she always drops in unexpectedly with a gigantic suitcase and a sleeping bag. When she comes she plans to stick around.

"Hey Smartmom, you SHOULDA bought that house on Westminister. The one with the two Viking stoves and six bedrooms. That was soooooooooooooooo stupid."

"But we didn't have any money at the time." Smartmom said.

"If you'd stayed in the film and video business like that lady you were talking to maybe you COULDA afforded it. You had to switch careers into writing." SWC made a face like she was going to puke.

"Hey that's hitting below the belt," Smartmom said.

"You WOULDA made so much money. And what about that house on DeKoven?" SWC said.

"That place had termites." Smartmom said.

"But THAT woman, the sucessful screewriter with the film attached to the famous English director, said all the 1.2 million dollar houses have termites. You COULDA gotten rid of the termites..."

At this point Smartmom said, "You are not staying in my apartment. Take your god damn sleeping bag and suitcase and get the hell out of here."

Unbelievably, SWC did just that. She picked up her bag and started walking away. But not before one last zinger:

"Alright, I'll go. But you COULDA been smart about a lot things. Real Estate. Career. I won't even go into investments. If you WOULDA listened to me you COULDA done some of the things that you SHOULDA done. See ya."

SWC leaves a foul smelling mist behind her that takes days to dissipate. It was all over Smartmom's down jacket and on her jeans. A bit of it got onto her black leather boots. Smartmom couldn't get her little encounter with SWC out of her mind for the rest of the day.

Even when SWC doesn't sleep over, she has a way of sticking around.


At 10:00 AM, Blogger Savtadotty said...

Yes, SWC is the source of the old put-down I remember from my childhood: "If you're so smart, why ain't you rich?" I haven't figured out a snappy retort yet, but I'm working on it and I'll let you know when I do.

At 5:54 PM, Blogger Little Light said...

Well - even SWC has to admit that you're a brilliant writer. Seems to me you made the right choices, it just might take longer to realize it.

At 12:32 AM, Blogger Udge said...

The answer to SWC is that she doesn't know how it would have turned out either. What's a safer career than banking? but the Deutsche Bank plans to fire a further (!) 6400 employees this year.

Not that I wish her ill, but: Most screenplays come to nothing. Many marriages end in divorce, especially among the publicity-hungry rich and famous (c.f. Brad and Jennifer). House prices can fall too.

Are you happy? If so, mission accomplished - and to hell with the other missions that might (not) have been.

At 6:36 AM, Blogger Third Street said...

Proof once again why I am blogging. Thank you all for your comments. I really appreciate your thoughts.


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