Oh, I’ve had a few of them given to me, so I have to say I’ve owned a couple. But every time I’ve given them to someone else rather than scratch them.
I also never use coupons or special deals when I shop. I never enter contests. And though I love to go to the nearby Saratoga Race Course to watch the thoroughbred horses run, I never place bets.
I also, as you probably know, don’t go to church. The reasons for that are numerous and varied, but ONE of the reasons is the same as coupon-and-lottery reason.
It all has to do with something I call “mental access time.”
Say you own a timeshare at the beach.
Do you know how timeshares work? Someone builds a condo or cabin in a desirable place and sells shares in it. If you buy a one-week share, you get to stay in the cabin for a week, sometime during the year. With a two-week share, you get two weeks, etc.
But suppose this beachfront cabin is really your own cabin, something you yourself built.
It’s the place where you get to arrange things to suit yourself. Where you get to decorate, put walls and doors and windows where you want them, but also where you get to spend your time in the way you want to spend it. It’s the place where you get to be YOU.
To most fully accomplish that goal, you’d like to live in it year-round, right?
But in this case, because it cost more to build than you expected, you find yourself forced to sell a single weeklong share in it. As a result, for one week out of each year, you have to prep the cabin for visitors, and go off and live somewhere else.
Still, that’s not TOO bad, is it? You do get the pleasure and ease of living in your cabin for the other 51 weeks. Plenty of time to plant and grow your landscaping, get your lawn looking perfect, tend your baby fruit trees, get your Zen garden just right.
But then an unexpected bill comes up, and your only option to cover it is to sell another share, and to a different buyer. Now you have to live somewhere else for TWO weeks out of every year. The thing is, it wouldn’t be so bad if those two weeks were together, but given the fact that it’s two different buyers, that’s hardly likely. So now you have to prep the cabin and depart for one week in one part of the year, and then again in another part of the year.
Still, beggars can’t be choosers, huh? You take it and do your best to live with it.
But then another bill comes up, and you have to sell a THIRD one-week share. Now it would start to get annoying. You have to prep the cabin for visitors on three separate weeks during the year, and each time find a place to stay while they’re there.
And it’s not just the owner-visitors. It’s that you no longer have control over who enters your house. However nice the part-owners are, they might invite over who-knows-what kind of people. Total strangers who will be pawing through your stuff, throwing beer cans up on the roof, peeing in the pool, having sex in the hot tub, doing all sorts of ungodly things in YOUR home.
Now not only do you have to clean and prep the house for those weeks when you will have visitors, you also have to thoroughly clean it when you get back. Because who knows who’s been there? And who knows what they’ve been doing? Somebody’s probably even sleeping in your bed.
Worse, you find that the sell-off process builds on itself. The expense of staying elsewhere for those three scattered weeks forces you to sell a fourth share, and a fifth.
The wear and worry of this moving in and out, and constantly keeping the cabin in showroom condition, starts to affect your health, and because of medical bills, you have to sell five more shares. And then five more. And then still more.
Over the next two years, the situation worsens, until finally you’ve sold every share in the house.
You’re forced to face this ugly truth: Though this cabin was intended to be your dream home, now you can’t even be there for one week out of the year. Now you have to live in a completely different place.
The fact is, it’s not YOUR cabin anymore. There’s nothing of you in it.