Waiting for Agnes

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An impulsive decision to move house June 5, 2011

Filed under: Moving house,Parenting — titchandboofer @ 5:32 am
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There is no dithering around here. Individually, the beloved and I are not slow to make decisions or act on them. Together, when we’ve joined our decision-making forces, we are like lightening. For the beloved, I believe it’s because she just doesn’t like to get bogged down in some lengthy, time-consuming, emotional process of reflection and analysis. Nor does she get paralysed by the fear that fixing on one thing will mean having missed out on something better that is hovering just around the corner. She is not, however, at all impulsive, but rather sensible. As for me, I feel like I’m both impulsive and stubborn, willing to leap into something immediately and then steadfastly justify my commitment to whatever the thing might be, regardless of its actual value. Kind of like an enthusiastic puppy who chases after an improbably spiky stick and then morphs into a slavering bulldog, unwilling to drop it even as its spikes are chipping my teeth and piercing my gums. I also don’t get paralysed by a fear of missing out on the undiscovered, mainly because part of me thinks I can just have everything eventually. Over the years I’ve decided to describe the combined effect of these traits as ‘decisive’. Fortunately, the beloved’s sense usually tempers my ‘decisiveness’ and my ‘decisiveness’ can occasionally override her sensible caution. So, between us, we get things done and generally have a lot of fun, without going bankrupt or getting seriously injured.

The day before Easter Saturday, back at the end of April, we decided we had to move house. I was standing in our bathroom and said ‘I think we should move to a bigger house’. The beloved said ‘Hmmm. You’re right.’ and that was that. Not for no reason, mind you. Living here with one child is absolutely fine and even with two it wouldn’t be that cramped. But it’s like the age old argument of ‘can’t have more than three kids – we’d need a bigger car’…sounds perfectly reasonable on the surface, but life with children is never just about your own children, unless you have no family or friends. And for us, most days, life with our children also means life with the LMFs’ children, currently numbering four, soon to be five and eventually maybe six or more, who knows? And while we all love our children so so dearly, sometimes we just want them to all go and play somewhere else in the house, far far away from the heavenly peace of bitching about work over a cup of tea. Or you want one group of children to be able to play unhindered, while another lot sleep undisturbed. In this house, nothing is far far away and no-one is unhindered or undisturbed.

Aside from this, we were just ready to move on. This house is great. We’ve had a lot of fun renovating and redecorating. It’s been our first home that we’ve shared as a family and for me, the first place since my family home that isn’t a scuzzy share house. But this house is also bound up with the beloved’s family, and her relationship with her family. It was her grandparents home, which sat empty after they both went into a nursing home. Initially we were reluctant to move in, despite it being to our great financial advantage to do so. In our ideal world we would have stayed in the inner northern suburbs. You know, with all the other trendy lesbian couples and their Subarus. But we made the sensible choice and moved out here, to the peace and green and family-friendliness and almost complete lack of nearby cafes. And now we love it. We need the family-friendliness and we wouldn’t want to move away from the nearby LMFs and their families. And we make the most of the one good cafe. But we want a place that is really ours, with no history, no family ties.

A brief tour through our renovation:

Before: Yes, the world’s most migraine-inducing wallpaper. Sadly we didn’t photograph the carpet in this room before we ripped it up, but picture this: a sort of green and brown fleck. Gorgeous.

After: You can’t see from this angle, but the wall heater and air conditioner are gone, replaced with ducted everything. Heaven.

 Before: Also sadly, no one photographed my one-woman-and-a-hammer removal of the old kitchen. It was brown.

After: The fridge is not really seventeen feet wide. But it is quite large, thanks GG and The Doctor.

 Before: There was linoleum. It was sort of green.

After: But not nearly so pretty as this.

So, the Tuesday after the Friday before Easter Saturday, we looked at the first house on our shortlist. It was too small. On the Thursday we looked at the second house. It was too dark (and had no parking). On the Friday we looked at the third house. It was perfect. So we bought it. Yep. Just like that. One week. Leaving only one tiny problem. Our house wasn’t even on the market. Putting our just-get-it-doneness to the test, the following two weeks were really just one long blur of finding, coordinating and working out how to pay a collection of different tradesmen. Like pregnancy, it seemed to take forever, but then was over in a blink. And there we were, in our freshly painted house, with it’s freshly shorn garden, adorned with it’s sparkly new light fittings, void of it’s three-generation collection of stuff-shoved-under-the-house, decluttered of everything except a stack of glossy, real-estate agency advertising material. And now all we can do is wait; no lists to tick off, nothing to throw out, nothing to clean, nothing to pretty up, nothing to do except to try and quell the nauseating anxiety that the house won’t sell and we will be screwed.

 

Anyone need a house?

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