There are good people in the world.

Unfortunately, mortgage underwriters aren’t among them.

As I maintain on a quasi-regular basis, most people are assholes. I realize this is in direct conflict with Anne Frank’s journal entry, in which she said, “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are basically good at heart.” Of course, this was shortly before she met her end in the gas chamber at the hands of some of those “basically good at heart” folks. Yeah, they were great, as long as you weren’t Jewish, gay, or a Jehovah’s Witness.

So we can assume then that “goodness” comes in many forms. Take, for example, the underwriting department at my mortgage company. I’m sure Ms. Frank and not a local realtor we’ll call “Phil” (’cause that’s his name) was right. We know how little Annie felt, but Phil’s take is a bit different. He says that underwriters have the sole purpose (let’s not confuse it with a special purpose, although I imagine they have those as well) of making your life miserable and exist to traumatize people seeking mortgages. The underwriting department in question, I am sure, is chock-full of good people despite their broken promises of when they plan to issue a clear to close and their lies about having “everything they need” for my file. I’m sure it’s NOT that they’re incompetent, angry that Viagra hasn’t worked for them, or that they lead miserable, lonely existences and can only get joy from making others scramble for documents long since PACKED AWAY IN A BOX BECAUSE THEY TOLD YOUR BROKER THEY HAD EVERYTHING THEY NEEDED. I’m certain it is, as Ms. Frank posits, that they are basically good at heart. It’s clearly just a definition of the word “good” that I was not previously aware of (thank you, Douglas Adams).

Another form, I guess, comes in that of real estate agents. Now, my agent (Ron Kaiser), fits my naive definition of good. Other agents I have had the pleasure of interacting with must be working with that more enlightened definition that allows them to call me (even when they’re not my agent) and insult my mortgage broker, try and pump me for information I don’t have, and passive-aggressively berate me for not having closed the deal yet.

And yet a third form of good comes in the tenant variety. Now, they accept me behaving in accordance with MY definition of good, and I imagine this must be really frustrating for them when they have learned about this new form of good, whereby they can pay rent late and have the audacity to tell me there’s no hard feelings for me charging a late fee, move more than the allotted people in and not tell the truth about it, and continue to make life generally difficult for me.

I really would like to thank these good people (you know who you are, and I know you’re modest so I won’t mention names to call attention to your good deeds) and point out some others, who, like me, operate on that old, useless definition of good and could learn a thing or two from them.

Like Theresa, my mortgage broker. I guess she thinks it good to work her ass off to get this mortgage together for me and then, when it gets postponed thanks to the good people in underwriting, give me use of one of her vacant apartments at no charge. Oh, what she could learn about goodness from one of these enlightened folks.

Or my Realtor himself, Ron. His outdated definition of good involves dealing with inspectors, agents, and my mortgage broker to facilitate a smooth deal while minimizing my stress. More outrageously, his antiquated version of good seems to mean that he does his job well without overstepping any boundaries. What he could learn from truly “good” Realtors.

Oh, and let’s not forget my friends. Even though they operate on that same naive version of good as I, I forgive them. Carla, silly little fool that she is, thinks “”good” means listening to my problems and trying to help me find a silver lining. Luci thinks “good” means sending me wacky e-mails designed to take my mind off this hellish house hunt the “good” people I’ve mentioned are helping me work through. Oh, and Tom… when he called me last week and I burst into tears over having no viable home of my own, having to sleep on (his) borrowed air mattress, and my general state of mind, he wasn’t “good” enough to remind me he has offered me (repeatedly) a place to stay or that it was a situation created largely by my own whims. Rather, his concept of “good” was to simply offer to let me keep the air mattress.

I guess I should hope that all these “good” people in my life can one day, with the assistance of a mortgage or rental property of their own, come to understand what Ms. Frank must have meant. Until then, I’ll suffer them gladly.

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Cathy

I write. I take pictures. I love my dog. I love Florida. My 2016 book, 'Backroads of Paradise' did really well for the publisher and now I feel a ridiculous amount of pressure to finish the second book.