Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I thought I wanted a Baby. But I guess I just wanted a lawn. Same Thing.

The other day I realized every one in the world has gotten pregnant except for me.

The realization came on a normal day. It was the afternoon, I was listening to the Spice Girls, drinking coffee, and scrolling through a friend's photos of her son, Felix. Never mind I have never physically met this girl. We are friends, her son is adorable, and no matter how weird Brett thinks it is that I spend hours going through her facebook pictures- I do it. I do it and I enjoy it, and I don't want to wear her skin or anything, so please stop saying that, Brett.

Anyway, on that particular afternoon it seemed like every real and imaginary and virtual friend I had was doing something with their kids. Or was having a kid at that moment. Or was talking about just getting pregnant with one. For one brief, sweeping and incredibly irrational moment I felt so. left. out. Like parenting was this elite and super colorful club that I was picked last for. If you were picked last for clubs like you were picked last for a kickball team. (And I was that person that no one wanted to play kickball with because of chronic asthma and penchant for lying in the grass.)

So, extremely off topic, but hopefully you understand how I felt.

The moment passed, as much of my irrational moments do, and then the heart of the issue became glaringly obvious.

I want a house.

The jump from wanting a baby to wanting a house is obviously extremely rational and very healthy. And truthfully, I don't want a baby right now. I like babies a lot. I like other people's babies. But I still like to drink wine at night and watch endless episodes of a t.v. show that is largely targeted towards preteens. I can't be bothered right now, is all I am saying. I have way too much wine to drink and t.v. to watch. There is simply no time to nurture.

The house thing started when a few of our friends became first time home-owners. They would have conversations with us about the "pains" of keeping up a permanent and expensive home. "Your apartment grounds are so lovely." They would croon. "I mean, who needs a backyard? You are so lucky that you don't even have to deal with that right now. God, Herb spent all of Saturday just mowing our lawn before we could even stop by the block party the Maschowitz's were hosting. We almost missed the lemonade."

Ok, so I don't have any friends named Herb. But, it's fitting given the situation. I want to have a lawn that needs to be mowed. I want to live in a Jewish neighborhood even though we're not all. I want lemonade, for god sake.

This weird need for a foundation is one I keep very private and very hidden, like a drug habit. So, it's nice that I'm putting it on my blog. Because no one will see it here, ever. I've taken to cramming real estate fliers in my purse like I'm pilfering sugar packets from diners. I have gone to a few open houses (hanging my head in shame over this,) alone. But, I always come up with a fake name and hang out in the kitchen far longer than anyone else, so it's totally normal. I check house prices with every city Brett and I visit or live in. And we've amassed quite a list. I'll casually sip my coffee over breakfast in Ohio and slip in how much a local brick 5 bedroom with a pool costs.

"I just...stopped by to check it out. There is a GREAT local country club nearby, and the schools are absolutely fantastic." I'll say. Naturally.

Brett will squint at me and clear his throat. "Why do we need to look at schools?"

I'll roll my eyes and sigh dramatically. "For the children. We don't have."

"You know you grew up in rural New Hampshire, right?" He'll ask. Meanly.

"What are you getting at?" I'll snap, and then soften. "I actually have some housing prices for there too. In my purse."

"Well, country clubs? I mean. Melissa. I'm still in grad school. You don't actually have a job."

I'll sniff. Because that is what people who belong to country clubs do. "I work in social media."

"You update your blog and play on facebook all day."

This is usually the end of the conversation.

It's honestly not about the country clubs or the block parties or the manicured lawn that our friendly neighbor Herb takes care of when we are out of town. I think this is the manifestation of my desire to (gasp, groan, cringe,) put down roots. And shop at Pottery Barn.

Maybe it is because Brett and I have spent this last year apart and I lived in an apartment that had ACTUAL BULLET HOLES on the outside of it. Maybe I see my friends toting their newborns around their newborn lawns as they drink lemonade with their newborn friends. Maybe I just stop moving around for a little while.

Maybe I just need a place that actually feels like home. Preferably near a country club. I'll even take a YMCA.

I think Brett picked up on this weird yearning, and, (most likely incredibly grateful I wasn't asking for babies,) said the sweetest thing to me the other day.

"You know," he sang to me as we walked into the apartment #2 we live in. "This place could really use some decoration. And more lights. And a few more fun furniture pieces. Maybe we should take a trip to  IKEA, and you can pick out ANYTHING YOU WANT to make this place more homey."

It was kind of like being offered a discount Swedish baby, a bar of chocolate, and a bottle of wine all at once. It was suddenly everything I wanted and needed and every inch a love letter from him to me. In that moment Herb could keep his mowed front lawn, and his stupid block party. I was going to buy us some new lamps, some cliche wall art, and make our own damn lemonade.

With vodka.



  1. I go through Home Ownership Yearnings about five times a year. Also, when it's time to move because of a life transition or elephant baby upstairs neighbors. Or meth cooking neighbors. Or alcoholic screaming neighbors. (Did I mention that we have one of ALL THREE OF THOSE NEIGHBOR CATEGORIES RIGHT NOW?)

    Rob pretty much has the same reaction as Brett, minus the "let's go do something that will help you feel like you have roots here" thing, because he knows that if I just clean and organize, that will do the trick for me. In fact, in the most recent house/condo-looking binge, he shut me off before I even verbalized the idea (dude has a pathway right into my brain, I think) and was all "NO WAY. I AM ABOUT TO START A NEW JOB, WE ARE ABOUT TO MOVE, AND YOU JUST STARTED A TWO-YEAR GRAD PROGRAM ONE MONTH AGO. JUST NO."

    In long, I definitely feel your pain. :)

  2. RYAN! I love that you read. I love you. Thank you!