# 14 Real Estate Man
Real Estate Man is trying to retire. It’s proving more challenging than he thought. Owning and managing buildings for a living gives you a false sense of retirement right from the get-go. Conventionally, many real estate men and women’s careers go thusly: first get a non real estate job, save some money. Then scrape up enough to make an investment over and above their 401k retirement plan which is ususlly invested in the stock market.
Wise to diversify.
Why not buy a dilapidated, triplex maybe? The property can be fixed up and leveraged with bank financing? Tax benefits? Cash flow every month? All that has to be done after the initial rehab is to occasionally fix a leaky faucet, change a couple of burned out light bulbs. Heck, future real estate people can do that themselves. Soon things are going smoothly and they’re ready for another property, then another.
At least that’s the way it happened to Real Estate Man.
He has owned over 50 buildings, almost all in Center City or University City Philadelphia. Some fairly large residential (50 units), some single family dwellings and many in between; also commercial properties almost too numerous to count, store fronts ranging from serving vegan pizza to Wiccan gifts.
He finds that he remembers events more than the specifics of the people who starred in them.
Real Estate Man’s story:
I was 62 years old when the particular events in this story took place. I’d been in da business for close to 30 some years. I had just left a long term relationship following a divorced some 10 years earlier I feel compelled to state at this point — none of this was the fault of real estate. I was having lunch with my friend, who also was the attorney who represented me in my divorce. I was ready to get back into circulation socially. The lunch was secondary to seeking life coaching advice from my lawyer Harrold. He has recovered from 2 divorces himself .The blind leading the blind, you say?
Harold said he had lots of fun with computer dating. He had tried a few different sites but found Match.com.yielded the most success.
I decided I’d give it a whirl.
I learned the rules; got a series of snappy pictures taken by a professional photographer; wrote a profile over and over before getting it close to acceptable; chose a memorable screen name — Cuddles not intimidating, playful and full of the promise of affectionate harmless physicality.
I received and answered many emails from lots of prospects. Upon passing the email test, it was on to phone screening. Communication on the phone was a deeper examination. Then the big enchilada; a drink or two at a very public bar in a mutually inconvenient location.
Almost all my emails, phone conversations and public drinks were of little interest to both parties and seemed to be exercises in futility.
This evening was a bit different, however. I found myself waiting in a quiet atmospheric drinking establishment in Center City, Philadelphia. It was to be the 3rd in a series of different women brought to me by my work on Match. com. Like the other two, she was vetted by emails and lengthy phone conversations.
After about a 15 minute wait if I’m not 15 minutes early for an appointment — I’m late she entered. This was always an exciting part. A University of Pennsylvania study shows the both men and women make the decision within 3 seconds after meeting as to whether a member of the opposite sex is relationship worthy.
I felt good about this one. Almost an intuitive familiarity made me feel like I’ve known this woman in another time. After a couple of drinks my belief grew stronger that she and I connected before. Another dimension? I think I’ve talked to her before the Match date. She’s a older, some gray streaks; conversationally , more mature with career, divorce and a couple of kids in her resume. But where? How? Who?
After about an hour of drinks and getting acquainted conversation, my Match. com date excused herself to the ladies room.
I sat by the bar, wracking my brain to find answers to my feeling that somehow somewhere we’ve met. After close to 20 minutes of Match. com being in the ladies room my events oriented memory kicked in. GOT IT: approximately 15 years before our date I leased an apartment to her. She was a non-traditional graduate student going to Temple at the time.
As a lessee, my Match.com date was less than the ideal woman she seemed to be on Match. She surreptitiously vacated her apartment with 3 months to go on her lease owing $1800 to my recollection. Even more irksome she left a mattress full of bed bugs.
I paid the bar bill bringing her tab up to $1812.50 and quietly departed.
I always wondered if Match. com had not recognized me earlier in the evening; before I recognized her. Maybe, slipped out the back door of the bar instead of going to the ladies room.