Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Adventures in Disturbia

This weekend, the little girl who lives next door was learning a song on her recorder. You know, those plastic flute thingies that cash-poor schools pretend are musical instruments? Her parents quickly grew annoyed with her and told her to go practice outside. The common outside. The outside we share with birds and trees and the childless couple next door who might want to enjoy their margaritas without the jarring accompaniment of the same 3 flubbed notes over and over. Note to parents: if you can't stand the noise your child is making, probably not a good idea to inflict her on the neighbours.

But this is a blip in what is otherwise a pretty decent neighbourhood. We don't even have much in terms of neighbours to contend with, as we have a protected forest in our backyard (which can never be developed, thanks to a certain species of bird who dwells there and sings ALL THE GODDAMN TIME) and in front of our house is an undeveloped piece of land that the builder who sold us our house told us would one day be a park We thought Oooh, park, some nice benches, a swing set, maybe a climbing structure if they were going the ritzy route. But for 2 years it's remained a fairly inoffensive pile of dirt. Until last week, that is,  when they started digging what looks to be so far a big concrete hole.

Dum dum dummmmmmm...

Yeah, we're hoping it's not a pool, but it's looking like a pool. Maybe it won't be a pool. It could be something else. Like anything else. Just not a pool. Please god do not let it be a pool!

Because the childless couple who don't really care for recorder rehearsals probably will also object to you know, 50 or so kids lined up and screaming for their turn on the diving board, the scent of chlorine and pee and popsicles wafting through the air, bunches of bicycles parked haphazardly across the road, swim lessons splashing away at 7am, children screaming from scraped knees and sunburns. And we can't even use the stupid thing. A grown adult simply cannot frequent a public pool without a child and not be labeled a pervert.

We love the neighbourhood for the exact reasons we sometimes roll our eyes at it - the parents accompanying tiny power wheels parades, the shy kids in unfathomable costumes at Halloween, the hectic games of street hockey, the little girl who rings our bell and asks to "check" our dogs. We're glad to live in such a vibrant, young neighbourhood. We just wish the kiddie pool was across from someone else's place. Fingers crossed. Will keep you posted.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Adventures in Suburbia

My life looks a lot different than it did back when I started this blog a million years ago.
A lot different, and a lot better.
Not that this is always apparent to me.

Just a couple of weeks after our return from our honeymoon, we packed up our downtown apartment and moved out to the suburbs where almost immediately I fell victim to a severe crisis of identity.

It did not feel like my home. It did not feel like it ever could be. It was so opposite to all that I held dear - the opportunity to go out, a diversity of experience, the busyness of life, the company of other people. And now here I was, in a beautiful and comfortable home 40 minutes from work where my dogs could run free but my spirit felt stifled.

I panicked.

I would wake up in the new house feeling disoriented and alien.
I could hardly remember the time when on a whim just 2 months earlier I'd actually thought that buying a house was the right and grown up thing to do, couldn't remember feeling like this house, perfect as it seemed in all its newness, was a place where I could really be at peace.

But here we are, 2 years later, and we've just spent our weekend doing what homeowners mysteriously call "working on the house", a time suck impossible to avoid. I could not have imagined that instead of hitting up some boutique shops in advance of a pitcher or two on a patio followed by a night out of breaking in my newest pair of shoes, I'd be weeding flower beds in my little gloves.

We live straddling the city and not-the-city, with a wooded backyard, which runs into marsh, which runs into a nice little bay, which runs into a much bigger river. I like riding my bike around the quiet streets of our neighbourhood, where people wave as they do the same. We play basketball in the driveway and volleyball in the back. We splash in the pool to cool off and fire up the built-in gas oven from Italy when we're hungry. We have more bedrooms than people and a wine cellar in case of emergency. This is who we are now.

The panic attacks stopped. The house became my home. I still love nights out (although not the $60 cab ride home), but I also love a quiet weekend ensconced in front of the fire with a cashmere throw and a glass of wine. Even as we signed our names to the mortgage I never really realized that this part of myself existed. The part that prunes trees and collects paint chips and loves loves loves the dishwasher.

Did our house become us, or did we become the house?

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Learn Truth

The world is a sad and dangerous place not only because of the guys who bring guns to work, but because of the people who knew there was a threat and didn't do anything about it.

So fucking tired and frustrated.