This morning Ish woke up, showered, and shaved. He opened three boxes before finding his clean "work" jeans, and transported much of the clothing he found in the first two boxes to his side of the closet. After he got dressed, fed the cats, and cleaned the litter box, he drove to Starbucks. He returned to the house shortly thereafter with a half-caf soy latte (and a kiss on the nose) for me, and left again for work. He will probably be in his office before I finish this paragraph.
Do you have any idea how mind-blowing this is? After nearly three years of his commuting 60-70 miles each way?
(Btw? Ish just popped up on IM.)
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Thank you for your kind words of support from the post below. I definitely got into a snit over the anonymous comment, but I snapped out of it, too. Your thoughts helped a lot.
Now that I've had some time to put things in perspective, I want to make a few points for the record. A few small ones and a really big one.
First, I do not expect people to agree with me all the time, and I don't have an issue with people who take the time to comment and to respectfully dissent. As Em pointed out, saying that the house we picked seems "out of sync" with me is a fair -- and, as it happens, accurate -- statement. One I've had to think about for a while to be able to answer. However, couching that statement in insults clouded the point and, well, insulted me.
Second, for what it's worth, I won't ever turn off commenting.
The thing is, there's a difference between someone who says something totally off-the-wall stupid (like that guy who told me he can't enjoy reading my blog because he knows he wouldn't want to have sex with me because of my "fatness") (true story), and someone who says something mean that resonates with me because it hits a sore spot.
The anonymous commenter did the latter. I'm not especially concerned about being "uncool" (good lord, I'd never leave the house), and I think "mid-brow" is completely debatable, given this house's relative expense and specific location. BUT I did have a lot of hesitations about moving to a tract home. To be perfectly honest, I didn't even really know what a tract home was a few months ago -- I'd heard of them but coudn't have defined them accurately and had to ask Ish if this was one.
We turned down many houses for that reason. In fact, one of the most gorgeous homes we looked at was so close to the other houses in its development, and the development was so in the middle of nowhere that I actually started crying on the way home from going to look at it.
But this house seemed totally different. It's not, I guess, but it felt that way to us -- which is why we selected it.
And so yeah. I'm sensitive to it. The anonymous commenter knows exactly what s/he is talking about, right down to the effing hollow-core doors, which was the very first thing Ish said he'd be replacing. (Those and the silver-and-gold-tone faucets in the bathrooms.)
I'm sensitive to it because this isn't how I grew up. This isn't the kind of suburb I know. This isn't anything I'm familiar with at all.
How 'bout that, huh? And so we come to the big point.
Do you have any idea how "interesting" the house I grew up in was? No, of course you don't. And that's totally my fault, because I haven't the skills to write it yet. It is my greatest challenge as an aspiring writer to ever, ever put into words that house and all that happened there. Part Anne of Green Gables, part Running With Scissors, with maybe some Pippi Longstocking and Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant thrown in. But funny, and not in a dark way. Not Sedaris. More like Gene Shepard (the guy who wrote the series of stories that the movie, A Christmas Story came from). Yeah, much more like that.
And this? This newly constructed home? Oh, I get it. I get anyone who aspires to have something more unique, more inspired, less like the others and more full of "character." Of course I do. I get the difference. I know exactly what our anonymous commenter means.
I lived and breathed "interesting" for over twenty formative years.
Our over-a-century-old farmhouse had the most charming brick floor throughout the entrance and giant kitchen. Our kitchen, where we spent most of our time, featured a huge brick fireplace in the corner. Charming, yes. But have you ever tried to clean a floor made of bricks?
The farmhouse had five-and-a-half bathrooms, but never once did all 5.5 work correctly at the same time.
Leaky faucets. Drafty windows. A crack here, a hole there. Rip in the screen door. A sliding door stuck shut. A bathroom carpet perpetually damp. Lights that went out and never went back on again.
For whatever conflation of reasons, my parents simply did not keep up with the constant repair needs of the house; mostly when things would break, they'd just stay broken.
So you know what is completely novel to me? Having a house where all the bathrooms work at the same time. Living in a home where I don't have to worry that a leaky faucet may mean a plumbing "problem" that would cost half the home's value to repair.
Here, everything works. Everything is clean, or at least possible to clean in a way that homes built before 1940 are not. I don't have to worry about faulty wiring or lead poisoning or how I'm going to plug a television AND a dvd player in the livingroom. I don't have to pull up decades-old carpet or paneling or linoleum. If a door or faucet or window or light fixture breaks, we have a warranty.
From the outside, I know. I am in a home in a somewhat cookie-cutter neighborhood, and no one out there could possibly see or guess what informed my decision to move here.
But you can.