The thing about space, filling and fitting a space, isn't just a matter volume, but also about the way the things in a space interact with their surroundings. Their relationship to the space. This house has never been an ideal fit for us, it's selection was based almost entirely on the basis of it's proximity to mass transit, the garden potential, and to the fact that we were desperately tired of house hunting. We had watched too many home improvement shows on PBS, and imagined that the failings and shortcomings within the house could be remedied in short order. I mean, didn't Donna Reed convert that old wreck of a Granville House with little more than a feather-duster and a couple rolls of wall paper?
I feel as if, to some degree, I have been working around and against the limitations of this space almost since the beginning; and yet strangely, reducing the number of people in the house has aggravated, rather than ameliorated, the ill fit of the space. Technically, we had more space after The Boy's father left; more space and more flexibility about how to use it (I think he and I had different homes in mind, as well as different lifestyles), and yet, in explicably, it has been a worse fit in his absence.
Perhaps this is due partly to the fact that every nook and cranny, every atom that makes up this house, reminds me of the life I imagined we would live here, the promises made and broken. But I think it is more than that. Just as the marriage was built on false promises, the house was chosen on faulty assumptions --like the notion that you can completely rebuild a house between pledge breaks.
I have heard it said that things always come in threes, and the third thing here is that I came into this house with the intent of buying it, of owning my own home. That was the plan, but now I am in the same boat as all those mice and men who made plans before me. After the Boy's father "found someone nicer" there was no way I could cover the house payments on what I get from Financial Aid. In theory, the good news there was that we had been buying the house from my parents, and certainly they were not going to foreclose on me. Now I kinda wish they had.
So, now it is their house, or more accurately, their investment, and I have discovered that living in a home belonging to relatives something akin to the tenth ring of pergetory. I can not begin to describe how wholly untenable it is, and increasingly so. I am beginning to identify with the Menendez brothers in a way I am not comfortable with.
My holiday plans were disrupted by my parents intention to gut the bathroom. It does not need gutting, but they seem to have a need to gut it. Since I was on notice that the house was going to be descended upon by a work crew brandishing shovels and rakes and implements of destruction, I didn't make any plans that would have taken place inside my home. For a decade an a half I have had the simple wish to be able to BE home for the holidays, my own home, not my in laws home. And not once, in a decade and a half, was I able to do that. This would have been the first year I had the option, but I didn't because of this arbitrary plan to gut the bathroom, which, in keeping with Murphy's law, got postponed. grrr
Now the plan is on again, with a vengeance, complete with all the value judgments about me and my life that my parents never leave home without. And I find myself contemplating a move to anywhere other than here, and perhaps enrollment in the witness protection program, or maybe dyeing my hair, changing my name and joining a commune. On the other cost. Or maybe Canada. Paraguay?
So it was that I spent most of Bike Friday loading most of my worldly possessions into a U Haul truck to to put in storage in preperation for this gutting the house does not need, and to protect said possessions from my parents, who wanted to load them all into a pickup and haul them to Goodwill. Yes all of them. Bye-bye worldly possessions. And this is only the very beginning of what promises to be a very long list of "improvements" they wish to make, sooner rather than later.
Here is Nestle in the soon to be gutted bathroom, she likes it just as it is, as do I.
So it is that I find myself on New Years Eve, contemplating many changes, including a change of address. The ironic thing (it always comes back to irony, doesn't it?) is that, despite all it's shortcomings, I have come to love this house, and would love to stay here, but putting an end to the constant disruptions takes precedent, and -after all- I am already packed