Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.
- William Shakespeare
There's just no excuse for this. An index of one hundred and eight degrees?
Global warming, depleted ozone layers, receding ice pack: I will forgo any vapid and untrained comment on the matter and allow NOAA scientists and the ever-brilliant Rush Limbaugh to argue the validity of these issues. It's hot. For fuck's sake, my air conditioning can't keep up with it.
Here in the south the humidity tends to be legendary, evidenced this past weekend when I hosed off my rear patio at about Noon Saturday and found it still soaking wet that night...not that it was cool enough to sit out there anyway. Anyhoo, this make these 97 degree days hellish, and I hate it.
Little matter, in the end: the mortgage company said I can't have a modification. Pay or quit, seems to be the message, and frankly I must quit. They need this place, it seems, to add another unpaid line item to their already red ink-limned books. Baffling.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stated they were going to allow major restructures on loans which reduces the principal and bring the home into alignment with current prices, up to 30%. My mortgage servicer isn't buying that, and legally doesn't have to. They stated they were building a new 40 year loan at 3.2 percent with the last known balance plus about twenty to thirty grand in fees. The monthly payment will tumble. That's nice.
What's not nice is that make my mortgage principal a total of $100,000 more than this place is actually worth, which means this loan would be twice as suspect as an ARM or one of the other asinine financial instruments the banks and mortgage brokers used to get us all here in the first place. I'm like, meh.
They say the market will come back. I say taking that kind of hit means there is a very real possibility that I will not live long enough to see any equity value in this house, and given I run a home business my write-offs are damn near as good from an apartment. So...
In the end, I am not worried about not being to sit on my patio. Because it seems I will be sitting on a patio somewhere else this time next year. Somewhere I am renting.
Somewhere cooler, I hope.
DP's are formulaic and predigested as usual, with a nice theme to sink my claws and fangs into, so here goes. Originals here.
1.) I dropped out of college to take care of my ailing mother. I borrowed $4,500 from my father to pay for my expenses during that time. She died, he got insurance and other compensation, and now he wants the money back.
Missing Mom – Lets start with the two and a half years of your life that you “gave up.” You did not surrender these to the winds and lose them, chum. You took care of your mother until she died. That's not a waste, nor a poor investment. Change your thinking.
Next, your old man is a fucking cheese-dick of the most vile imaginable sort. Regardless, I suspect either a.) you have never confronted him in any clear and compelling way that would help him understand that you weren't blowing the $4,500 on trips to Vegas and a mild meth habit, or b.) understanding this, he simply doesn't care and just wants his money.
Either way, he's being a big fat douche face.
I have a few options for you. Tell him:
a.) “Fuck you.”
b.) “Fuck you, dad.”
c.) “You know, I sure do love you dad, but fuck you.”
Some variation on this theme. You get it. Good luck.
2.) My husband is an only child, and his parents gave him a gift of a generous amount of money for the down payment on our home. His parents have decided to move into our home instead of getting their own place. Bonus: they wish to move into the master bedroom—and my husband has agreed to it! What the fuck?
Wife Without a Home – I'm thinking either this is really weird or it isn't, but that's a cultural distinction I suspect, and unless you're writing this letter from somewhere outside the US borders I will fall in step with rather more local ideals. Meaning: maybe they do this kind of shit where he's from.
I can't say what vexes me more about this, the concept of ownership, as in the house itself; or the concept of a gift, as in the money his folks gave him. The idea that my folks could give me a big fat gift of a 50% down payment is unthinkable – even if they'd had the money it wouldn't have happened. In Fantasyland, had they actually done so, that gift would be just that: a gift, not an expensive apron string. Given without expectations.
I know a family, though, who are completely different about these ideas. Money is just money to them, and there is no definitive line of ownership of it, except to say that the parents are the biggest shareholders and the kids (now in their 50's) are therefore both entitled to it and completely indebted. The parents in this case lost a house their son built for them (he was a contractor) and made him surrender a house to them he'd built for himself. He moved into an apartment, then a shitty little dump which was all he could afford at the time.
With my sister and their newborn daughter.
Fuck that. My folks were apoplectic. I remain baffled to this day, especially when he (my brother-in-law) said he “owed” his folks that.
