Awhile back, someone I knew and liked come to look at taking a room in my house. Someone I respected, though it feels silly to admit, because she was such a fabulous writer. I was accommodating--overly accommodating, Willie-Loman desperate. . . I could see it, but couldn't stop. She called a few weeks later and said that though she could, but she just thought she was looking for, exact words, "something a little more grown-up."
I was offended, but couldn't help but try and figure out what she'd meant. At twenty four, I wasn't young for the grad student housing market. And maybe Trisha and I weren't particularly domestic, but we weren't immature; after all, I thought, what could be more grown-up than holding down a job (or two, or three) and making your way in the world?
Then it occurred to me that I'd owned, and lived in, a house with wall to wall carpets for six months, but hadn't yet purchased a vacuum cleaner. I have no idea if that's what she was talking about, but I couldn't be angry after that.
Almost from the start I knew owning a house would force me to grow a lot. One of the most important lessons is that no one else is going to buy the vacuum cleaner. It's funny sometimes how one grows into these things.