Tags: childhood, home, house
It was the clear nail polish that brought me to my knees. It must have been under that radiator for ten years, back when this was my bedroom, back when this was my home. As I sit there in the empty room knowing that this would be the last time I would ever cry on that floor, the memories come flooding back to me.
Before my parents had moved there, back when I was too young to remember, I didn’t have my own bedroom. My parents had an apartment in the Bronx and they moved for a better life and more space. I would finally have my own room, my own space, but I would have to start my short life over. This new home would become my stability. This home would always keep me safe.
Over the years, this house, my bedroom, survived many of my phases. I remember the nights that my brother and I would knock on the wall we shared together to communicate. I remember decorating my walls with Absolut and Got Milk ads ripped from magazines. I remember painting my nails every night to match my outfit. I remember when I had my parents buy me an art desk. I remember burying my hamsters in the front yard. I remember taping songs off the radio. I remember writing most of my poetry in my room, at my desk. I remember late night phone calls with boys as I lay in bed, listening to The Cardigans and Sophie B Hawkins. I remember the glow-in-the-dark stars I had on my ceiling, that were basically useless since I only saw them at night when my glasses were off and they were all fuzzy. I remember the sound of my dad leaving for work in the morning as that was my signal to get up for school. I remember my witchcraft phase, my candle phase, my incense phase. I remember dancing to Paula Abdul on the lawn. I remember going out on to my roof through my window (sorry Mom and Dad — that was true). I remember friends driving by, honking their horns. I remember sneaking out the back door only to be caught coming in the front door. I remember it all. This was my home from age 4 until now, and even though I haven’t lived there in six years, it was still my home when I had to finally say good bye.
And I try to be strong, because I know it’s just a material thing, but that home holds so many memories. Living there made me who I am in so many ways. My memory isn’t really that good and having that tangible place has helped me to hold on.
But it is time to let go of the tangible and let it live in my memory. It is the end of an era that I have to cope with. No longer do I have that place I can run to when everything is wrong in the world. I have to push forward. If I live a full life, this home will only be the first fraction of my existence and another home will be born at some point. In the grand scheme of life, I will remember this house fondly as my first home. But it no longer exists anymore. Only in my memory.
Tags: career, college, friends, home, life, MASH game, relationships
Middle school flashback. Your body is changing and you look seriously awkward trying to fit into it. You are figuring out which clique would accept you. And the prepubescent boys are looking super cute. Your world is as big as your classroom. And let’s face it. Sometimes class can be boring. I was never very good at doodling. My art even back then was writing. So what do you do to pass the time? Dream about the future! This is where a fabulous game called MASH came into play.
Mansion, apartment, shack, house. These were just some of the “choices” you’d have to make when you grow up. Where will you live? Other features of the game — pick 5 of each: boys you like, cars you like, colors (of bridal dress), cities, number of children you will have, and let’s no forget careers. You create a swirl in the middle of the page, count the lines and use that number to complete the process of elimination, ex-ing out an item each time your number comes up. At the end of the day, you end up marrying Bobby, living in a mansion, driving a red Ferrari, living in Paris, with 4 kids, and working as a lawyer. Sounds about right, no?
Oh, how small the world was back then! I remember literally thinking who would I marry from my middle school. MY MIDDLE SCHOOL? How does this idea get into people’s heads? Ok, to be fair, I actually know about a dozen people who did end up with someone they knew in middle school. Call it small world mentality, or comfort zone, I don’t know. I stopped dating people from my high school in like 9th grade. But something tells me when these people think back to middle school and have this same thought that I did, the person they are with now didn’t make the list.
If only our decisions could be as simple as we thought they’d be. But what if Bobby doesn’t want to marry me? What if we can’t afford a mansion? (HA!) And what if, God forbid, I don’t get that Ferrari. What ever will I do?
The saving grace of this game, in retrospect, is that it does include a category for career (in the version of the game that I played). At least we had the idea of working for a living instilled in our minds. But what about college? I can tell you that I was a weirdo and I actually did think about college in middle school, thanks to my dad always saying it was the best time of his life, the movie Animal House, and my first boyfriend whose older sisters were already in college. My Bat-Mitzvah theme was colleges and telephones (yea, figure that one out). Perhaps if college was added to this game middle schoolers would have seen that there is a world between high school and this dream life MASH creates. Perhaps kids would see that while there are endless possibilities, there are also realistic possibilities. That the world is much larger than a classroom, but can also feel smaller than a locker at times.
But it was a different world back then. The tech boom was just starting. I remember when my friend Ilana first got AOL. We’d all gather around her computer, wait for the dial up, and stare in awe at the big box computer as it said “You’ve got mail,” in that familiar computer voice we all know. By 8th grade we were all instant messaging, staying up to all hours having conversations with boys that were too hard to have in person. We were just beginning to discover the greater world, but yet it all seemed like a fantasy.
So maybe that’s all that MASH is or was. Maybe it was a just a form of fantasy. Maybe we never thought it was ever going to be reality. But maybe we did. I don’t believe in destiny, but I do believe in fate, and I believe in dreams. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I still plan to dream of endless possibilities.
Tags: apartment, domestic, home, living together, relationships
It’s official. As of August 1, I am officially living with my boyfriend. This is something that has been in the works for a few months, but it wasn’t easy to get to this point, and not because we didn’t want it to.
In a typical Dana move, I set a goal back in January of moving in with my boyfriend by May. It seemed possible at the time, but I never could have predicted the obstacles that were thrown in our way.
First, my apartment fell victim to bed bugs in March. My neighbors got infested first and it spread to the rest of the building. I had to get rid of almost everything I owned, vacuum every day, and have the exterminator come every month. I read some information online that said that bedbugs can die in extreme heat. I live in an attic apartment. All I had to do was wait until summer and they’d all die. It was a long few months! I took this as a real sign that I needed to move out of my apartment.
Which leads me to the second obstacle. The heat! This has been the hottest summer in a long time, and my apartment does NOT cool down for anything. I had to make some serious alterations to my apartment this summer in order to live. The air conditioners run 24 hours a day and I put up curtains between the kitchen and living room to capture the cool air. This was the reason I wanted to move in the first place. I didn’t want to live here for another summer.
But here I am, living in my pretty big one bedroom apartment with the boyfriend. The third obstacle is the reason why we are making this our first apartment together and not living in his spacious two-bedroom apartment. There were several difficulties with his roommate and things were just getting too hairy. At the end of the day, we were forced to make a move that we probably would have dawdled on.
So we found a way to get all of his stuff into my apartment, though it doesn’t all have a home yet. Lots of it actually has improved the usability of the space, but there’s still some major space sharing that we both need to work on. It’s quite strange when I realize that when we talk about going home, we are talking about the same place.
However we got here, we are here now. This was one small step for mankind, one giant step for me making a commitment to my future. I look forward to telling you all my tricks for getting him to clean, and more than likely all the things I try that don’t work. I hope you’ll share some advice with me as well.
Here’s to new adventures!