Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Must See to Appreciate!

This is not my house.

Nor is this my view.

However, this is my life: cream cheese on toast for breakfast sitting at my kitchen table wrapped in a duvet cover because it's cold and I don't want to turn on the heater. And no, that's not a wayward speck of cream cheese there on my chin but a dab of zit medicine. It would seem that the recent turn of my life's events has festered into one of those under-the-skin blemishes, the kind that harbors its own beating heart, Edgar Allen Poe in the dark sebaceous world of the tell-tale pimple (out in paperback soon!).

We're selling our house. I suppose it's really only 90% decided, but I don't do 90%. Already I have mentally moved us into a rental, a cute 2br, 1ba with w/d hookups and a grdn. Must see to appreciate! Except, of course, I can't see, it's not real yet, or it's too real, the surreal estate of this new life. Somewhere on the walls of my new home the clocks are dripping time and there is an oversized apple just standing there in the middle of my living room like an awkward, tongue-tied guest. Ceci n'est pas une pipe-dream. Nothing makes sense.

Last night Bryan obliged my need to control the situation and we sat down at the computer to look at rentals listed at half the cost of our current mortgage. Duplexes and apartments, cottages, all deemed Real Charmers! by their landlords who pay for water and trash, landscaping, and all upkeep. Then, just for shits and giggles and because we're masochistic this way, we typed in what we currently pay in mortgage and this is what we found for rent in the town in which we live:

UNIQUE DESIGNER HOME! 4BR, 2BA W/GOURMET KITCHEN, SPA, ELEVATOR AND OUTDOOR SHOWER! LIVE STEPS FROM THE BEACH!

What the post did not say but should have is this: LOOK! YOU MORONS! FOR WHAT YOU ARE CURRENTLY PAYING FOR YOUR 2BR, 1.5BA MOLDY HOUSE WITH THE AGING ROOF--YOU KNOW, THAT PLACE YOU'RE ONLY PAYING THE INTEREST ON RIGHT NOW?--WELL, FOR THE SAME PRICE YOU COULD RENT THIS FABULOUS DESIGNER HOME RIGHT ON THE BEACH! AND THEN USE EXCLAMATION POINTS AND UPPER CASE IN REGULAR CONVERSATION BECAUSE LOOK! THAT THERE IS SOME NEW STAINLESS STEEL KITCHEN APPLIANCES! AND GRANITE COUNTERTOPS! YOU IDIOTS!
Of course we are not selling our house only to rent a UNIQUE DESIGNER HOME ON THE BEACH! For one thing, I cannot stand exclamation points and if I had to live in that house and speak that emphatically I would probably stick my head in the stainless steel gas oven to end the futile existence of living in a house with an actual elevator. And if that weren't true (which duh, it's totally not, of course I would live in that UNIQUE HOME ON THE BEACH! I'm not a complete killjoy) then here's the truth: we are selling our house so that we can return to spending only 25% of our income on housing, not 50%. Also on the (decidedly un-designer) table? Selling my car. Selling our house and selling my car to buy back our lives because maybe, just maybe, if the thousand different Excel Spreadsheet scenarios I have worked on over the past few days are correct, then maybe I can be a stay-at-home-mom slash writer slash me. Yes, you read that correctly: maybe if we downsize I can be the me I'm supposed to be. A better wife, a better mother and a writer, better or not. A writer.
Maybe.
There are still a thousand different things to think about. Logistical issues: healthcare, pre-school, 401k, savings or lack thereof, the future and its endless schedule of a dental exam every six months, the plaque of everyday existence really. And these things cannot be tossed aside for a dream, even if ceci n'est pas une pipe. Still. There is an apple in the living room of a house I don't even live in yet. Oh, sure, I don't own the house, per se. I don't even own the apple. But I can see that apple nonetheless, I can taste it. And oh, does it taste sweet.

18 comments:

MrsEm said...

Renting is the best!

zakary said...

S~

We are in the process of doing the exact same thing. But, my mother's house is almost paid off and her payment is very, very low. However, it is attached to her Small Business Loan for her money pit of a retail store, which is doing HORRIBLY. We close the store, they take her almost paid off house and we go find a rental for double what we are paying now. On the upside, we found a rental that is way nicer than the house we all live in. It has an outdoor fireplace and a guest cottage. Boo-yah. We still own our house, but it's way to small for us + my mother to come live in. It's a rental for now.

Anycrap, hang in there. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and perhaps bigger and better things await us all.

Hugs,
Z

Erin said...

