“Remorse, the fatal egg by pleasure laid.” — William Cowper, 18th Century Poet and Hymnodist
What pleasure to instantly find a suitable quote about “remorse” as soon as I Googled it!
Yet imagine my remorse at having taken so much time reading online about William Cowper (whose life was apparently filled to the brim with pleasure and remorse, joy and sadness, soundness and insanity) that I had to work an extra hour to make up for my diversion.
Where there’s pleasure, there’s remorse.
I’ve been blind-sided by remorse on many auspicious occasions: Right before walking down the aisle to get married. Just after bringing my first child home from the hospital. Midway through a trans-Pacific flight to a dream vacation in Tahiti.
It’s a regular occurrence with real estate purchases. Especially in San Francisco where buyers are required to strip naked, place large baskets of money on their heads and dance like their lives depended on it. All for the chance to be the lucky owners of a one-plus-million-dollar, two-bedroom condo without parking but in a fairly nice area.
IT GOES SOMETHING LIKE THIS:
Buyer’s Agent: Guess what? You won!
Buyer: (Holding cell phone at arm’s length and screaming) Oh! My! God! How many offers were there?
Buyer’s Agent: Fourteen. Twelve were for waaaaaaay more than the asking price. Only two had loan contingencies. But apparently your willingness to close in just four days and let the sellers stay for three months for free really made the difference.
Buyer: That and offering 60% more than the asking price.
Buyer’s Agent: Well, yes. Plus they really liked the sculpture you submitted with your offer.
Even if you don’t create original artwork or donate to seller’s favorite charity or provide two roundtrip tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S. with your offer, there will be a twinge of buyer’s remorse when you visit your new home for the first time after closing.
You fiddle with the keys. You shove open the door. It’s dark. It’s vacant. It’s cold. And it smells funny because the stagers removed the potpourri along with the staging.
Yet it doesn’t have to be “fatal,” as in Cowper’s quote. Instead, now is when it gets interesting: After the closing. Before the destination. Following the honeymoon. During the journey. That’s when life is richest.