In Spain there’s these “homebuyer’s accounts,” where you save money toward, well, buying a house, and this gets you a pretty nice tax discount. But the accounts are only good for so long.
Mine was reaching the end of its life, so I needed to buy or hand a sizable chunk of money to the gumnit. I’d started it before my work life went nuts - I was a lab assistant (weekend and vacations shift), now I’m a consultant getting most offers for out-of-country. After some hemming and hawing and having got a job in the town where I was born (my family live 90km away), I plunked it down into a flat in a village nearby, up in the mountains. It’s got a good resale value and can be rented out, either to permanent renters or in the summer. The job didn’t last; the boss-woman had done her best to get a group of Ideas People (and she did obtain it), when what she actually wants is yes-people; I got an offer for a very-highly-paid position in Switzerland and took it. The main reason wasn’t the money, though, it was getting out from under that boss.
I’d set one of the bedrooms aside for Mom and let her choose the decorations there. I also put up stuff she’d bought for me and which isn’t necessarily something I would have spent a penny on. For example, there is a woodcut artist in my home town who does fantasy and geometry stuff because she likes it (and I love that stuff), local landscapes because people like my Mom buy them for their children (I don’t like them); guess which ones Mom bought… oh wait, I already told you!
I’ve been here in “the hereabouts of Switzerland” since last November. A friend is flat-sitting for me; he gets a place he can afford on his tiny salary (less than minimum wage because he’s “on practice”), I get to know that if my pipes burst someone will call a plumber. Yesterday I was on the phone with Mom and she says
“I know I’m mad with you about something but don’t remember what… oh yes! The Village flat!”
“What about it?”
“Well, I helped you decorate it”
“So, I thought you were going to stay there forever! You know, I helped you!” (right, remind me again why I’m never buying a flat in Barcelona? Oh yes that’s right, because I’d need the fucking Nacionales to keep you out of it! I give you a piece of my space and you’re angry that you don’t have it all - thanks, Momma, I love you too but not right now)
After counting to ten and taking a deep breath, I answered “that’s funny, I hadn’t expected that particular job to last more than a couple years at most and as you well know, there aren’t many jobs in my line in that area.”
But I still want to throw the fucking woodcuts at her head. Followed by the washing machine in her flat (which is my hand-me-down), her computer (again a hand-me-down, from me to bro to her) and, dunnow… those curtains and €600 glasses on which she spent money she’d borrowed for plumbing?