My Slice o' American Pie

I’m in the process of buying a home. Sure, I’m not sure I make enough money to do so, and yeah, this means committing to living in a state that ranks dead last in the nation for anti-animal cruelty legislation. Nonetheless, I, like your typical, brainwashed American, believe I can’t make it another day without grabbing for my slice of the American pie. I already snagged the college degree, a cute car, some student loan debt, the perfect romantic partner, and some kids. (The latter are furry and have an unfortunate tendency to perch on my asthmatic chest while I wheeze my way through sleep, but after spending time with young homo sapiens, I still think I came out way ahead.) All that’s left for this American is buying herself a home.


Please, lender, take a chance on me

Did you know buying a home is exhausting, scary, and expensive? Well, now ya do. First you need to round up all the documents pertaining to your life and make sure your credit is awesome sauce. Then, you need to get all dolled up so you can beg lending institutions take a chance, take a chance, take a, take a chance, chance on you. Only then can you start looking for a house, AKA the opportunity for you to spend three to four years’ of your salary over the course of 30. The coolest part? After paying all that yummy interest on your mortgage, that $150K loan will likely end up costing you twice that. Just think: your mortgage alone could be the money a bank CEO uses to buy his 110-inch HD TV.*

Remind me again why I’m doing this.

I know all the usual excuses for buying homes: you get to stop throwing away rent money, you build equity and a cushion for the future, you get to have cats and dogs without worrying about stupid pet policies and landlords’ breed-specific policies (unless your city ridiculously has them). I’ll even be able to build an in-home infrastructure for my animals and have my own office rather than writing great American novels in my kitchen. Plus, my partner and I will finally be able to live together.

I'm third from the left, in case ya can't tell.
That’s all super sexy to me. However, you know why I really want to own my own home? I’m American, and I’m caught up in achieving that particular part of the Dream. My sisters and I grew up super poor, and all my mother ever wanted was her own little brick house. It’s hard not to internalize that, especially in the home ownership-worshiping American culture. Owning one’s own home became a symbol to me of everything my family wasn’t and everything we didn’t have. 


I want to own a home because it’s a marker of success. I come from a line of people who haven’t had opportunities to achieve financially, and I’m seduced by the thought of taking my place among the middle class that I coveted throughout my childhood. Superficial? Probably. But hey, I refuse to dole out $300K or so over the next 30 years without doing a least a little bit of hard introspection.

So here I am, about to embark on the most expensive venture of my life thus far. God knows spending large amounts of money usually sends me spiraling into an ice-cream-pounding panic, but I’m still going forward. I got me a slice of the American pie to stuff under that ice cream.



* Yes, I said “his,” since CEOs in general have a 95% likelihood of being men

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