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06:00 am: in which my faith is shaken (long and whiny)
I don't believe in God. I don't go to church. I find a lot about organized religion abhorrent (and boring). There's lots of good stuff too, of course. But it ain't my thing.

I don't not believe in God. I'm firmly agnostic, if that's not an oxymoron (or even if it is - cognitive dissonance is good for you).

I do believe,* however (Don Williams notwithstanding, I do believe in organic foods and foreign cars). Some of my belief system was perhaps unduly influenced by The Once and Future King, with ideas of behaving honorably and ethically... but that seems quite appropriate, really, regardless of the source. I believe in protecting the weak and vulnerable, and in rooting for the underdog (perhaps to a fault, in the latter case).

I believe in comporting myself in such a way that I'm content with my own behavior, regardless of how others act. I believe in holding myself to my own standards of ethics and honor, although that sometimes leaves me vulnerable to others' taking advantage. I'd rather suspect I was rooked than protect myself by hurting someone else.

Y'know... the whole being able to look myself in the mirror thing (though in truth I avoid mirrors).

And I do believe in karma, which is part of what makes occasionally getting rooked bearable. A few times, I've been witness to the powers of karma, both in seeing someone deserving get praise or recognition or whatever (which generally makes me cry) and in seeing someone deserving get "caught." I'm not sufficiently good, however, not to enjoy seeing karma come back and bite someone in the ass. I quite like it.

Bad me. But I can live with that. After all, I'm not the one doing the biting. And as ye reap, so shall ye sow. Neener neener.

The whole process of selling our old house was very, very stressful, as I may have mentioned a time or three hundred. When we finally got a buyer and she seemed flaky, Peter kept calling her a bitch. And I kept telling him to shut up, that she was a first-time buyer, that she was nervous, that I understood (or was trying to), that I felt good about selling to someone like me (first-time buyer, single woman buying alone). When she made an insultingly low offer, when she insisted on repeated inspections, when she wanted additional money to fix problems that were there from the first time she saw the house, I would not let Peter call her a bitch. I thought he was being mean and cynical, and it added greatly to my stress.

She's a bitch. He was right; I was wrong. Peter is very insightful with people (odd, perhaps, in a self-proclaimed hermit, but true), and I did not adequately respect his insight.

{Non-trivial aside: I do still think he was wrong to continue to refer to her that way when I was a total stress-monkey and explicitly and repeatedly asked him not to do so. It was disrespectful of me to tell him to shut up; it was also disrespectful of him to ignore me.}

What finally convinced me he was right? We put money in escrow, and she withheld money she was supposed to pay us for appliances, so that she could have cans of paint removed from the basement. More than 3 months later, she supposedly hasn't found anyone who would get rid of the paint (though she has had the house re-sided, new windows put in, the rhododendrons removed, a cap put on the cellar stairs, etc., she doesn't appear to be living there**). She did pay someone $225 to remove "items" (not paint), and thinks she should keep her $300 (grossly cheap price for the appliances) in addition to $200 from escrow to get rid of the paint.

Nope. Ain't gonna happen. It might seem silly to quibble over $500 when hundred of thousands were at stake, but I'm well and truly fed up. I'd rather the $200 sit in escrow forever than have it go to her.

I worked my ass off to be a good seller. When I bought the house, the sellers were truly lovely. They made it so much easier for me. I wanted to pay that forward. I wanted to live according to my own principles. I made repairs that weren't part of the selling agreement, I had the whole house professionally cleaned, I left champagne in the fridge. I did everything I could reasonably do to make it easy for her.

And she had a conniption over 2 cement blocks in the garage, custom screens and solid-wood doors in the basement, and some paint. (My realtor told me she ultimately decided to keep the screens and doors.)

So I put the money in escrow and agreed to having the appliance money held back. I questioned the amount, but my lawyer told me they always put extra aside for this kind of thing. Fine. I had other things to think about and figured a few hundred dollars might come in handy in a couple of months.

And now this.

I still believe, but my faith has been shaken.

* Corny, but sweet, video here.
** Peter initially believed that she wanted to flip the house. I didn't believe anyone could be so stupid in this market. I was probably wrong about that, too.

Current Location: Longmeadow
Current Mood: sadsad


[User Picture]
Date:January 21st, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)

What a bitch!

How much should I charge her for me and dd to go and pick up the paint cans?

*We Really Want Paint Cans. Thank Goodness She Has Some.*

Seriously, can I go pick them up? It's not like we don't know the house.... just name the price, the money is yours, the paint cans, well they're mine. All Mine.
[User Picture]
Date:January 21st, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC)

thanks for the offer

I'm waiting to see what the lawyers say.

My parents offered to pick it up, too. It's supposedly worth $200 (the escrow money), but there will almost certainly be a cost to dispose of it. And it would be a PITA to get it. I don't want my 70-year-old father (or you - what, with Baby A in a sling??) traipsing up and down the stairs of my old basement to retrieve a couple dozen paint cans (and one small box of unknown chemicals), y'know? I'm perfectly willing to pay to take care of it.

But I'm NOT willing to pay to take care of anything ELSE.
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