“You shit all over this house every chance you get.”
Those were words my husband said to me during one of our rare fights. But when we do argue, wow. Two part-Irish hotheads going after each other, a battle of wits and stinging remarks indeed. We are competitive, what can I say?
He was referring to how I always complain about the home that he bought just a couple of months before we became a couple. He had been renting it and the owners told him to buy up or get out. He bought up, not wanting another post-divorce move. And he was single at the time so he wasn’t thinking of things that would make me say, “no fuckin’ way” to the place.
One bathroom, not two, not even a half-bath. A terrible, terrible idea after the whole family goes out for a night at the local Chinese buffet.
No formal dining room.
A basement of wasted space.
So for the past few years I’ve been trying to fit, this house and I, and I don’t think we are ever going to get along. But my options are, try and pretend to get along with the house or go into debt on another house. We are too damn old to start over again it seems. Although I hold out hope, I think this ugly, inadequate split-level and I are in it for the long haul.
But earlier today as I was working out in the yard with my husband I couldn’t help but notice the pride he took in caring for our massive lawn. This house, this property, means something to him. He was able to purchase it as a safe space for his children after a tumultuous divorce to a highly unstable woman. This is the home that reminds him of his grandparents house.
It is the roof over my head and my safety from the world. Unless, of course, another tornado blows through the backyard or we have one more lightening strike a few feet away from the structure.
So, I am attempting gratitude and still trying to make my relationship with the house work.
Though I don’t know how I’ll ever forgive it for not giving me enough room when I host holiday dinners.