#675: 5% (This House is Not for Sale)

For 16 years, I have been waiting for a phone call.

GETTING MORE TALE #675: 5% (This House is Not for Sale)

My dad, an old school banker, used to tell me, “Never pay somebody rent when you can put that money towards owning something of value.”

I lived in a rental apartment with T-Rev for a little while in the 90s, but mostly I lived with my folks.  That allowed me to save a lot of money for a place to live.  In 2002 I bought a condo.  I was lucky.  It was the first and only place I looked at.  It was 10 minutes away from work, 10 minutes away from my parents, and absolutely perfect for me.  I soon as I saw it, I started planning where the stereo would go.

I wanted to have my own place before I turned 30, and I was the first Record Store employee to buy one.  I could tell the office Bully was jealous.  When I told everyone I bought my own place, they all sent their congratulations, except the Bully.  She sent a back-handed email about how I had it easy living with my parents all this time.  I hit “delete”, but I did not forget.  It was a pattern of belittling that continued over the years.

I wasn’t trying to boast.  Just sharing my happy news with people who I thought were my friends.

I got married, continued to work hard, and a couple weeks ago, I finally got the phone call from the bank that I had been waiting 16 years for.  “Congratulations!  You are now among the 5% of Canadians that own their homes with no mortgage!”

What a feeling!  It doesn’t seem like 16 years.  More like 10.

Back when I moved in, I insisted that only I carry my treasured CD collection.  If any jewel cases were broken, I could only blame myself!  (Only a couple broke.)  My whole family helped.  We had the place painted later that night and I was entertaining my first guests two days later!

First movie played at the new place:  Star Wars Episode I.

Those kinds of things are important, you know.

After I got married, we meant to find a bigger place.  We both had great jobs and the time seemed right.  Unfortunately Mrs. LeBrain got sick – really sickEpilepsy has changed our lives and we have not been able to move.  Too many far more important things to do.  We’ve outgrown this place, but we will make it work.

We own it free and clear.  It’s ours.  The roof over our head is a security blanket that we never take for granted.



  1. Hey, man. I just wanted to thank you for writing that #403 Bully piece. I know that it’s technically not this article, but you linked to it and I didn’t see a way to comment on it. You also bring up the woman here, so thanks for putting your experiences out there. You’re really helping people. I was never bullied in High School, but I know a lot of people looked down on me for the metal. I didn’t really care. They never started anything because down here in the U.S. heartland they were all scared of us. I think they thought that us metalheads were all like the kid from that Gene Simmons movie with the Fastway soundtrack “Trick or Treat”, playing records backwards and utilizing black magic.

    Also, I hope you’re enjoying your home more than the new Bon Jovi album. Jon Bon is from New Jersey, where does he get a southern accent or the country leanings? Being from a state in the U.S. considered as both the “Midwest” and the “South”, I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on the accents on the part of the U.S. he’s trying to pander to. Bon Jovi having east coast origins and a southern accent perplexes me. The dude should sound Marky Mark, not Jason Aldean (shivers).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Dillon! The reason I didn’t allow comments on the Bull article is because, in the past, a few of her friends gave me a hard time about Record Store Tales. So I chose to make sure they couldn’t comment.

      But I appreciate your comment! I wanted to make sure that I connected with people out there with the same experience. There’s nothing worse than feeling alone on that, and unfortunately there are numerous people who don’t believe me that events unfolded as they did.

      I think Bon Jovi has wanted to be some kind of cowboy since 1986, and he eventually acquired that accent through wishful thinking!


      1. If her friends are so juvenile that they feel that they have to come at you with petty insults it honestly just shows that you are the bigger person. Rock on, Michael.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks man!

          It wasn’t petty insults. It was more…questioning the truth of my story. And the ethics of it. I quite because she told me that I had to leave my PERSONAL cell phone on “from now on”. That was my personal phone that I paid for and work had no say in my phone. So I said no way, and I quit.

          Her friends told me that I was “entitled” and that the workplace I described wasn’t like the one they worked in. They couldn’t comprehend that (gasp!) my experience was my own.


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