He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. —Psalm 113:9

April 24, 2009

Our House

Someone on Twitter asked me, "Do you feel like your house is really yours and represents your life? Or is it mostly other people's?" This is an excellent question. The short answer is, it's getting there. Gradually.

The long answer is this. I still can't believe this is my house. We've been here over six months now, and I still have moments, at least once a day, where I look around and think, "Whoa, I'm in a freaking house! And it belongs to me!" But besides the shock of realizing daily that I'm grown up enough to own something as grown-up as a house, there's this weird disconnect. Parts of it feel more like home than others. My office/craft room should feel like home, because it's the one room in the house that is totally mine, that I did not have to make any compromises on decorating, where I don't have to be afraid to hang something pink, and it's filled with all of the adorable things I love and that make me happy. But it doesn't, really, because I'm rarely ever in there, because that's not where the computer is. The computer is in my Husband's spartan and totally utilitarian office, and despite the fact that I'm usually in here at least six hours every day, it doesn't feel like mine at all.

The kitchen is also mainly Husband's domain. We haven't done much--anything, really, other than draping some tea towels over the oven handle and hanging a couple of pictures--by way of decorating in there. He won't let me organize it the way I want to, and it tends toward a constant state of controlled (or so he claims) chaos, and I'm just not very comfortable in there. This is why I don't do any of the baking that I always said I'd do when we got a real kitchen. I'm usually only in there long enough to get what I need. It doesn't feel like home.

The living room and dining area is a weird place, to me. It's filled with the cheap furniture we both had when we were 25, and that doesn't really feel right to either of us, because we're no longer 25, but it's also filled with family photos and memorabilia from our wedding and honeymoon, and that helps it feel homey. We hang out there a lot, but I'm not as at home in there as I am in my bedroom.

The bedroom is the most comfortable room, and not just because that's where we keep the bed. It (along with the adjoining bathroom) is the one room we've bought some new stuff for and put some forethought into decorating. The furniture is still a mishmash of old, cheap stuff from our carefree single days, but everything else--the bedding, curtains, wall decor, books and knick knacks on the book shelves--it all feels like us, now, like quirky marrieds in their thirties live there, and it's cozy and soothing, and it's where I spend most of my time when I'm not working. I like hanging out in there better than in the living room, to knit or read or watch TV or nap or whatever. All the pets pile on the bed with me, and usually Husband ends up in there, too--our bedroom is our family room, apparently. I'm pretty happy with that.

I long for the day when we have the money to decorate. Really decorate, with new furniture and rugs and wall hangings and new paint and all that stuff, to make the rest of the house feel like ours, like the place we put some thought into, where it looks a certain way because that's how we chose it to look, and not like old, disposable furniture scattered around against neutral paint that the previous owner put up to make the house more sellable. Like we're just passing through, and don't want to disturb the walls more than necessary. Like an apartment. A plain, boxy apartment-complex apartment. I can't wait to drag Husband along to shop for furniture, to pick out a couch that we both love and is comfortable and big enough to seat company, and not just us. To pick out things that we love at 35 and will probably still be just fine with at 45. That day will come. I don't know if it will come while we're in this house, but that's okay. Bit by bit, room by room, this house is slowly becoming us.

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