9:01 PM

All I Want Post-Christmas Is...

Okay, so it's official. We are loft-owners.

After years of dreaming about having my own place (or our own place, once Dave was in the picture), and a year and a half of hardcore skimping, debt reduction, and saving, we finally got it together. It's been total torture waiting for the whole thing to be real, but this afternoon it turned from foggy fantasy to black-and-white life-owing.

So! Now comes the good part. The home-making! The following is my list of home necessities:

(1) Painting. I've been visiting the Benjamin Moore site like it's keeping me alive. I want to pick my colours for every room and hire some painters. Since we get in there on March 23rd, but don't have to move 'til the 31st, we have a week to get it all prettied up. Dave is somewhat hesitant on this one, as he thinks we should live there and feel out what it should look like first, but I'm pushing for it.

(2) Bedroom set. When we got married, my beloved aunt and uncle gave us the gift of a new bed. If by new bed, I mean cash to cover a new bed. Needless to say, that chunk of change was better used elsewhere at the time and we never got the cozy boudoir of which I dreamed. Now? Oh, hell yeah.

(3) Office stuff. We took a small apartment to save money as part of the scrimp and save strategy. Dave has made the corner of our wee bedroom his office. He works from home. This has been majorly harsh for him. At the new place, he has a good sized bedroom to turn into his office. He shall get whatever his heart so desires for his hideous sacrifice. As someone who has worked from home in the past, I can't believe he's been able to handle it for this long.

(4) Front bench. When people walk in, we want a place for them to sit their things down. I don't know what it will look like, but I will find it.

(5) Living room mirrors. The people who live there now had 'em. I loved 'em. I want 'em.

(6) Above-range microwave. Okay, this isn't exactly a necessity. But I really, really love those babies, and I'm going to get one. Maybe not immediately, but within a few months.

(7) Bosu ball. Okay, this isn't house-related, but I really freakin' want one.

Um, I think that's it. I made this list last weekend and thus far, I've bought a chocolate coloured curtain for the ensuite bathroom and some stainless steel salt and pepper shakers. It's going to be just way too much fun.

5:16 PM

Kids Scare Me

So today was my adorable niece's birthday party. And what a party it was. I think that maybe I just don't get the whole parenthood thing.

So we arrive at 11AM at the Gymboree party zone. First of all, I have to take off my boots, and my feet are instantly cold. This disturbs me. I have to leave my jacket hanging on a rack with hooks at children's height. This makes me suspicious. We're quickly escorted to a room of small slides and barrels and tubes and bubbles. I'm looking around suspiciously, and next thing I know, this crazed lady start singing all her thoughts. "1-2-3, play a game with me! Let's all play, it's your birthday today!" My ovaries aren't twitching a single iota (as women with maternal urges often joke). My stomach is clenched in the most hideous zone of discomfort.

There are yuppie type parents and kids in clothes that probably cost more than mine. But the truly weird part? Everyone is just so... happy? It feels fake and creepy and cult-ish. "Row, row, row your boat!" The parents grin at each other as they swoosh some bizarro parachute up and down with the kids under it. "Skinamarinky-dinky-dink!" The children totter about as they're pushed to beat on the rubber tube while music plays -- though not to the beat. "I went to the store to buy a bike!" Everyone oohs and aahs as children smoosh cheesies into their soft skin. "The wheels on the bus go round-and-round!" We are the only two people there without children of our own -- other than the children. "Let's all sing along-along! Let's all sing alonnnnng!"

I am not singing.

I am sitting on a tiny bench with my arms crossed. I am feeling anxious and uncomfortable and just want to get away from the creepiness and singing and weird activities. I am hiding in the corner during lunch. I am avoiding the parents with their incessant cooing and their endless talk about their kids. I am wondering why they all ask me the same question -- "So how was your holiday?" -- and then sort of mentally exit the conversation halfway through my response.
I am wanting to leave and get the hell back to my real life.

