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Friday, March 2, 2012

How Many Lawyers Does It Take To Exist?

When did life get so complex? Sure, it’s always been hard, and arguments can be made that, on average, humanity has an easier survival now than at any point in history. But have we eased our existence at the expense of simplicity?

It’s been a while since my last post for many reasons. (Although silence hasn’t discouraged my vast readership of spammers. That’s right Sexy Theresa, I’m talking to you. You go, girl!) The biggest culprit has been our family’s recent house sale and move.

Nothing highlights the insanity of our postmodern world like trying to pick up and relocate. If it doesn’t exist already, I am officially patenting the concept of “Moving Coordinator.” That’s right, for a respectable fee, I will coordinate every aspect of your relocation: research and organize the moving company, process your change of addresses, notify friends and colleagues, cancel accounts, schedule final readings, find new doctors, dentists, and daycares and transfer corresponding files to said doctors, dentists, and daycares. I’ll be your one-stop guide through the red-tape and bureaucracy that put the prospect of moving on par with alien abductions, flesh-eating zombies, and registering a child for school.

It’s frightening that we’ve reached a point in our society where you need a permit to leave and another to arrive. I could be wrong, but I doubt that’s what our founding fathers intended when they drafted the Constitution.

“Hey, George. That thing about freedom of speech and religion - good right? What about the twelve forms required to move your crap to your parents’ house?”

And forget selling a house.

I went to closing on Wednesday not with a folder, not with a brief case, not even with a backpack. No, I went with a burlap sack. Yep, there’s me scooting around the business suits and cherry conference table with my crusty black sack filled with papers. And the scariest part? I needed half of them.

Anyone who’s been to a house closing can relate. Typically, you start out with an awkward smile that quickly transforms into a dazed grin. As your eyes glaze over and you nod absently at each legal-sized paper shoved toward you, you realize our society has lost its collective mind. If, for some reason, you’re superhuman and can stay alert through the whole process, it gets even worse then you realize what you’re signing. My favorite are the documents that essentially confirm you signed other documents. Then you sign ones to confirm the buyer signed some. Forms to confirm forms. That’s freedom, people!

And you’re reward? You get to try to move.

My moving folder is three inches thick. That’s not my mortgage folder. That’s not my house sale folder. That’s not even my home inspection report remediation file. Nope, nothing except moving issues.

As if the process isn’t complex enough, it all costs money too. I tried budgeting for this thing, but I probably would have had an easier time sorting through NASA’s fiscal data. Don’t worry, this won’t be a rant about the complexity of the tax structure. We’ll save that for another entry, but moving permit fees? Really? I need to pay to leave one area and pay again to enter another? That’s almost as bad as the per capita tax. I still can’t figure out how the government has the right to charge me for existing. I didn’t choose to be here. Charge my parents. That’s on them.  

And never make the mistake of inspecting your HUD sheet at a house closing. Forget it being a hard pill to swallow. That freakin’ pill will lodge itself in your throat until you choke and collapse right on top of those fancy tea cups. You may get ill when you see you have to pay $35 so the bank can fax a two page document to the title company. Did you know you’re charged to clear your mortgage from the title and then charged another fee to super-duper double check that your mortgage was cleared from the title? Even our realtor seemed baffled by that one.

Whatever. The point is, it’s a good thing our society has also invented Super Walmarts and online shopping. We need the other 22 hours of the day to fill out forms and make sense of our phone bills.


  1. A moving fee? What? I've never even heard of that one, and I'm a lawyer!

    Seriously? Seriously? I'm completely befuddled.

    Who charged you this?

  2. The local municipalities in our area require what they call "moving permits" and they apply to anyone moving into or out of the borough or township (whether buying or renting, it doesn't matter). The fees associated with them are nominal, but it's the principle and hassle of it all that make it difficult to swallow.

  3. We moved three times in three years and it was a nightmare. We were moving within the same city and we're renters, and it was still really stressful.

    It's not helped by the fact that my husband and I are the most unorganised people in the world.

    Hope the rest of the move goes smoothly.

    1. It sounds like you would benefit from the Allison M. Simon Moving Services when we open our European branch!