What kind of fucked up guilt game is that? A bad one, I assure you, and my sister turned to the Jehovah's Witnesses seeking an escape from the tyranny. She's never been the same. I miss Christmas with her.
You, little dearie, may have married into that kind of family. So it gets weirder and weirder than just a down payment and a house and a bedroom (which, incidentally, he surrendered without your input, or is that an incorrect assumption?), but it becomes a family matter that would make me beyond uncomfortable. Your experience may vary, but there may be a lawyer in your future. Or a Kingdom Hall.
3.) I am divorced and live in a condominium complex. There is a man we run into at the pool constantly who is of no interest to me. This past weekend he asked me to lotion his hairy, acne-covered back. I was all like, ew. What do I do?
Baffled – see, this is a case where the letter writer's name is ideally suited. Baffled, indeed.
I am not baffled, nor should I be. I suspect a very large percentage of the planet's population would be completely not baffled as well. Forrest Fucking Goddamn Gump would not be baffled.
No. Just you. Jesus wept.
I mean, really: you had me with “hairy, acne-covered back.” You're telling me you didn't get all squidgy and moist and horny just thinking about that? Really? I am stunned.
And speaking of backs, I think I have a solution for you: a spine. A real, human spine, complete with 33 vertebrae and a cord and nerves and those little disc thingies and a system of muscles and other fibrous tissue which holds the whole gloppy, lumpy mess erect and allows we humans to get face to face with other humans and say things like “dude, I am, like, so totally not interested in you” and that sort of thing.
Any other questions?
Note: Schuyler The Cat already has a chain of Testicles-R-Us stores across the nation – look out for the new “Spines-R-Us” stores, coming to a strip mall near you!
4.) I recently signed up for a walk to help raise money for a worthy cause. I'm delighted with the amount I've been able to raise, and for those who have not donated, I understand that it's not everybody's cause, finances are tight, people don't like to donate online, etc. I resent the shit out of these people though, because I bought crap from them before. Should I send a reminder e-mail or say something? It feels so petty, but I'm having trouble letting it go.
Favorless – the common thread in all these stupid letters today is one of boundaries, ownership, and reciprocity.
You are perfectly at home here among the other LW's. Because you need to learn a lesson about these very subjects.
I learned in middle school If a girl drops a pencil on the floor and you pick it up for her, this does not mean she owes you a blow job. Later, I discovered that if you open a door for a girl, it does not mean she owes you a blow job. Taking a girl to a movie? Oddly, this does not mean she owes you a blow job. Buying her a drink? It sure helps, but no, it does not mean she owes you a blow job.
A little single minded, I know (I really like blow jobs, could you guess?), but the point here is this: what you do to the world is never an indication that the world will likewise do back to you. Karma is a fickle, funky little superstition that has no rules, selects no favorites, and overall just makes people feel better for believing in it. Really lovely, caring, giving people get mowed down by gunfire for no reason every day. It's a happy place, Earth.
And where this all intersects boundaries, ownership, and reciprocity is this: buying shit from a bake sale is not a goddamn investment vehicle that earns you some kind of exchangeable currency of kudos and back-pats. You give when you feel you ought, and you ask when you feel you ought: anything else is a demand, and that's a good way to get otherwise reasonable people to say things like “fuck you” and “no” and “who are you again?”
Having trouble letting it go? Tough shit. Life is hard. Blow me.
It's been a year of Old Canadian Bands for us – last year we got cheap tickets to see Rush at an amphitheater here in Charlotte. Sound was bloody awful – as usual the Amphitheater was built years before a nearby block of apartments which then complained about the noise, and there you go. Still a great show – I love those old guys.
This Sunday we will go see Heart at a different – again outdoor – venue. The ladies don't look worse for wear, although M.A.C. Cosmetics are a major sponsor and I suspect Ann and Nancy take much advantage of their product. I saw them 30-odd years ago, and I hear they still have enough energy to give a good show.
Weather forecasts say mid eighties (WAY cooler than yesterday and today) and scattered thunderstorms. That's what rain ponchos are for, I believe. I will report.
And so it is adieu, my dear Flysters, Stay cool!