Last week at beer hour one of the typical girls at my new office started talking about herself (and when I say typical I mean her blond hair and decent looks have gotten her as far as she is now, but I don’t think there’s much behind the glasses she wears, and I’ve seen her “skills” as a designer which aren’t that great either; translation, she picks out ugly fixtures for my buildings). I sit there in awe as she started complaining about her mortgage payments and that she could hardly afford them. I looked at her with surprise and said “You bought a house here? You’re an idiot!” One of the other girls here, who has a notoriously big mouth and a penchant for inserting her overwhelming accumulation of apparently brilliant and infallible opinions into conversations, tells me that I need to learn to censor the things I say out loud, and that buying is a much better choice than throwing money away on rent all the time.
I refute this, because A) I didn’t know the typical girl wasn’t my age (twenty-six) but really thirty years old, and even so she’s now reached the age where she’s looking to get married pretty soon (confirmed by her other friends in the office) and she and “the guy” and whatever kids they have sure aren’t going to fit in any condo around here that she could afford or even barely afford on the kinds of salaries we make, and B) the market in Boston has been overvalued for several years, and she bought it at least a year ago right before prices started to correct themselves. Right about the time she’s going to want to get hitched and move, she won’t be able to sell it because everyone and their brother got a subprime mortgage, and they are all starting to default, so the market will still be recovering from that. In essence she’s an idiot because even if she plans to stay in the Boston area as she asserts, there’s no way she will stay in that condo for more than three years, so I insist that yes she IS an idiot. I of course can’t possibly explain these things monosyllabically enough for the two of them to understand so I sit there and let them berate me for wasting money on rent here for another year and a half or two years before I pick up my things and move back to the much cheaper south. Perhaps I should be less forth coming next time with my opinions but then again, I can see that in two years time she will be at that same table complaining about selling that condo of hers, let’s not even mention how much she spent on property taxes, and her homeowners insurance. In the end I think I will still win.