I’m In Love With The Shape Of You

I need to write more often because there’s so much to say and I’m not sure where to start. I guess in the middle? Six years ago, Ron and I were financially stressed in a house we couldn’t afford, dealing with my mother whose help always came with strings, looking for a place to live while trying to get our house ready to sell, all while not being very fond of each other. We couldn’t agree on a house to buy, leading to us being homeless for a month when our house sold on its first day on the market. We ended up in a house we despised although it was structurally the most sound of all that we saw. We came a hair’s breadth from divorce.

Six years later, we’re still here in that structurally sound house. Still married. Still not able to agree on a house to buy after a year of looking.

But we’re not financially stressed. We don’t have to deal with my mother anymore. We’re not homeless although if we put our house on the market, we will be; our neighborhood has appreciated dramatically and houses sell on the first day.

Six years in this house and there is still painters tape around the bathroom door trim and on the glass of the french doors. I’ve yet to have a craft room. Our kitchen counters are still the same fucking hideous gold wheat tile. The kitchen walls are still shit brown.

But we have a(nother) new water heater. Today saw the end of the rotted front window that didn’t open and meant we couldn’t call the third bedroom a bedroom since there was no emergency egress. We finally chose a paint color to go over the vomit inducing Easter egg trim.

Six years in this house and we’ve learned how to communicate. We don’t take each other or ourselves quite so seriously. We value each other’s opinions. I know (even if he has no clue) when he says he doesn’t care, to just pick something, he cares a whole lot. I don’t take things so personally; if he doesn’t like something I like, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t like me.

Sixteen years in this relationship and I still have a lot to learn about compromise, picking my battles, and showing my love by not fighting over stupid shit like where to live. Because it’s not the house, it’s the person in it with me, that matters.


“You’re my home”

It’s been almost three weeks since we closed on this house and moved in. Boxes are still everywhere, most of our (IKEA) furniture is still disassembled (the greatest idea every known to man for people who move like gypsies), and I still don’t have cold water in my kitchen. However, this is quickly becoming home.

This house is the perfect combination of what Ron and I wanted. His few demands were that it be liveable; it had to need only minor repairs, have a working kitchen, and a working bathroom. I wanted something with a little character, that was structurally sound so that I could work on the cosmetic aspect. We didn’t expect that it would be just three minutes from Ron’s office, with an awesome backyard, and a glorious covered patio. All that was just a bonus.

However, we also didn’t expect that the family room carpet was hiding a subfloor full of wood decaying from years of pet urine. That had to be ripped out, and a new subfloor put in. Now we’re slowly working on laying the tile. It put a slight kink in my time schedule, as I can only do stuff for a few minutes at a time, and then I have to rest. Having fibromyalgia makes it a REAL pain to have to move.

I have never seen a less functional house. The layout is all wrong. The air conditioner is in the wrong place. The kitchen, although it has a million cabinets, has very little functional storage, and a whole lot of uselessness. The house has no dining room. As Ron said, “We’re too poor to have a dining room.” The fridge space is too small, and if you open the fridge door, you block the kitchen door. There’s a 9 inch step down from the back door to the patio (I know I’m going to break something eventually). There is absolutely NO storage in the bathroom. In fact, the bathroom mirror is over where the linen closet once existed, while the cabinet above the sink has no mirror at all. Figure that one out! The master bedroom has windows that aren’t symmetrical. The closet organizer in the master closet might as well not be there, for all the good it does. There’s almost no closet in the second bedroom. The back patio has a fluorescent light instead of a ceiling fan. But the most egregious of building errors is the acoustic tile on the master bedroom ceiling. Seriously? If you need to hide a water leak, use KILZ, people!

BUT….all that said…the master bedroom is huge, and the master closet is twice as big as they one we used to have. When we pulled up the master carpet, I prayed that the padding was stapled, not glued. It was neither. The pad came right up, and Aub had the tack strip up within an hour. The hardwood underneath is gorgeous. The family room will be MY space, and Ron gets the second bedroom. Aubrey gets a tiny 8 cubic ft playhouse, and a giant 10×14 ft shed that will eventually have electricity, air conditioning, windows, insulation, drywall, and flooring. For the moment, it will have a ghetto a/c in that we are going to run an outdoor electrical extension cord up through the floor so she can have light and air.

Between a major fibro flare from the constant motion before and after the move, as well as sleeping on a horrifying hotel bed for a month, it’s been tough getting this place in order. I had originally planned to start with the office closet. Something small, but necessary. Other than getting a few of the non-functional shelves out of the way, I gave up on the closet and moved on to the actual office. I’m in a sort of limbo while I wait for Matt to sand down the hideous ceiling texture (supposedly tomorrow). It doesn’t make any sense to tsp the walls when he’s about to cover everything in dust.

It’s frustrating, since of course, I want everything RIGHT NOW. As a crocheter, the 100 degree temperatures merely serve to remind me that winter is on its way, and my yarn is still in storage. I had wanted to send Aubrey off to Massachusetts with all mom-made hats, gloves, and scarves. Of course, she’s a fantastic crocheter, as well, so she’ll be able to make her own as she needs them, but still…

On top of everything being torn apart, and my being stopped flat with the flare, I woke up yesterday morning with excruciating pain in my left ear. I thought for sure that a bug had crawled in there and was burrowing its way into my brain. Aubrey, after attempting an insectectomy with a crochet hook and the flashlight on her phone, determined that there was nothing in there. She took me to the minor emergency clinic, where I was diagnosed with just a severe ear infection. I’m on my second day of antibiotics, and at least the pain has subsided, although everything still sounds like it is underwater. Yup, another two days down, and nothing done. Sigh.

Once I’m back from dropping Aubrey at school, I’m hiring some help. I can’t keep up with this house, even as small as it is, AND try to get it in order. I need a once a week housekeeper to keep the dog hair in check, a weekly pooper scooper to keep the dog poop in check, and I’m going to have to figure out what to do about doctor’s appointments. Especially with my pain specialist, they won’t do any procedures unless I have a driver. Sigh. May be time to put up signs around the local colleges.

In the meanwhile, I’m trying to focus on one bucket at a time. I can do a bucket a day. I can do one piece of furniture a day. I can do one box a day. At this rate, I’ll be done unpacking in time to make it to Aub’s graduation.

“Well I’ll never be a stranger, and I’ll never be alone, wherever we’re together, that’s my home.”