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Escrow closed on Tuesday. The real estate agent called to wish me a happy birthday, and to let me know that the sale had been officially registered with the county. It's mine now. My very own dirt. Over the past ten years or so I've made it a habit of buying myself a gift for my birthday...but this piece of land will probably be the most expensive present of my life.
It's an odd feeling - this owning of land. Granted there's no house yet and it's just a big patch of dead weeds, but that's only temporary. I had the real estate agent read me the rules and regulations for the community over the phone before I signed. Nothing too horrible. There's a city tree ordinance that sets a minimum of two trees in the front yard. We can't park a RV or a boat or other recreational vehicle on the curb more than 72 hours. The house cannot be smaller than a certain square footage. While she was reading them to me, I was typing them madly into the little Instant Messenger box with which I talk to my fiancé during work hours. He and I are still both trying to come to grips with this. We are going to build a house. We. It's no longer going to be my land, my house. It's ours - and it's an odd concept to deal with.
The house issue is the biggest 'us' thing though, and I think perhaps it's been a bit harder for him. I've known I was going to either buy or build a house for a very long time. I've planned on this, prepared for it, done the legwork. He wasn't going down that path, but now that we're an us, he's suddenly dumped right in the middle of it.
He asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday and I told him I knew it sounded silly, but I wanted to go out and drink a toast to my new plot of weeds. Our weeds. So after dinner we drove out there and in the light of a street lamp, we opened a bottle of sparkling cider and tromped out to the middle of the lot and drank a toast to our future. We stood there and looked around and tried to imagine the house there...and couldn't. It's still too new, too mind-boggling. There's going to be a house there, and we're going to live in it. Together.
Sometimes we'll start talking about the house and we'll comment to each other about what we're going to have to deal with. Paint colors. Bathroom tile. Molding on the ceiling. What sort of railing for the staircase. It's been a daunting enough thought back when it was just me making the decisions. I'm sure at some point we'll end up disagreeing over whether to paint the walls eggshell or old-fashioned white. I'm not naive enough to think that we'll never fight, but I hope that at least we don't waste our energy quibbling over silly stuff like the style of knobs for cupboard doors. Far better to save it for the more important issues, like whether coconut is edible.
We. Us. It's a concept I'm still having trouble getting used to. Oh, I like it - don't get me wrong. And there is noone in the world I would be willing to do this with except him. But I've been so long in the 'I, me' mode, that switching does not come naturally, and I see the same in him. And for two people who were hell-bent on being single, it's an odd transition - one that still makes us look at each other and laugh.