Thursday, February 22, 2007

My brother-in-law

My brother-in-law lives in Orange County (California). My wife and I helped him out by loaning him $$ for a down payment two years ago on his first house. We were very happy to help him out, while karmically repaying my deceased grandmother who did us the same favor over a decade ago.

Now, he's all antsy to move out of his home and go back to the much trendier town (where he used to rent). His real estate buddy has found a "great deal" on an ocean front house that's going for a little over a million.

Of course, my brother-in-law thinks he has to have this house. He even had the chutzpah to ask my wife for $200K (Like we have $200 fucking K laying around just waiting for the moment he has some boffo investment idea), not even bothering to mention the $$ we loaned him to begin with. He claims he can afford an $800K mortgage, but is "uncomfortable" with that amount. If we loan him the $200K he can manage with a $600K mortgage. And this is a "great deal" that we can't miss out on because ocean view homes in Laguna Beach are hot, hot, hot! Whatever.

I am looking forward to breaking the news to him that his "uncomfortableness" is what the rest of us euphemistically call, "I can't fucking afford that million dollar house." What is it with this attitude? Sure its a great deal. There are all sorts of great deals out there. But what is the point of even considering this you can't afford it to begin with? I sure don't get all wigged out when a Gulfstream goes for a song.

Plus, I want my god damned down payment back, oh ungrateful cur of a brother-in-law. I have a bad feeling he is going to hit up his parents for the money. His parents don't have that kind of dosh, but I can see them taking out mortgage, or some other similarly stupid plan to make sure baby son gets what he wants.

Yes, I am pissed at my stupid consumerist brother-in-law (I think you've got the crux of that biscuit). But his attitude is depressingly familiar in many parts of California - especially including the supposedly Bohemian San Francisco Bay Area.

Our hyper-consumer society feels way out of control. Yes, its planned obsolescence; yes its the god-awful packaging; but above all, its this insane idea that we all somehow innately deserve to drive top of the line Beemers, use fizzy glacier water for rinsing toothpaste out of our mouths, and must live in million dollar homes with mortgages bigger than the cliffs they sit on.

Just don't ask me to pay the bills for someone else's frill's, err needs.

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