So we’re moving this Friday, to different place that’s almost exactly the same. Why you ask? I’m not exactly sure anymore. Perhaps because I just wanted a change. The new place has new carpet that isn’t growing mold, it’s not near a parking lot or a dumpster, and it’s closer to the playground. These were things that mattered when I decided to take it. It also has an enclosed patio so there will be no more kids running out the gate and down the sidewalk.
I have this problem with decisions especially the more major but largely inconsequential ones. I second-guess them the instant they are made and can’t stop until I have no choice but to follow through. It usually happens when we are moving, but not very far. In the end it’s just an apartment, in the same city, same friends, it’s a small transition but there are reasons for the changes reasons that we could live with if it weren’t possible to change them.
The fact that the genius husband doesn’t care is making it harder for me rather than easier. He always lets me make these kind of choices, after all, I’m the one who is there 24/7 he gets to leave and come home at night. But when I’m so indecisive I’m hungry for an opinion, any opinion. When I couldn’t decide between this place and another slightly farther away, he said, “Then lets just move to the closer place because it’s easier.”
I said, “Okay.”
I was so relieved to have the decision made and be done with it, and then I started to think. The other place has laundry; this doesn’t. The other place had tile floors; this has carpet. The other place had teeny tiny bedrooms; this doesn’t. Oh yeah. Every day I have to remind myself of the reasons why this place is good, and everyday I think maybe we should just not move at all. I hate that I have this great ambivalence about things.
I think it’s because I’m aware that in the end it doesn’t really matter, these are small things; I can live with small things. Only some days I can’t, some days I am not the person that I fantasize about being. Some days having a carpet under the dining area is the final straw, like after pomegranate juice is spilled. Some days needing to go to the Laundromat to do laundry is more than I can handle, like when I’m out of quarters and the boy wets his bed again, and I know that it will take me all day to deal with this. By the time I get my pregnant self and two children the 6 blocks to the grocery store to buy quarters in the heat and, and come home (two hours minimum) then get all of the laundry to the laundry room sorted and started, while dealing with things like lunchtime and nap time, and kids that scream “I want to come with you Mommy” and spend 10 minutes looking for their shoes when all I have to do is run about 50 feet, throw the loads in the dryer and come back, something that will take 2 minutes if I do it myself but I then end up keeping them from falling in the pond, throwing rocks in their hair, getting the clothes they have on filthy in a matter of seconds, I will still be folding laundry and working on this job after they go to bed at night. Some days I will be kicking myself for not choosing the place with laundry, tiny bedrooms be damned.
And in the middle of all this, artificial, and yet not inconsequential angst, I can’t shake the awareness that there are millions of women the world over who would love to have my problems. I have a home, with real floors instead of dirt. I have air conditioning for crying out loud. I complain that I can’t get to Trader Joe’s every week, or Jimbo’s for fresh organic produce because I have no car, but clean water comes out of my tap. Some women walk as far as I won’t walk to the stores I would prefer to shop at just to get water to drink and clean their clothes, and that water is making them sick as they drink it. I can walk 6 blocks to Albertsons and I can buy bottle water if I want to. My kids have a closet full of clothes, as do I. Some 13-year-old girl in China was paid 30 cents each to make some of their shirts, and she was glad to have it.
I live in the most expensive area in the country to live, if we don’t count Manhattan, What I pay for rent is a healthy mortgage payment for someone else, is more than some families in Africa will make this year or next year combined. Why am I whining?
But I went the other day to look at a place near here that my neighbor told me about in a fit of doubt and second thoughts, and I fell in love with it, the floor plan, the giant eucalyptus trees, the ensuite laundry and the fact that it’s $200 cheaper per month. They have no vacancies; the last suite was rented the morning I went to look. I should have gone a month ago.
But then I wonder; would I really like it as much if I was already committed to it? Because I’m messed up like that; I can commit to people without a second thought, an apartment on the other hand…