Wednesday, March 02, 2011

growing up

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.

1 comment:

misssrobin said...

I think it's funny what you took from what she said. You made me smile.

For one reason or another she didn't fit with you and your living arrangements. Good. I'm glad she figured that out and told you.

But if you fit your living arrangements then what does it matter?

It's hard not to feel like we need to change because someone we respect said something that seemed to be a negative take on us or our lives. But remember that you are the one who will live the life you make, not her. Make it so that it pleases you, not her.

And when you're ready, I hope you find a vacuum that you really like.