Sunday, November 27, 2011

Southern Charm

The view we fell in love with at Southern Charm
Soon after Ars and I became a couple back in December of 2007, we started to look for somewhere to live together and spent all Ars free time sim-jumping to search for a place we both liked.

We had made a joint list of criteria for what we were looking for.
  1. No boring beach property
  2. Affordable
  3. Big enough. i.e. with enough prims over after setting up the house.surroundings and furniture. to allow Ars to build without too many limitations
  4. A reliable and secure landlord - we had both heard too many stories about the other kind
Usually Ars would have prepared a list of places to check out beforehand and pretty soon after I logged inworld we were off on our hunt. We had a good time doing this and enjoyed being in each others company.

After about a week or so we first came to the Southern Charm sim, which seemed to meet with all our criteria except the affordable. I was the stingy one, after all the relationship with Ars was so fresh and I did not want to commit to something that could be difficult to pull out from if things turned sour.

We both fell in love with the house straddling the waterfall at once, so after seeing that we just kept coming back. Finally I gave in and we started negotiations with the landlord.

The sim was at that time owned by Spyder Jewell, but was managed by his wife Jazzine, a smart, funny and wonderful American woman.

Jazzine took to me as soon as I had made Ars question her about the "no nudity" clause in the covenant. Finally we made an explicit agreement stating that I (and Ars) could run around on our property as naked as we wished as long as we did not tote a boner outdoors and wore clothes when visiting with the neighbors.

With that essential point settled we started negotiations on how many parcels we were going to rent, which parcels and what the total tier would be. I had complete confidence in leaving Ars to handle that when I logged off that night.

Next day when I logged in Ars told me triumphantly that we were now the proud tenants of two parcels on Southern Charm, including the one with the waterfall. We were jubilant and immediately started furnishing and decorating.

As time went by, we increased our land with a third, fourth and fifth parcel until we rented more than half the sim. At that point Spyder and Jazzine encountered financial difficulties (or perhaps just decided to move on from SecondLife) and offered us to take over the full sim so we would rent it directly from Linden Lab. (That´s called landowning in SecondLife.) Because I am a citizen of the European Union we decided to name Ars as the sim-owner so we wouldn't have to pay the additional VAT-tax on landowning fees that the EU forced on the Lab.

After Ars passed away in February 2010 there was some paperwork needed to transfer the sim from his estate to me. Luckily, I had the full cooperation and understanding of his father and family in doing so, everyone is not so fortunate.

In hindsight it is my firm recommendation to anyone who co-owns anything whatsoever in SecondLife, to see to it that you make a will bequeathing any joint - or for that matter personal - property to the survivor. It is actually also in accordance with Linden Labs rules to bequeath the avatar itself and all of it´s possessions to the surviving partner.

Ars and I were too happy together and probably thought nothing bad could happen to change it to do any of those things, it almost cost me the dearest memories I had of him and our time together. Do not make the same mistake!

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