A long, long time ago in another lifetime, my best girlfriend and I, in our teens, used to take her dog for afternoon walks in an affluent waterfront neighbourhood near her house. Our daily ritual consisted of looking on in awe of the beautiful, MASSIVE houses with their manicured lawns and the Audi’s in the driveways and the diamond encrusted rooftops. Occasionally we came across homes that were being newly constructed, and as we walked the dog in the late afternoons when the workers had all gone home, these unfinished homes begged to be explored.
As we trespassed (People were way more trusting back then – these house were not security fenced. It may have well been an open invitation. That is what we told ourselves anyway), we openly discussed which rooms would be ours, what colour we’d have the walls painted, where the TV would go and how rich and fabulous we would be. Of course there would always be an amazing entertainment area with a full bar and live-in barman for those exotic cocktails we would require at all hours. In those daydreams, I would ALWAYS be married to Eddie Vedder and we had the most amazing life. He loved me so much. We would jetset all over the wold being incredible, and did I mention we were super rich and famous (me, for no reason other than being Eddie Vedder’s wife and muse)?
My girlfriend, who I shall protect from the embarrassment of these confessions by remaining nameless (YOU know who you are!) was also wrapped up in ‘the world of pretend awesome’ and was married to none other than Billy Corgan. We had the best imaginary dinner parties in those houses. I wish I could go back in time and be a fly on the non-existent walls and hear the garbage that came out of our mouths. I would laugh my butt off.
Today as I was taking my daily (not really daily, but I tell myself it is daily) walk around a nearby lake estate, I was reminded of those earlier days. Not the whole ‘married to Eddie Vedder’ part, but the part where I always believed that when I grew up I would buy and live in a fabulous house. Walking around the lakes today, I once again was looking at beautiful homes that have always been of my reach.
I never doubted that in time I would grow up, get a job, get married, have a family and live in a home like the ones my friend and I traipsed through way back when. The houses I walked past today were similar and reminded me of the fact that we are nowhere near living that dream.
Why the hell not? I’m all grown up, D and I are both professional people, we are married with 3 kids. How is it that we are still caught in the rental trap? And more importantly how the hell do other people live the dream? Seriously, is there a secret that we are not privy to? I totally get that these people I am envious of probably didn’t walk into a sales office somewhere and throw down a suitcase full of money and buy the best house on the block. I am aware that there are hefty mortgages involved and I guess I am grateful that we don’t have that kind of debt hanging over our heads, but when I am old and grey (I’m already grey, but that is beside the point) I want to have something to show for all the money we have shelled out, and I want to have something to leave the kiddies. And I want to be comfortable. And I want to live in a house that all of our shit actually fits in. And I want to have enough bedrooms for our brood. And I want a pool.
Some things have changed since those old days. I still daydream about owning my dream home, usually whenever I open the brochure for the latest prize home or go walking around the lakes, but Eddie Vedder no longer features in them. These days, my husband is ALWAYS D, and our dream home is full of our happy children running around a great big yard, and swimming in that pool.
I honestly do not know how or when we will ever get out of this rental trap, but it is certainly not in the foreseeable future. A permanent teaching job for me is nowhere in sight and even further away than previously thought because of the recent change in government. Growl.
I am not unhappy with my life. I’m perfectly happy, just a little cramped. But there is love in our little house and that is all that really matters. I would live in this
if I had to. As long as D and I and the 3 doodles were all together, we would be alright. It is love that makes a home, not bricks and mortar.