And I am wondering how the hell I will ever, ever be a parent.

I don't know about kids. I totally love hanging out with them one-on-one for specific time periods, but I am not drawn at all to this cult of mommyhood. I don't like the idea of hanging out exclusively with other parents and finding children to be my most interesting conversational topic and listening to the Wiggles and all that crazy stuff. I know that not everyone does this -- and, to be fair, my in-laws and few friends with children are great examples of normalcy when they're not around other parents; they're relaxed and laid back. However, this doesn't make the possibility any less likely, nor any less frightening. And my brother-in-law made a joke this weekend about how we say right now that we plan to live in a condo for five years, but just wait 'til I pop out a kid. I responded with a dry "Um, that sure won't be happening in the next five years." His reaction? "You don't think you'll have a kid in the next five years? How old are you, anyway?" I laughed it off. Besides, I get this kind of thing a lot from people with kids. (They generally think I'm missing out on life.) And, yes, I am pushing 30.

I just wouldn't be that parent. I wouldn't be able to handle bad music and fakery and competition and mommies, and I wouldn't be able to abandon my old life. I would want to make a newborn listen to real music. I would probably be snobby about hanging out with mommy cults. I would want to avoid group stuff at all costs and make the kid a cool part of my life instead of its star. Is that unfair to be that wrong kind of parent to a kid? Cripes.

The idea of never having a kid (and a is the key word -- there would never be more than that) seems a little sad to me, but the idea of actually doing it? I fear it's not for the best. What if that maternal thing that everybody else seems to have just never kicks in? How am I supposed to know what to do, or when to do it, or whether I should just trust my gut and stick with life as regularly scheduled?

9:32 PM

So It's Eight Days Later...

And we bought a place. It's a conditional offer, they accepted it tonight. Should be official by Monday. Should be official by Monday?

I am dying. Dying!

I am so excited, I am calm. I feel jittery and quiet and it's terrifying to spend that much money and it's thrilling to see your dollars finally turning into equity.

And the place is lovely and dreamy and central. It's a loft and it's spacious -- two good sized bedrooms, two great bathrooms, and a big living room. Beautiful kitchen, upgrades galore, gym, billiards room, all that good stuff. You know what sold me, though? The built-in bookcases. There is even a ladder. I will be living in a lovely library. And the washer and dryer are super capacity. And there are sensor lights! And the closets all have built in shelving and drawer systems. It's crazy. And it will be all ours on March 23.

I called my sister right after we signed the papers. She was exuberant. I was serene. I just can't get my head around it.

It's not that it happened so fast -- we've been saving our asses off since moving to Toronto so we'd have a good chunk of down payment. It's that once we had the dollars in place, we got straight to business. It just feels like it happened so quickly. And it doesn't feel real. It's kind of unbelievable.

But I know it's not, really. People everywhere do this every single day. It's just... we haven't done it before and if you'd told either of us a year and a half ago, when we were in Halifax, that we'd be buying something like this in only eighteen months, we never, ever would have believed you. Moving to this city has really made everything kick ass -- it may be the dastardly centre of the universe to my east coast self, but to my future homeowner parts, it's a freaking dream.

Goddamn. I guess the countdown begins here.

(ETA: I removed the pictures for now. I guess I should wait 'til Monday when it's all official. Also please note that it's 6:30 on Friday morning, I totally woke up at 6 with all the excitement and haven't been able to get back to sleep. Losah!)

9:58 PM

The Waiting Game

I am a woman obsessed.

We met a potential real estate agent on the weekend. She was cool and super nice and we instantly knew that she'd be a good match. She specializes in the area we're searching in, and the type of property we're seeking. In any case, she sends us a few properties to look at every day. We've seen some almost-exactly-right places thus far, but no match worth going to see since the weekend (Perfect But in a Totally Sketchy Neighbourhood).

