Re­al­i­ties of a grown-up home

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

Al­bert Ein­stein once said: ‘‘Don’t be jeal­ous of other peo­ple’s amaz­ing houses on In­sta­gram be­cause so­cial me­dia is de­signed to only show the good and life is com­pli­cated, and any­way wouldn’t you rather have a glass of rose than de­clut­ter?’’

I thought this was very spe­cific to my sit­u­a­tion. So much so that I am break­ing my ad­vice not to lis­ten to dead old white guys when they talk to me in my sleep.

Ein­stein was right about other things as well, but I re­ally think he hit the nail on the head in telling me that it’s per­fectly fine that I can’t put any­thing on my kitchen bench be­cause it’s cov­ered in old un­paid bills, pictures the kids drew that I want to throw out but can’t be­cause they’ll no­tice, cards for birth­days I haven’t writ­ten in and the birth­days are long past, and picture books that I keep say­ing I will re­pair but never get around to.

My couch is cov­ered in a blan­ket be­cause I have a res­cue grey­hound, and I’m too soft to tell her she can’t sleep on our couch be­cause she’s had a harder life than me and so I feel there’s a hi­er­ar­chy.

We only have one couch, be­cause we can’t af­ford a sec­ond couch be­cause MY GOD couches are ex­pen­sive.

This means we have a very large space and the adults sit on the floor so as not to dis­turb the dog. As a per­son pre­tend­ing to be an adult, I should know that fur­ni­ture is ex­pen­sive but I’m still shocked that I can’t buy a new couch for $200. I can’t even buy a sec­ond-hand couch for $200.

When you’re slow to adult, you find that kindly aun­ties give you fur­ni­ture so we have only re­cently had to buy our­selves fur­ni­ture at the grand old age of 33 and 34.

If I gave up cof­fee and wine I’d have enough for a nice couch but I’m not go­ing to tor­ture my­self. We painted the walls to get rid of a hideous red wall that was a ‘‘fea­ture’’ wall painted by pre­vi­ous ten­ants, who were clearly too fond of The Shin­ing.

I had one bright and shiny day with beau­ti­ful white walls like an art gallery (or an asy­lum, depend­ing on your point of view) be­fore one of my chil­dren drew on the wall and stuck a bunch of Dora the God Damn Ex­plorer stick­ers all over the space.

Am I sad about the state of my home when I look at In­sta­gram pictures of beau­ti­ful homes? Yes.

But am I also con­vinced they don’t re­ally have homes like this and they spend all day mak­ing ev­ery­thing per­fect for one photo and then they are too scared to sit down be­cause ev­ery­thing is so per­fect? Also yes.

My home is lived in. And as such I feel it’s easy to, well, live in it. It’s got me­mories and hap­pi­ness and it’s a s... pile some of the time, but other times, like once a year, it is very nice.

That’s when my mother-in-law comes over.

I’m also aware many peo­ple would love a dry home. No mat­ter what was inside it. So why whinge?

I’m also aware though that hav­ing a de­clut­tered house seems to be seen as a sign of adult­hood. I guess, I’m not there yet.

So my new year res­o­lu­tion was to try to re-read Konmari, or what­ever her name is.

I can’t throw my chil­dren out when they have gas­tro be­cause they’re no longer ‘‘spark­ing joy’’ so I am scep­ti­cal of the regime, if I’m hon­est. But I’ll give it an hon­est try.

I will do that ‘‘one-hour spree clean’’ they talk about on In­sta­gram and hope it doesn’t turn into a killing spree when I find more mar­bles un­der the couch. (Where do they all come from?) #blessed #mak­ing­mem­o­ries #Fixitwithfire?

And I will save for a couch. I will be pa­tient. I will tell my­self that some peo­ple take longer than oth­ers to have grown-up decor.

Our Lemmy poster has been taken down and re­placed with an ac­tual framed picture, but that only hap­pened two months ago so it’ll take time.

At least I don’t have a ‘‘Live Laugh Love’’ poster on the wall.

Some­times it feels like it was only yes­ter­day my hus­band and I were stu­dents who were too use­less to ac­tu­ally study – a mat­tress on the floor like it was a crack den, CDS ev­ery­where, gi­ant speak­ers, a beau­ti­ful col­lec­tion of stubby hold­ers on the man­tle…

We have a din­ing room ta­ble now, along with two kids, so that’s a start, right? One step closer to be­ing a real adult. One step at a time.

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