?

Log in

No account? Create an account
People Are Afraid to Merge on Freeways in Los Angeles - The Book of the Celestial Cow

> Recent Entries
> Archive
> Friends
> Profile
> My Website

January 25th, 2008


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
12:18 am - People Are Afraid to Merge on Freeways in Los Angeles
Since I left home after high school and my mom was unable to monitor my every move, there has been one thing I could always count on.

Approximately 90% of our phone conversations will contain a variation of this dialogue:

"You don't have anyone, right? You're not seeing anyone? No BMMW (black, Mexican, Muslim, white)?"
"No."

I don't even have to think about it anymore. I just tell her what she wants to hear. Luckily for both of us, I suppose, it's always been the truth. I've never dated anyone. If I did, that instinctive, standard, automatic "No" would become a lie.

I expect it; I wait for it; I'm ready for it. I give her the "No," and she's relieved once again. Today, she said it was like a hundred thousand pounds of weight had been lifted from her chest (one of our relatives just eloped with a white girl and got married in Vegas).

But, while irritating, it's not a big problem because there's clearly no chance of my actually having to turn my "No" into a lie because I am socially incompetent and neurotically guilt-ridden anyway. It's a ritual at this point.

The problem is that I've encountered a new ritual, and it's ten thousand times more irritating.

Approximately 99% of the times I see or talk to my uncle, he will ask me if I've looked into buying a house yet.

This has been going on for many months now. Since I have a job and I plan to stay in the Bay Area for the next few years, I should buy a house or condo for $400,000 instead of throwing my money away on rent. In five years, the value of my property will have gone up, and I will have basically been staying there for free if I want to sell. This is all completely true and incontrovertible despite the fact that everything I'm reading says this is actually a horrible time to buy.

It's worse with my uncle because with my mom, I only get a question. With him, I get an entire lecture. And it's the same fucking one, every time. As if I hadn't already heard it a dozen times before. As if the reason I haven't started actively looking is because I didn't hear what he was saying, not because I am perfectly content with my living situation and don't feel financially prepared to deal with a mortgage.

What's completely maddening is he knows I'm not really into the idea and that it pisses me the fuck off to keep hearing about it. He has often recognized that I just want him to shut up, and he does. Once, he actually promised not to bring up the topic again. He would only discuss it if I came to him and asked for advice.

LIES. FUCKING LIES.

I am twenty-six years old. I am trying to become an adult. I think I've generally got a handle on things. I have a place to live and a job to pay for it. I pay my bills on time. I have no debt, and I save way too much and spend way too little. I don't understand why this isn't good enough. For now, at least.

I was thinking recently that even though I may not look it or feel it all the time, I am probably the happiest (obversely: least sad) I have ever been, living in the Bay Area. And I'm not sure that matters to my family at all.
Current Mood: irritatedirritated
Current Music: Team Sleep - Natalie Portman

(66 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 25th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I would think they'd be super-proud of themselves for raising kids who are self-sufficient and happy. That should make them say, "Hey, look what a good parent I am! That's my kid over there, living a productive and satisfying life! Good for him!"
I think I could count the number of times my mom's said she's proud of me on one hand. Possibly two. I haven't really kept count; it's been so infrequent.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:gchick
Date:January 25th, 2008 02:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I think you're doing a fabulous job of the adult thing, for the record. But clearly you need to tell your uncle that you're not interested in buying a place until you find a nice black-white-mexican-muslim to share it with.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 25th, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I think you're doing a fabulous job of the adult thing, for the record.
Thank you.

But clearly you need to tell your uncle that you're not interested in buying a place until you find a nice black-white-mexican-muslim to share it with.
Heh. Yesterday, he was talking about the house like it was a precursor to the wedding.
[User Picture]
From:gymble
Date:January 25th, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Oh, Sunil. Parents/relatives can be a pain sometimes.

You're right that buying a house at this moment is not the right thing to do even if you felt prepared to take one on. I do want to buy a house and won't because it's not a good idea right now. The market needs to settle (and I need to know where the hell I'm going to live next year). So, take comfort in the fact that you're right. Which ... probably doesn't help at all with your uncle. Is he the kind to be persuaded by facts and figures?

Also, 400K? Really? I'd be surprised if you could find anything decent for less than 5 or 6. The East Bay is fucking expensive.

As for your mother, I'm sorry. As a white Christian (ish), it seems bizarre to categorically rule people out as potential spouses solely because of their race/religion. But, that's how it is for you, I guess.

You're not socially incompetent! Dating is difficult, but don't let your mother scare you off from it.

And now I sound like a mother. Great. I am getting old. Just hang in there and know that you have friends who care about you.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 25th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
The market needs to settle (and I need to know where the hell I'm going to live next year).
Don't go awaaaaaaaaaaaaay, you guys!

Is he the kind to be persuaded by facts and figures?
I don't know. Maybe if I knew what to use. He's lived in the Bay Area all his life, so he considers himself an expert on the real estate market.

Also, 400K? Really? I'd be surprised if you could find anything decent for less than 5 or 6. The East Bay is fucking expensive.
Yeah, $400K is the low end. The low end used to be $300K. Next thing you know, he'll only be talking about $500K.

