Some Schadenfreud and Karma Issues

With the completion of the condo purchase, the condo has become one of the major topics of conversation between family and friends. Yes, we are justifiably proud of the purchase. For me, it is my largest physical testimony to the years of careful spending and saving after all. For my parents, it is probably more pride at their child’s success than anything else.

But there was no intention to brag, except maybe for a little bit on this blog. J We have tried to keep it just in the immediate family and a few close friends, but news have leaked and more and more people are getting to know about it. Recently it caused a little bit of friction between Dad and one of his close friends.

This good friend was an ex-schoolmate of Dad’s, so the relationship goes back several decades. They usually meet for lunch and catch up a few times a week. During one of the lunch dates, this friend suggested Dad should look into the entering the property market. So, Dad mentioned I just did. Friend pressed for details, Dad gave them. They went on to talk about other things, but in the subsequent weeks, this friend was busy every single time Dad tried to ask him out for lunch.

It could be serendipity, but we think there is a touch of sourness in the air. Also, this guy told my Dad to think about investing in property, and then got pissy when my Dad said that we have already done so. So does that mean he had deliberately introduced the topic to set my Dad up, to hear Dad confess that he couldn’t afford it and give him some schadenfreud joy? 

Mum privately told me that a lot of Dad’s supposedly good friends actually look down on his lack of background and education. I suppose this friend is one of these then. He is better educated and comes from a richer family background than Dad. Yet, this friend has declared bankruptcy twice. Today he still can’t get a credit card and has to use a supplementary card from his son’s account. My parents went from having hardly two pennies to rub together to owning their own business, a paid off flat, and putting two daughters through University and seeing us into steady, well-paying jobs. His kids can hardly support themselves, much less their parents. I guess, in his eyes, this condo purchase was finally the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

So much for a 40 year friendship.

Mum also told me that they have helped this friend out countless times when he got himself into financial difficulties. Even when my parents were poorer than poor, Dad has always managed to slip this friend a $50 here or $100 there. None of the loans have ever been repaid. Yet, when a situation arose where this friend could return the favour, he told my Dad to go to the loansharks. Really. Mum was furious, but Dad never held it against him. Of course, Dad never went to him again for any other financial related request either.

Could it then be karma that we are now financially stable with our new “jewel in the crown”, while this friend is still scrapping by? That his attempt at schadenfreud has backfired on him?

Of course, the story would go the other way if housing prices suddenly reversed and I ended up underwater on the condo. I guess I have to maintain irreproachable behavior from here onwards if I wanted to keep the good karma Dad accumulated!

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