x We Jam - Summer Home

Wife: I'm not sure I like the Summer Home Solution...it's like your just telling yourself a story.

Me: Like I am just trying to fake myself out?

Wife: Yea, it's like you're only pretending to have a summer home.

Me:  The idea that we actually own a summer home, seems thin, contrived, a stretch?

Wife:  Yes.

Me:  Ok, but what if, by comparison, our Summer Home is as thick, authentic and solid as many other things we hold dear, take pride in, and feel good about?

Wife:  You're going to take me down the path of precedent aren't you?!

Me: Yes. Think about, for example, what it means to "own" a home.  In our society home ownership is a really big deal.  People take pride and have many good feelings around the idea of owning their own home, right?

Wife:  Yes.

Me: The little agreement I made with my brother on the phone---when I said to him, "Will you give me your home as our winter home...blah, blah, blah"---that little agreement is not unlike agreements people make with banks to become real, not pretend home owners.

Wife: I think I see where you are going.  Go on.

Me:  So, how long does it take after people sign the closing documents on a new home that they start acting like, feeling and thinking and talking like they are ACTUAL home owners?

Wife:  Probably as soon as they sign the closing papers.

Me: Exactly.  In our society, home ownership is accomplished with a bunch of signatures and co-signatures, meaningful little scribbles on paper that signify an agreement with the bank (much like the agreement I made with my brother, or that people make when they do house-swaps or timeshares).  Once the agreement is in place, once all the relevant parties sign off on it, the new home owners have their evidence, they have their make-sense story, and they become of all intents and purposes: real home owners.  Ownership created in an instant, all based on an agreement.  The home ownership story is strongly supported by conventional society norms.  Just sign a bunch of documents, then you become not a future home owner, not a tentative home owner, not a wannabe home owner, not a partial home owner....no way, you are a verifiably REAL home owner!  Thereafter, when people ask, "do you own your home?"  You can honestly answer, "Yes."  But, back your point about our Summer Home, aren't these new home owners just pretending to own their home?

Wife: Your saying that in reality the bank owns your home, but we all go ahead and tell ourselves the story that we (and other people) are home owners, even while the ink is yet drying on the closing document.

Me:  Exactly.  So let's go back to where we started this conversation.  But first, let me say that I honor the story of home ownership in our society.  I fully accept that people own their home, they ARE home owners as soon as they sign the closing documents, even if  90 to 99% of the value of their home is held by the bank.  I don't think they are just pretending, and that is is not real.

Wife: Ah, and now comes the appeal to the norm of reciprocity, right?.  Since you honor other people's conventional story about home ownership, all you ask in return is the same courtesy: that they (and I) honor the Summer Home/Winter Home agreement you made with your brother.  Right?

Me:  Right.  Is that too much to ask?  Of course it is, usually.  Like most of my unconventional but better solutions, no matter how strong my case may be (or alternatively, no matter how tenuous society's case may be) I honor our right to disagree.  People can deny we live in a Summer Home, and accuse me of pretending to have one.  I'll honor this opinion, up to a point; the point at which I allow them to be wrong, and, in turn, I invite them to allow me to be "wrong."

Wife:  So you won't try to force me or anyone to go along with your unconventional Summer-Home belief?

Me:  Nope.  I'll just invite.

Wife:  So the choice is mine.

Me:  As always.  But, as you consider this choice, keep in mind our Summer Home has many precedents.  Many, even most things which are especially energizing and dear to us are based on agreements that are very much like the Summer Home Solution.

Wife.  I'm sure you right.

Me:  To me our Summer Home is a reminder.  I use it in mantras, that go something like this, "if I and others are home owners, I have a Summer Home; if 152 words makes a book, I will soon author hundreds of books in the comfort of my Summer Home; if rap is music, I compose songs in a Summer Home; if dandelions are food, I eat them in my Summer Home; if beer tastes good and makes life more fun, we party like it's 1699 in our Summer Home; if Disneyland is a magical place, I have a magical Summer Home; if God answers prayers, then He has blessed us with a Summer Home; if my wife is the most beautiful woman in the world (which I swear she is), I often gaze upon her in our Summer Home; and more amazingly, if my beautiful wife authentically finds me and my middle-aged husky body oh so tantalizing..."

Wife: You know I do!

Me: Me too, you...., "then, welcome to our Summer Home."