Just hang in there and know that you have friends who care about you.
Thank you. That's part of the reason I'm happy here. *hug*
[User Picture]
From:shamoogity
Date:January 25th, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Even though my family has always been fairly laid back, I'm starting to realize more and more that there's no such thing as good enough in Indian families. And it drives me crazy too.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 25th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Thanks for understanding.
From:harriettheelf
Date:January 25th, 2008 03:35 pm (UTC)
(Link)
::hugs you::

Oh, hon. I'm sorry this nonsense comes in so many forms.

I think you're (doing) great.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 25th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Aw, look at you, all clever with the parentheses.
[User Picture]
From:harper47
Date:January 25th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Boy I wish I could say I have no debt and save too much. That's a great place to be. Re the parentals - I think it's instinctive to worry and care and sometimes it just comes out in weird ways. I know sometimes I nag my oldest son about things all the time thinking - why are you nagging?

It sounds like you have a great family and I think quirky, annoying things just come with the whole family package.
[User Picture]
From:soleta_nf
Date:January 25th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC)
(Link)
*hugs* I hate parental-type lectures. Sigh.
[User Picture]
From:riani1
Date:January 25th, 2008 04:31 pm (UTC)
(Link)
And I'm not sure that matters to my family at all.

Happiness cannot be quanitified, therefore it cannot be described and cannot be used to tell your parents' friends "Sunil is 30% happier than your kid, you loser." Therefore, they cannot quantify their success as human beings.

My father died when I was 20 and a senior in college. I ceased speaking to my mother when I was your age. All the power in the world that you find a better way than the one I took.
[User Picture]
From:electricmonk
Date:January 25th, 2008 04:54 pm (UTC)
(Link)
If I had more than a minute I'd try to say something more profound, but: I for one am awfully glad to hear you're happy(-ier, whatever), I highly doubt that you're as socially incompetent as you believe, and there's totally a loophole in your mom's question where you can run away with a Japanese girl and not have to tell her. (Which is a completely viable solution to the whole conundrum, I know.)
*huuuuuuuug*
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 25th, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC)
(Link)
*huuuuuuuuuuug*
[User Picture]
From:jenelope
Date:January 25th, 2008 04:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Next time your uncle puts pressure on you to buy a house, ask him if he's got $20,000 you can borrow for a down payment and then tell him that's a mere 5% of the low end of the market. If he's as practical as I think he is, he'll think 20% is a better down payment. (And- heh!- 20% of the low end in your market just happens to be about what I paid for my whole condo.)

I do think that you should plan to buy, but the market sucks, lenders are shying away from low down payment loans, and every comment from you indicates you're not quite ready. Just assure your uncle that you're planning to buy in the future and making sure that you are completely prepared for it.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 25th, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC)
(Link)
ask him if he's got $20,000 you can borrow for a down payment
He does. He and my dad are willing to help me with a down payment.

(And- heh!- 20% of the low end in your market just happens to be about what I paid for my whole condo.)
Or what Melanie paid for hers! I was the only one who said, "Wow, that's cheap!"
[User Picture]
From:ethanvahlere
Date:January 25th, 2008 05:28 pm (UTC)
(Link)
BMMW? I've never heard that term before, heh.

Seriously, though, you should tell your uncle you already have two parents, you don't need another one nagging you. Sorry you have to put up with that.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 25th, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC)
(Link)
He likes to treat me like his own son. And on some counts, I appreciate the privilege. On others, not so much.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 25th, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Tell me how awesome I am!
[User Picture]
From:pixie37373
Date:January 25th, 2008 05:45 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I totally feel you on the not being ready to buy thing. I thought I was until I started on the research and realized exactly how stressed out the money thing was making me. Just do what makes you happy. You are living well within your means and saving money - that's more than a lot of people our age can say.

It makes me happy that you are happy. You know I love you!
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 25th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I do know!
[User Picture]
From:kremlindusk
Date:January 25th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Personally I think age 26 is quite young to be looking to buy a house. Then again, my boyfriend is 30 and we're nowhere near ready to live on our own yet.

I know it's hard, but probably your best bet is to love your parents, but kind of brush off their nagging. Obviously you're doing well for yourself, and if they can't realize that or don't care, that's their problem, not yours. Eventually you'll have everything they want you to have, but then they'll have moved on to, "Have children and grandchildren!" So just figure, you'll get there when you get there, and the bonus is that they'll be happy for 2.5 seconds before moving onto their next goal for you.

Plus, if you did everything they wanted, right away, what would they do with their spare time? They'd be bored if they weren't thinking of ways to get you to accomplish things. You're doing them a favor by putting that stuff off. :D
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 25th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Ha. We wouldn't want them to get bored!
[User Picture]
From:cofax7
Date:January 25th, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC)
(Link)
OMG no, this is absolutely the wrong time to be buying a house! You'd end up with a mortgage worth more than the house is!

Even if your family is willing to help out with the downpayment, it's a terrible time. At the least you can tell your uncle that it's wisest to wait until the market settles, when you'll be able to get a better deal. Prices are, in fact, dropping.

You have all my sympathy for the family pressure: it's such a hassle. I have my issues with my parents, but they've never badgered me about my marital status (and are less likely to now that all my sibs are married). Good luck on dealing with it.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 25th, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC)
(Link)
You'd end up with a mortgage worth more than the house is!
How is that possible? I thought you took out a mortgage equal to what you pay for it.

At the least you can tell your uncle that it's wisest to wait until the market settles, when you'll be able to get a better deal. Prices are, in fact, dropping.
Right? Shouldn't I wait until it actually hits rock bottom? Of course, how is anyone supposed to know when that is?

> Go to Top
LiveJournal.com