Thursday, August 30, 2012
(I know I've been delinquent with this blog. We'll just have to let it go at that.) So, we bought a house. Which is something in a long line of things I never thought I would say has got to be near the top of the list. It's like this. Back when we lived in Brooklyn we once saw a two bedroom apartment, where the parking space was $80,000. I heard that and knew, right then, that we would never be able to buy in NYC, except for like a fix-me-up in, I don't know, Brownsville. (Good schools!) But then we moved to Louisville, Ky., and it was like a weird time warp. A time warp to a place that seemed a bit familiar to me. Closter, NJ in the mid-80s. Prices were about the same here as they were in New Jersey, where I grew up, almost 25 years ago. I don't know how this is, I don't know how the idea of a middle class place to live, and my town was middle class, meant plunking down $100,000 cash for a deposit, but it happened, and apparently there are just crap loads of people who are way richer than I thought you needed to be to be considered middle class. Louisville is like the idea of middle class that I had from when I was a kid. You can live on a nice block. Your kid can go to a decent school, or, let's dream, a good school. You can have a yard. Your house is not built out of matchsticks, or on an abandoned Indian cemetery. The house is very nice, maybe a little bit bigger than what I thought we would get, I'm being honest, but it's essentially what I see as middle class. In a middle class neighborhood, basically, in a middle class city. Some of our neighbors, of course, are much wealthier than we are, which is fine. But we all get to walk under the same sky, on the same tree lined streets, go to the same parks. The mortgage will be a little bit of a stretch for now, but after I finally secure full time employment again it will be okay. That's the only touch and go thing about it, really, but we have money saved, and plan to live frugally. Maybe we can be even more frugal than we had been. But I'm happy with this move, and love my new area. The block seems to have a lot of kids on it, and Stella has a new pink bedroom, and a playroom. (This playroom is also going to be our guestroom, assuming we can ever afford to furnish it. But for now it's Stella's playroom. And, believe me, she loves that. She looked out the window of her playroom many times yesterday, our first full day in the house, jumped up and down, screaming "I have a playroom!") We've quarantined her toys in boxes, and told her we don't have TV here. (We do.) What did we find, she's playing just as happily with the few toys we do have out that she had mostly ignored before, like the $80 kitchen set we bought almost two years ago that she never gave a crap about before. Well, guess what? She's really into it now, now that there are no other toys out. We sit on little blue plastic stools, and she makes tea for us. This means taking empty plastic tea cups, and putting them in the oven of the plastic kitchen set. And then when they're done, in five seconds, we clink mugs, and drink our tea. Here is a typical conversation. Stella: "Daddy, this tea is PINKALICIOUS!" Me: "I think it's owl-flavored." Stella: "No! It's not!" Me: "This definitely tastes like owl-cream. Which is ice cream ... made from owls." Stella: "No! It's not owl-flavored! It's not! Stop that!" Me: (Taking one more sip) "No, you're right. It IS pinkalicious. I was wrong. Thank you Stella!" Rinse, lather, repeat. Anyway, so this is our new home. I think it's really nice.