Oh, wow, that DESIGNER HOME! looks awesome! Good lord!
Anyway, sounds like this is the right thing for you guys to do. It will all work out for all of us. Right? RIGHT?
It was so great catching up with you yesterday! Love you!
(Apparently I'm exclamation happy today, too.)

Patti-atti said...

You know, as much as I hate that I rent - because blahblahblahEquityblahblahblahAssets - it will allow you to de-stress about the following things:

House OHMYGODWEHAVETOCOMEUPWITHMONEYTOFIXTHISisms - meaning - no more "the roof just collapsed and the insurance is only covering half of it so we have to pay five million trillion dollars to fix it. Today" or "the pipes burst and we have to pay 30 thousand billion dollars to fix it. Today." Or even things like appliances, porches, all those things - you are paying someone else to take care of that. Which is really fabulous - because with the stresses you have right now, who needs any more!

If anyone asks you why you don't have a car anymore - you can say that you've gone green! Totally trendy! I, myself, don't drive at all (can't afford it - and haven't gotten my license because of this) - and so.. yeah a pretty big inconvenience - but you'll still have Bryan's car to use - and walking is an exceptional way to see people and appreciate your (new) neigbourhood. I love walking around my neighbourhood - I live near the city core and get to walk right downtown every day - with shopkeepers waving at me and stopping to say hello.. it's a great and wonderful thing!

And.. spending days at home with your daughter - you can't ever go back in time - you will never get these moments with her again. The ability to experience this time of her life with her is worth more money in all of the world.

Start imagining your apartment! I've moved a lot in the last few years - and that can be a pretty fun thing to do, once you get into it!

Good luck!

P.

Patti-atti said...

Oh.. and I agree with Zakary - everything happens for a reason. As lame as it sounds - it's setting you up for something else to come along...

Jules said...

I need to remember that "everything happens" line. Like, repeat it several times an hour and wait patiently for my million dollars and family sanity to come. Although, at this point I would take $1500 and some ear plugs.

(In)Sanity Gal said...

way to go in finding a pretty enormous silver lining in all of this.

i do hope that it works out. how amazing would it be to get to pursue your writing.

Regardez Moi said...

Ohhh moving is so stressful. And can be really depressing. Keep your chin up - I can't wait to hear about how you found something you l-o-v-e- love.

Robin said...

Congrats. I imagine you have weighed this decision very carefully and I just know you will be so happy after all the stressful logistics work out. You Are a writer, and for you to give yourself the opportunity to both write more, and be with your sweet babe will be more than worth it.

Megan said...

You will never regret spending this time with Zoe, it will be so wonderful. The relief of not having that mortgage payment will be great too, oh you'll be so relieved!

Patois said...

I really hope your slashes become reality.

Elizabeth said...

Taking the bull by the horns girl, love it. Shake the burden and live your dream. Once you start living it, good things will fall into place. And remember: ebb and flow…ebb and flow.

Gwen said...

your sanity and happiness doing what you love SO FAR outweighs any house!

Good Enough Woman said...

Oh, I am so rooting for you to be you--the writer and mother. I am on sabbatical this semester, and I'm realizing that I REALLY wish I could be me--the researcher and the mother. I wish I could be on sabbatical forever. Just yesterday, my son said, "I love sabbatical Mommy" (as opposed to teaching Mommy). Me, too. Me, too.

I HOPE this all works out for you. Way to go!

Misplaced Country Girl said...

I hope it all works out just the way you want it. I too am a huge believer in everything happens for a reason!

Jennifer said...

This economy sucks the big hairy moose moose cock! You will make a wonderful home regardless of the house that you are in.

And you ARE a writer!

muranogirl said...

Congrats on your decision!
I ditched my job over a year ago to stay at home with my 12-year old daughter. Her needs trumped everything else.
I just finished sanding, priming, and painting our hallway filled with doors, moldings and trim of our 1918 flat , (what a pain in
the ass). Without my income and with all the time on my hands I did the work. It was truly bitter sweet. Why? The hall showed the wear and tear of my daughter's childhood. The smudgy fingerprints, the chipped moldings where wheeled play things once bumped up against. I cried. I realized how incredibly fast 13 years had flown by and how much I had missed. I kiss the ground that I can be at home with her now.
You will share this time with Zoe. You will write and you will blossom.

Anonymous said...

Read this article...

What women can do when they're young to be happy later on


http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2008/11/18/what-women-can-do-when-theyre-young-to-be-happy-later-on/