Thursday, February 26, 2015

This time for sure!

I love to think about the future. I love to take lessons learned at the feet of brutal experience and apply them to decisions made firmly and securely, while smugly patting myself on the back for using previous adversity to achieve Perfect Bliss.

Ha ha ha haaaaaaaa.

Take home ownership. After my six years in a Chicago condo, a condo that I loved and condo politics I loathed, and some condo members I'd not have mourned had they shuffled off their mortal coil with or without assistance, after years of another Boston condo shared with two others who are frustratingly reticent to invest in necessary upkeep and repairs, or who are fairly inneffectual (but still stubborn!) I vowed I would never, ever buy another condo again. Never again would I throw my lot in with people who had the legal right to make decisions about my property, no matter how ill-informed or -motivated. Never. Ever. I would buy a mobile home before I had another argument about plumbing or electrical updates or noisy tenants.

And then I see a real-estate posting for a vintage condo, and one look at original bath tile and a shiny white enamel bathtub, and I'm swooning.

Here is my problem: I can see the ideal in every situation. In a condo, I see the closeness of neighbors, the sensibility of planning, and most of all, the ability to live in a property far nicer as a set of rooms than I could ever afford as a house.

I'm someone who likes vintage. Old. I watch house-flipping shows and I scream in outrage as one cute, cozy kitchen after another is ripped out and replaced by something that looks like the mutant result of a drunken congress between a spaceship and an army mess hall. No matter what the style of the house: cape, Victorian, bungalow, OUT goes the bead board and cute white cabinets, In goes the black granite counter tops, cherry cabinets, stainless-steel everything, and the ubiquitous island-slash-eating area.

When did we forsake the warmth of a kitchen as the heart of the home for something with all the charm of a rail car?

And the bathrooms! I watch as buyers enter a bathroom that has original tile and turn their noses up at the "ugly pink," and replace charming vintage color with something that has all the appeal of a surgery.

The modern kitchen and bathroom craze is the housing equivalent of Botox and boob jobs, and to both I say, fuck off. My tastes mean that a house others would disdain is right up my alley, and go me.

So I look at small homes that are fixer-uppers, and I have all kinds of jonesing to restore them to their original charm, and I desire yards and porches and a cellar, and space and boundaries and a driveway, and then I see a gorgeous vintage condo in my home town, the town I vowed to get the hell out of as soon as I can, only this place is in the upscale part, which is no small feat for this town, and is a block from the beach, and I see that big, uncluttered kitchen and the original bathroom, and I begin to think that maybe this condo won't be as bad...

I have condo battered-wife syndrome, is what it is.

I need to make a list of everything I want and don't want so that I can look at it like Guy Pearce in Memento and trust that Another Me has it under control if only Current Insane Me would let her.

Tonight I have a call scheduled with the friend that is the current board president in Chicago. She wants to decompress and update me on the insanity of the latest board meeting. This might do the trick.

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