As I sit this evening alone in my living room, the windows open and a breeze gently blowing through the open windows and ruffling the ear hairs of my dachshund Gayle, I can’t help but think: I love this house.
My house, which is not actually mine as we rent it, is not new. It is not decorated well, and it has generally terrible infrastructure. Our air conditioner breaks every year, our wiring is questionable, and our rugs are a mosaic of dog accidents and spilled drinks. The back door sticks and we have a leaky basement. And yet, for some reason, I love it.
I am pretty much alone in this sentiment. The other members of my household (one man, one dog) are ready for an upgrade. Alright, I don’t actually know what Gayle thinks but she probably would like a fenced in back yard, otherwise I think she’s pretty happy. As we approach turning 30, there is a general feeling around us that perhaps we should have something to show for it. A wedding, a house – something to prove we are actually grown ups. (Also actual grown ups do not say grown ups, they said adults, so something to prove we are actually adults.)
Maybe I’m stubborn, or scared, or just naive, but I love our dinky old cape cod house. I like our attic with its wooden slanted ceiling and floors, only inhabitable in spring and fall due to the temperature. I like our narrow galley kitchen, where I can pivot from stove, to fridge, to counter top without taking more than a step in either direction. I like that it only takes me one episode of This American Life to clean our house. I love our front porch and our small backyard, places where so many memories with Jason and friends have taken place.
Maybe what I really love about my house is the time I’ve spent in it. From when it was just the house of my friend and my boyfriend, to becoming the first place I lived with a significant other, to the house where I’ve hosted parties and spent Sundays cooking in the kitchen for hours – this house has become a part of who I am. I feel I can relate to my house, with it’s charming exterior but somewhat sloppy interior. We both might not be shiny and new, but we’re sincere and comfortable with our faults.
I know we won’t live here forever. It will at some point, probably very soon, be time to move on. As much as part of me would love for us to buy this place and make it ours for good, I know that the bones of this old house are weak. Based on the new noise our dining room light switch makes the wiring is probably 6 months from blowing up, and Gayle really does deserve a big yard to share with a future sibling (the furry kind, not the baby kind – let’s not get crazy here).
But for now, on this autumn Saturday night, I will enjoy it. I’ll open a beer, and let the chilled breeze coax me into a blanket on the couch with the dog. I’ll rest in the knowledge that my house isn’t perfect, and neither am I. And for right now, that’s just fine.