We’ve always been apartment people. Back when my husband was still my boyfriend and I was freshly knocked up, we had to move off campus and play grown-ups in a series of tiny boxes, all of which I remember fondly: there was the ramshackle upper quarter of a quadplex in downtown Savannah with no air conditioning and a beautiful view of the neighborhood El Cheapo gas station where you could buy loose cigarettes, straight razor blades, and plastic roses in glass tubes that conveniently resembled crack pipes but definitely weren’t crack pipes, *wink*.
There was the studio in Atlanta that cost a million dollars a month. Back to Savannah where we had to sign a lead paint waiver, then on to Austin in an apartment that appeared to be leasing land from a feral cat reserve, then one where the oven was borrowed from the ‘70s, and my neighbors threatened to kill my two-year-old, and finally a quiet 2 bedroom that was perfect except for the fact that my car got broken into twice.
If you live in an apartment, you know how cramped it can get. I am extremely jelly beans of anyone who has ever had their own room because I’ve never had one. From childhood to college to the real world, someone has always been all up in my biznass.
So when my husband and I were looking over our budget a few years ago and one of us realized, “holy shit, we can totally buy a house if wanted to and no one could stop us because we’re adults now and we can do what we want”, I had some pretty big dreams.
Granite countertops! 5 bedrooms! Backyard! I could hang pictures and not have to spackle the holes with toothpaste later to get my deposit back! Most of all, I was envisioning my room; I wasn’t sure where my husband would sleep but of course I would get that canopy bed my inner 8-year-old wanted, and he could just get out of my face.
The reality is that we purchased a 1400 square foot three bedroom, two bath foreclosure with fixtures from the ‘80’s and a galley kitchen. None of the doors really shut, and the entire thing is an homage to the heyday of the popcorn ceiling. Still, I love my little brass doorknobbed, lumpy ceilinged abode. It is the largest place we have ever lived in, and I am fully aware that the following sentence is a stupid white whine:
I need more space.
We held on to the idea that we could use the third bedroom as a guest room for a long time, finally giving up on that when we realized that if we were going to make people visit us in Texas, having them sleep on a shitty air mattress was just pouring salt in the wound. We turned it into an office for my husband, so that he could get work done at home, but quickly realized that it gets hot as a mofo up there with all the computers running. After my child got guinea pigs for her birthday, we lugged the desk downstairs into the corner of the living room we were calling the dining room and moved the table into the corner of the kitchen we were calling a breakfast nook. We gave my daughter the spare room for her art supplies and new pets because guinea pigs smell like pure rancid ass.
After everyone was settled into their new spaces, my husband just kind of looked at me apologetically. “I guess you got shafted again,” he said, and I sighed dramatically before going to set up my sewing machine on the bathroom counter because it is the only available surface for sewing, even if the pedal does sometimes slip into the toilet.
I am a firm believer in giving people their space, probably because I always craved solitude. What attracted me to my husband is that he wasn’t a clingy clinger, and my daughter similarly likes her periods of alone time. I can usually be found in the kitchen, and regularly kick people out of there unless we’re eating, but I think we can all agree that giving my husband an office and my daughter a playroom and pretending that the kitchen is my refuge is kinda squicky. Momspace is vital. A place to tinkle in silence, or read a book, or day drink and just be left alone for like, four seconds, god.
Once you have kids, it becomes a challenge to de-child-ify your surroundings. Even if you intend to keep things to yourself, chances are you own a lot of books with crayon scribbles on the pages, your phone usually gets commandeered, and children have incredible imaginations when it comes to making tampon launchers out of bras. Instead of accepting that everything I own is now community property, I’m going to do the mature thing:
I’m building a fort.
Specifically: I’m building a totally bitchin’ fort that no one is allowed in but me, and I’m taking suggestions.
Since we don’t have an HOA, we’re pretty much free to do whatever we want in our backyard. For instance, we could be dicks and raise alpacas back there and there is literally nothing stopping us except laziness and not being dicks. So here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
(Image: DIY Network)
Sure, it will be hot in the summer and cold in the winter, but that will just keep my dumb family away, so I’ll take it.
The treehouse I always wanted but never got. This also says “a chidult lives here”.
(Image: atlas survival shelters)
Where my family could join me when the zombie apocalypse happens. As long as they know the password. The password is “butts”.
In addition to providing an educational opportunity on historical warfare tactics, nothing says GTFO and let me drink this vodka sour in peace like razor wire.
The “Sorry About Your College Fund”:
(Image: sweet treat kids)
At a mere 26 grand before amenities, this one comes with electricity and running water, and is nicer than my actual house. It comes with a window seat, too.
(Image: kanga room systems)
I’m actually thinking of legitimately doing this, but I’m wondering if it’s tacky. I would still make the password “butts” though.
Do any of you have hidey holes? If so, tell me them so that I can steal your ideas and claim the glory on pinterest.