Monday, February 18, 2008

Our house/Is a very, very, very fine house

A little over a month ago my mom came home on a Sunday afternoon and said, "Guess what?"
"What?" I said, although I knew what the answer might be, given her big, mischievous smile.
"I bought a house!!" I knew she had been looking for houses, but I didn't know it would be this soon that she would find one that she liked, much less buy it, all in one day.

It has been a little over a month since that bomb was dropped. Things have happened fast, and as of this weekend my mom and sister and I are moved into the new house. It's a great house, really, a brand-new house on the "fancy pants" Westside of town. Moving back to the Westside from the Northeast part of town had been a lingering idea ever since we moved out to the Northeast three years ago to be closer to Mom's work. It's something my family talked about constantly. We missed our friends and our church and the neighborhoods we grew up in, as well as the perks that go with living in a nicer part of town. Not that the Northeast is so horrible, but, well, it is a little dingier than the Westside. A dollar store on every corner. Huge potholes in the Albertson's parking lot near our house. Homeless veterans wandering the streets. One Starbucks, when the Westside has three. The Northeast has about four decent restaurants, one of which is Chili's, and another of which is Applebee's. The Westside, on the other hand, has a huge number of really great restaurants: Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Southwest, breakfast, ice cream, etc., etc. Yum.

You'd think I'd be jumping up and down to be moving back, but I wasn't. It's funny how once Mom announced that we'd be moving back, I just wasn't that enthused. Maybe it was that the task of moving seemed arduous to me, but I think I had also gotten used to the Northeast and its little quirks. I grew to appreciate its more working-class nature. I also liked how it wasn't as congested as the Westside. I liked being near the baseball stadium and being able to walk up the side of the mountain whenever I felt like it. I guess it was always in my mind that I'd leave the Northeast eventually, but when the day actually came and I was finally going back to the Westside, I just felt sad and like the rug had been pulled out from under me. I did spend two and a half years of my life at that house. I had gotten used to the commute, gotten used to the Wal-Mart and the library branch, gotten used to coming home at night and seeing the church across the street from the house lit up at my return.

Maybe more central to my surprising discontent is that I thought that the next time I'd move would be the time that I moved into my own house. "When I have my own place..." is something I've thought about quite a few times. My house will be Downtown. My house will be warm. My house will have terra cotta tile. My house will have character. It'll be just like Friends! Sure, this is a sparkly, new, beautiful house, a sun-filled house with tan walls and new appliances, but it's not mine. I'm back on the Westside, but not on my own terms.

Boo hoo, I know I should count my blessings and not complain about things. I know the day will come soon when I'll be all grown up and out on my own and most likely living in much poorer conditions. What's a house, anyway? I'm still me, Mom's still Mom, the dog's still the dog. The more I move from house to house, the more I realize how arbitrary a house is. Like a hermit crab, it seems I can get used to living anywhere, given enough time.

1 comment:

knitalittle said...

West side your mum is in my neck of the woods. It is nice I think she will like it.