Saturday, June 21, 2008

Re-post: Dead pledge - Jan 05

From Monday, January 03, 2005

I don’t know what my brain does when I’m asleep, but I woke up this morning thinking about mortgages. I was calculating how much of ours we’ve paid off. 91 payments out of 300. Another nine payments and we’ll have paid off a third of it. It seems to take forever, paying off a mortgage! I’ll be 54 by the time it’s all paid off. No wonder they call it a mortgage. If mort = death, then you can use it to gauge how close to death you are. Paid off your mortgage? Better start saving for your funeral. By the time I’m 54 I’ll have wished half my life away on looking forward to paying off the mortgage. But money does that to you, doesn’t it? Whether you’re saving it up or paying it back, if it becomes a long-term commitment it grabs you by the neck and pulls your nose down to the grindstone.

I tell my children not to take out mortgages when they’re older, or have credit cards, or to borrow money for anything, because you pay back at least twice what you borrowed and it takes over your life. We have a field. They can save up for stone and build on that. They tell me I’m crazy, but they’re full of the optimism of youth. Tom *knows* he’s going to earn so much money that he’ll be able to buy any number of houses for cash. Ali reckons he’ll never need a house, because he’ll be too busy having a life and won’t care where he lives and Zara’s planning on staying here forever. This might all come to pass. Oh, but how plans can change between adolescence and growing up! When I was twelve I was going to spend my life living in a tree house. By about 14 I’d decided on a derelict mill conversion (ALL of it) and by 16 I fancied a trendy executive studio attic.

By 17 I’d got my attic, rented from a friend, but it wasn’t trendy or executive and I was doing 3 jobs to pay the rent. At 18 I’d met the husband, moved into his pub then we bought (took out mortgage for) the house he loved and I hated, stayed there ten years (just over a third of a mortgage!) then split up, sold it and used the proceeds (the one third paid off) to settle other debts and for me to put a down payment on this house. I’m staying put now. They’ll need wild horses or a coffin to get me out of here, which brings me back to the MORTgage. I’ve just looked it up in the dictionary, and the origin of the word is apparently ‘dead pledge’. I know 54 isn’t old, but at 36 it sure seems like a long way off, and we do without so much in order to make the repayments I sometimes wonder if we’re doing the right thing.

I just wanted to buy some stability for the children, to make a noble sacrifice to them for after I’m dead. BUT is that egotistical? Will they want it? Appreciate it? Live in it? That last one’s a joke. The only way they manage to live under the same roof at the moment is with double Yale locks on their doors and their rooms as far away from one another as possible, like bedsit land. I guess they’ll probably just sell it and party all the money away. Over my dead body! Er.. well, it will be, won’t it?

By A Grumpy Old Yorkshire Woman.

posted by Gill at 7:25 AM 0 comments


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