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 sick. Epilepsy 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.