Friday, July 18, 2008

House critical

I've been a homeowner for almost eight years, starting when I moved into M's condo back in late 2000. Or, I should say, I've been a nonrenter since then, since I technically subletted to him when we lived together in the condo. We bought our current house together -- as he likes to remind me, I picked it out, or I should say it picked me out -- in November 2002. So I feel more of a sense of ownership there.

When you own your own home, things you couldn't care less about become of utmost importance. What curtains should go in the living room? Is it time to take out the fall decorations yet? Should we spend our economic stimulus check on a new front door and side lites or a new furnace (the current debate in our house) ? My house is not just, as our departed friend George Carlin put it, a place for my stuff. I put thought and effort and time into decorating it, cleaning it and keeping both it and the yard nice. It's my castle, and the place I most like to be.

I've made it a point not to talk about my family on this blog, but I will say that my mom is a critical person. It can come in handy -- there's no one I like to shop with more, because she'll tell me if something looks like crap on me -- but it can also be grating. Case in point: She came over last year when I was exhausted and pregnant and not in the mood to do yard work and proceeded to point out all the weeds that needed to be pulled, the landscaping that had to be done and how my roses needed to be deadheaded. She then told me our house almost needed a new coat of paint. M was mad. So was I. And she realized that she'd been out of line, because she called us from the cell on the way home and apologized.

All is forgiven, but why is it that parents feel the need to come over and criticize your domicile? I've talked to friends about it who have said their parents do the same thing -- a friend at an old job even said, "That's why you have your own apartment, so your parents can find fault with it." I'd be curious for your stories and how you handled it.

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