In any case, even though we are still on the hunt, I feel like moving day is just around the corner. I've taken to this cleaning spree thing like a duck to water. In the last bunch of days, I've scrubbed, swept, pledged, mopped, cometed, decluttered, and re-organized like it was going out of style. I am just beyond psyched about getting the heck out of here and having a place. A place where I can do laundry every day if I want. A place where our equipment would be in closets or lockers instead of our living room. A place where the bedroom and the living room are separated by more than French doors. A place where the office has its own room. A place where the kitchen doesn't take over the bulk of the house. A place that's ours.

I'm on a countdown, man, and the waiting is going to put me out of my mind.

4:07 PM

Smell Ya Later, 2005

Alright, I could just see you later. You weren't so bad. In fact, you were pretty darn nice to me -- moving to finally start to feel like a grown-up, letting me start grad school, meeting my first niece, really getting down with my job. Not so bad. And thus I bring you: This Year in Review.

Dee-doo-doo-dee-dee-doo-doo-dee-dee-doooo-doooo-deeeeet-dooooot. (A la This Week in God.)

January 2005:

  • New Year's Eve in Toronto with the boy, his dear friend, and my coworker who calls me because her much-older man broke up with her. A night of many eyeliner reapplications and pitchers of beer ensues.
  • Alex is born! I'm scared to hold her, but I think she's damn cool.
  • I have some lame obsession with ponchos.

February 2005:

  • I plan an event in Mexico for work and Dave and I get to go care of the company.
  • I continue with the stupid poncho obsession.
  • I see the Mexico pictures upon getting home and go obsesso style with WW.
  • I get to go to my first welcome-to-grad-school initiation thing and feel thrilled and lucky.

March 2005:

  • After the Mexico thing ends, I get really frustrated with work.
  • The poncho obsession is dead.

April 2005:

  • I get a surprise promotion at work with small bonus -- there are challenges left.
  • I start school!

May 2005:

  • School is nuts!
  • Work is nuts!
  • I love it and never want to be bored again.

June 2005:

  • I get a fun raise.
  • I barely have time to think about how much it rules.

July 2005:

  • We go to the cottage!
  • My mom and dad come to visit and love the city, pleasing me endlessly.

August 2005:

  • I miss my final exam when a plane crashes puts me at a standstill on the 401, and don't get to rewrite for three whole weeks.
  • We go to Halifax for ten days. It rules, and how. We see everyone and have an absolutely killer time.
  • Ruby Foo and OMM get hitched! They have the nicest wedding evah, and I get sixties hair for the occasion.

September 2005:

  • Second semester begins. I find myself loving statistics for the first time ever. My professor is a flipping saint.
  • I am now a first-time manager.
  • I think this is when I went to San Diego? The stopover at the creepy Atlanta airport is totally bizarre, but it's otherwise dreamy.

October 2005:

  • My sister comes to visit! We have drinks, gossip, eat bad Chinese, and trek up to the cottage for Thanksgiving leftovers.
  • I hire the first member of my new account team! She is a star.

November 2005:

  • I visit New York City for work for the first time -- though it's fun, I am a little let down due to way over-the-top expectations.
  • I visit Dallas for work for the first time -- though it's not terribly exciting, I actually have a spectacular time with my coworkers!
  • I have a fantastic 28th birthday and am ever-so-thrilled with where I've come thus far in life.

December 2005:

  • I hire two people in a row for a position someone has majorly fucked up and been fired over -- they both quit (one within ten hours, one after four days). I hire a third person who stays and works hard for the money.
  • I am charmed by my husband's spending more time teaching me on the bunny hill than boarding himself when we go to Tremblant (aw).
  • I spend the holidays in the sun but kind of can't wait for next year with my family.

And what are my resolutions?

  1. Start looking for a condo/loft of our own as soon as we get back home. I've already stalked down a real estate agent, we're meeting her mid-month as soon as we get all our ducks in a row.
  2. Learn to cook -- and seriously do it this time. Not just for a few weeks, like forever.