Whenever Husband and I moved in together, many years ago, we made chocolate chip cookies.
It was about 10pm, I had work the next day and for some reason fresh cookies sounded like the best most delicious idea ever. So, we went grocery shopping, made cookies and ate them in bed while watching reruns of Friends. Doesn’t get much better than that.
As we snuggled in bed with our cookies and Ross and Rachel, I looked at Husband and said, “Being a grown-up is fun”. Husband smiled and said, “I know…when we were little and forced to go to bed early we always imagined that our parents stayed up eating cookies and watching TV. Now, I know we were right.”
And, you know what, 6 years later, being a grown-up and living together is still fun, sometimes we still make cookies in the middle of the night and we definitely still watch Friends. HOWEVER, after the sugar rush, lack of sleep and a very messy kitchen reality starts to soak in a little. Bills have to be paid, chores have to be divvied up, bad habits must be endured and fights and arguments are inevitable. We quickly learned that being a “grown-up” is not all fun.
We lived in apartments for a couple of years in Tennessee, a year in Albania and a couple of years in New York. Those years were great, but our last year in New York we were getting the itch to be homeowners. We looked for months in and out of Manhattan, but somehow found ourselves in a modern home from the 70’s right in middle of Tennessee. Our first few weeks in our new house had a familiar feeling of euphoria…
We had SO MUCH space! A 3-bedroom home in the country is basically a mansion compared to our less than 400 square feet on the Upper East Side. We had friends over all the time to eat, drink and play games (still doing that). I had just found out I was pregnant, so lots of time was spent daydreaming about the nursery and raising kids in our new home. We have a garage connected to the house, which is amazing. We basically never have to face the elements…no more carrying groceries in the rain, defrosting my windshield or slipping through snow. We have a dishwasher, bathtubs, our own washer and dryer. We also have land, which means the dog and cat can run around freely whenever they please, and if I don’t feel like taking Belle on a walk, I don’t have to! Yay for owning a house!
Now, as you may have guessed the elation of being a homeowner has started to wear off a bit. Owning an older home means that basically everything breaks, and we can’t exactly call our landlord or super to fix it. EVERYTHING is up to us. Husband and I have learned a lot about being a handy-man this year. The really big nice yard has to be kept up. There is no trash service so we literally drive our trash to the dump. We have a ladybug infestation (yes, that’s a real thing). We got mice (problem almost solved), and we have a very pesky woodpecker.
A couple of months ago we were continuously awoken by the knocking of a woodpecker that we would walk out and attempt to scare away so we could go back to sleep. One morning, while Husband was shooing the bird away in his boxers at about 7am, he looked to his right and actually saw a deer standing next to him just watching the whole spectacle. Neither the bird nor the deer seemed to care that there was a human standing there screaming and flailing his arms about. Apparently, no animals fear us.
Now that pesky woodpecker has pecked holes out of the side of our house…one more thing we need to fix. Our to-do list of things we do not actually know how to-do is very very long.
The good news is, we are mostly still enjoying it. Even as we remove every single dish from every cabinet, and scrub down the kitchen with bleach and set-up mouse traps…even as we grit our teeth and sarcastically say “boy, being a grown-up is so fun”…even when the garbage disposal clogs for the 50th time and water floods under the sink… we are grateful. Owning our house is not easy and definitely not always fun, or even affordable, but it’s ours. It’s our home together and it will be our home for a very long time.
We may not always feel grateful in the moment, but at the moment when we figure out how to fix the broken garage door, finish painting a room or learn while my blow-dryer keeps blowing the breaker, it’s awesome. Hopefully those will be the moments we remember in 20 years, and hopefully we won’t be invaded and taken over by wild animals by that point.