When I was growing up, I thought I would someday live in a Victorian house.
I didn’t realize that the Victorian house was a money pit.
I didn’t realize that my freelance-writing career would barely pay the rent let alone a mortgage.
I didn’t realize that I would eventually be a housewife, living in a bungalow.
Owning a house is not as much fun as you think.
It is, as my aunt, a consumer economist, once told me, actually much cheaper to rent. Even if you pay off your mortgage, you will constantly be paying for upkeep and repairs.
Why is home ownership so much work?
We’ve painted it twice, we’ve patched the roof, and the kitchen needs remodeling.
Today I reluctantly accompanied my mate to a hardware superstore to help pick out a light fixture.
As I walked the aisles, inexplicably carrying the light fixture because he’d claimed we wouldn’t need a cart, I stopped and asked, “Why am I carrying this?”
“We’ll get a cart then.”
I silently exchanged the light fixture I was carrying for the fluorescent light bulb he was carrying.
But the light bulb was the wrong size. He bought this because a young woman (inept, but flirtatious) led him to the fluorescent light section, and, leaning over, butt up in the air, whined, “Oh, dear, we only have …!”
“We’ll take it,” he said.
I realize that this light bulb scene sounds obscene, and it was. Reality is not just stranger but worse than fiction.
Two white-haired men in superstore logo shirts chatted at the end of the aisle, and my instinct was to go back and ask them about fluorescent lights: in fact, I would have asked them, not the girl, in the first place. But this is my husband’s turf. In this horrible concrete superstore, I realized that not only was I not needed to pick out a light fixture and a light bulb, but I didn’t need to be in any way a part of this humiliating scene.
We women know how to shop. He’ll never get around to taking back the lightbulb–it’s too far away–and he’s not much of a shopper. But surely that money would have bought me a paperback at Barnes and Noble!
Why was I there?
Never again. I swear.