In my everyday life, personal space is rarely an issue.
Once in a while my husband hogs the TV and I get annoyed, or someone eats some candy I had attempted to hide, but other than that, it’s hardly ever a problem. If I want to make a snack at an ungodly hour, then I do. If I want to walk around in my pajamas long past the hour of it being socially acceptable, then I can. It’s my house, after all.
Regardless of such luxuries, my family is currently preparing to move back to the East Coast in just a matter of (gulp) weeks, and I’ve been thinking quite a bit about this privilege that I so often take for granted.
Case in point: My parents recently came for a visit. Being isolated from most of our family and friends here in Texas, I always enjoy having guests. We had a good time, and they caught up on some much needed time with their grandbaby.
But, our impending plans had me constantly thinking about moving and (temporarily) relocating to my parent’s basement until we can settle on a house of our own. During my parent’s stay, there was the standard guest protocol of always having to explain where you’re going, what you’re doing and why, in addition to filling them in on my little guy’s schedule and helping them find this or that around the house. Kind of tiring. My Dad also hogged my computer for the entire week, citing a lack of cable as reasonable cause and driving me crazy.
When they left, I missed them immediately, but was happy to have my own space back. Walking into my kitchen post trip to the airport, I felt immediate relief. The never-ending quiet I usually hate seemed so peaceful, and I realized with a feeling of glee that I could go back to walking around in my underwear without being questioned for it.
Ahhh, sweet emotion. Until I grasped that in a very short matter of time, I would be living in someone else’s house, desperately yearning to have a space of my own again and being the “guest” myself. Technically its not truly possible for me to be a guest in the house where I grew up, but still — tough times in River City, as my mother would say.
I suspect that this could be the reason my parents seem so desperate to find us a house, eagerly volunteering to go scouting out homes for us. Is it possible they don’t want us “all up in their space?” Nah, not possible.
With the housing crash several years ago, my realtor told me that many of the builders in the area went bankrupt and stopped building. So, there isn’t a lot of inventory and we may be faced with building a home.
This could mean a few things: 1) I might lose my mind in the process, 2) I will certainly lose my mind — and everyone else’s — if I try to keep living with my parents, or 3) we will move to an apartment or townhome for the time being until our house is built.
I’m gunning for option number three, but am admittedly not thrilled at the prospect of pandering away another six months to a year living in purgatory (as usual) and wasting perfectly good mortgage payments on a rental. The situation would also inhibit my ability to settle in and not have to move again — kind of the thing I’ve been hoping for ever since we hatched this plan.
Yep, I’m perfectly impatient, hopelessly overstressed and honestly anxiety-ridden. Needless to say, when we buy (or build) this house, there will be a pizza and wine (lots of wine) party.
In my jammies at noon.
Abbey Sinclair is a former Army spouse and a Herald correspondent. She lives in Killeen.