Thursday, July 21, 2011

Faster than a speeding miniskirt, more powerful than a great pair of heels

So, my closing was supposed to happen yesterday, but it didn't. I found out last Wednesday that the underwriters needed some extra paperwork from my HOA, which would take the HOA about a week to get together and cost $500. My realtor valiantly fought to get the seller, CitiMortgage, to cover the costs, but they refused. I'm not actually all that bent out of shape about the money; in the grand scheme of things it's not that much (I just spent $900 on a fridge I chose solely based on the fact that the condiment shelves on the door are removable and dishwasher-safe). But in principal, I got screwed. This paperwork the underwriters needed was part of the vast sea of bullshit you have to swim through now to get a mortgage thanks to the housing market crash. And the housing market crash was due in large part to foreclosures, which were caused by people defaulting on their mortgages, and I can honestly say I have never once in my life given anyone a sub-prime mortgage, HOW ABOUT YOU, CITIMORTGAGE?

I'm just saying, you guys. I'M JUST SAYING.

I'm a huge stickler for fairness, especially when I'm the one who's not being treated fairly. Now, obviously, I know that the universe is vast and random, and it would be unreasonable to expect that everything should work out exactly the way I feel it should. I don't even really believe in karma or any other sort of cosmic justice system. I think more than anything it's the sense of powerlessness, knowing that you know how things should be but aren't able to change them or convince other people to change them for you.

Case in point: I was a pretty good kid in grade school, but the one thing I would constantly lose my shit over was when the teacher punished the whole class for something only a few kids were doing. I would sit and argue with my teachers about being punished (and in retrospect, my goodness, what was wrong with these adults that they would engage in heated arguments with an 8-year-old?), about how it wasn't fair that I had to write sentences or stay inside from recess just because other people were talking. But it never worked. So I would sit and endure my punishment and stew. I tried every form of subversive protest I could think of - writing smart-alecky parenthetical asides in my sentences, really, really enjoying my recess time spent at my desk, even loudly commenting on how sad it was that the teacher wasn't playing close enough attention to her class to figure out who the real troublemakers were. But nothing ever worked. Finally, one day, I think in Seventh grade, I was arguing with my teacher over some stupid punishment and getting nowhere when inspiration struck. I turned to my teacher and said, "You know who else had to suffer for other people's wrongdoings? Jesus. So every time you punish me for something I didn't do, I become more Christ-like. Thank you."

I didn't get out of the punishment, but at least my teacher was too dumbfounded to get me into any real trouble. And I learned that day that the combination of scriptural knowledge and complete disregard for the consequences of speaking my mind was a dangerous weapon, one whose power would only be rivaled by my discovery a few years later that guys didn't care how small your boobs were as long as you had nice legs. Yes, I had learned what countless numbers of politicians, theologians, and opinionated people had learned before me: You can use the Bible to prove yourself right. And suddenly, I had a super power. The power to end any conversation in my favor by name-checking the Almighty. A way to be an asshole, but in a way that made you not sound like an asshole, but somehow that made it even more of an asshole-ish thing to do.

So, no, I'm not all that upset about losing $500 dollars and a week of home-ownership. Actually,  I'm feeling a sense of peace about the whole ordeal. As I sit here in my non-air conditioned bedroom I'm reminded of a young man who lived 2000 years ago who was stuck somewhere he knew he didn't belong, his stepdad's carpentry shop. A young man who, years later, would also suffer at the hands of a corrupt institution being propped up by the government. We're not so different, he and I.

Thank you, CitiMortgage. I feel closer to heaven already.

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