A Werewolf Out Of Water

In the distance, he could hear the mob of town folk as they drew near to where he crouched hiding.  Hoping that they did not find him.  As the angry crowd drew near he could feel the heat from their torches as the fog from the moors surrounded him.  All he wanted to do was get away and be left alone.

As I sat in my bedroom watching the Saturday afternoon Creature Feature in nineteen sixty something, I felt a kindred spirit with the Wolfman.

The classic black and white movie had the werewolf portrayed by Lon Chaney Jr.  The basic storyline was that Larry Talbot, played by Lon Chaney Jr., grew up in Wales but lived in America.  Larry visits his ancestral home after learning of the death of his brother, under suspicious circumstances.  The villagers believe Larry’s brother was killed by a wild animal.

From there it becomes a boy meets girl, boy saves girl, boy gets bit and becomes a werewolf.  You know the classic love story with fur and fangs.

While watching the movie I was always drawn to the plight of Larry Talbot.  Here he is in a country that he has not visited in a long time, trying to take care of a family situation that was forced upon him and for all his troubles he gets bit by a werewolf.

Of course, once you turn into a werewolf everyone is out to get you.  They don’t want to hear that it’s not your fault.  That if you could just be left alone for a while, particularly during a full moon, you will be fine the other 25 days of the month.

Perhaps it was the demeanor of Lon Chaney Jr.  He always looked forlorn and out of place.  Perhaps it was because his heart was in the right place but just because of this one fatal flaw the townspeople were out to get him.  The outcast.

Yes, I felt a kindred spirit with the Wolfman.  A fish or should I say a Werewolf out of water.

Born in 1961 to a forty-year-old mother automatically set me apart from my friends.  You see back then a woman of that age having a child was not as common as it is today.

I must admit that growing up I would sometimes feel as though I did not fit in due to the age of my parents.  Something that if I could go back in time I would tell young Rex to get over.  Especially since both Mom and Dad passed away in 2015.

Once for the Thanksgiving Day play at Dommerich Elementary School, I was one of three announcers.  Like any school play in the late sixties, we would present during the work day so the Moms could see their children and give them a break from their housework.

As most children putting on a play the announcers and actors would peak out from the curtain to see if they could find their parent.

As I and a few of my friends snuck a peak I catch my Mom setting in the aisle seat near the front row.  At about the same time some of my classmates see her too.  Mom was suffering from arthritis in her knee and she was wearing a brace and getting around with a black wooden cane.

“Who’s that old lady in the front?” someone asked. “Is that somebodies grand-mother?”   I was mortified.  I’m not sure why but I got this sick feeling in my stomach and I felt like crying.

Why was my Mom different than all the young Moms out in the audience?  Why was I treated differently just because my Mom had grey hair and didn’t socialize with the other neighborhood Moms?

Sheepishly I say. “That’s my Mom.”  And from the group of children, I get a collective “Oh…is she sick and have cancer?”  “No”, I say. “She’s just kind of old.”

Back in the sixties, she was as much a fish out of water as me.

At a cold elementary school cafeteria that served as a stage, in chairs that were meant for 10 year old’s, in pain and using a cane, surroundedby adults that she did not know and by children that were pointing at her.  She never let on that the walk from her car to the school was a hardship.  She just showed up and smiled the entire time.

As I got older and matured I came to wear the maturity my parents imparted to me as a badge of honor.

As Mom aged our roles reversed.

I remember taking Mom to an American Legion event that honored women that served in the Military during World War II.  She was in the Army stationed over in Europe in the later part of the war as a secretary.

As my Mom stood at the American Legion ceremony using me as her support receiving her metal of recognition I was filled with a sense of pride and appreciation for all she had done to support me over the years.  I was glad I could be there for her when she needed me.

Most of you have heard of Lady Gaga.  The singer that is most well known for her glamorous and strange videos.  As you may recall she showed up to one award show wearing a dress made out of meat.

To me she epitomizes the whole notion of fish out of water.  In fact, her fans identify with that monicor.  She calls her fans her “Little Monsters”.

I recently watched the Lady Gaga documentary on Netflix titled 5’2” and I was amazed at the amount of support she has in just her day to day living.  You see Lady Gaga suffers from fibromyalgia.  A connective tissue disorder that causes intense pain throughout your body.

In one scene Lady Gaga is getting a massage and some physical therapy to try to rid the pain.  It looks painful. Therapists massaging already painful shoulders and hips.  They do it knowing that it is necessary and in the long run will help her.  Lady Gaga screams into a pillow as they do the work that needs to be done.

As she is laying there in tears she looks at the camera and says, “What do people do that have this disease and don’t have the money I do to pay for all this support?”

In the real estate world, I see my role as that support, the person to rely on when you need help.   Sometimes the conversations are not easy but they are always for the good of the client. Sometimes it can be painful.

I recently had a gentleman that wanted to list is a rental property for sale.  The house had good bones but unfortunately, the renter that had lived there for over five years had mistreated the property.

In our first conversation, the owner did not want to perform much-needed repairs.  He wanted to sell the house as-is and in terrible condition.  He thought that by saving on the repairs and selling the house for a lower price he would come out ahead.

In having a heart to heart with him I discovered what was really important to him. He was relying on the sale of the house to fund his retirement.  Rex, he says, “I just want to put it on the market and get it sold.”

Ralph, I explain to him,”I have a book that  that explains the difference between selling your house based on comparables and selling your house based on improving the value of the home.”  “I have a team that can take this home and increase the amount someone is willing to pay for your home based on the idea of not making fundamental mistakes.”

Often people will want to take shortcuts thinking they will save money. This is a fundamental mistake.   In the long run, it will end up costing more in terms of low ball offers as buyer often inflate the cost to do even minor repairs.

Often at real estate meetingsI run into an agent that want to talk about how many deals they have done.  We call those “churn and burn” agents.  They want to sell a house as fast as possible and go on to the next client.  Not concerned with the outcome for the seller.   Another fundamental mistake.

Was this a tough conversation.  Yes, a bit.  Was it a conversation that was in the best interest of the client.  You bet and one that I will have in a heartbeat.  My vow is to do what is in the best interest of the client.

So to all my “little monsters” out there that feel like they are being treated as an outcast.  Know that there is someone out there that knows and understands.  No torches just good advise and leadership.

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