Commitmentphobia Domus

Oh yeah, I took Latin in seventh grade, and look how it’s paid off.

House Commitmentphobia. Or, once burned, twice shy. This week, I’ve experienced how it must feel to think about getting married again after having lived through a nasty divorce.

True confession: We looked at a house. Yep, we tiptoed back in the dating game. Instead of, we found our new love interest (although “love” might be overstating it) on It’s a short sale. Because if life if going to be poetically just, we’re going to capitalize on this end after having been burned on the other end. While it’s not cool or indie of me, I like my endings happy.

Looking at a house brought up all those old emotions. Waves of panic rushed over me in a bout of post-traumatic house stress disorder. Maybe it’s because the house is built in 1960, about the same as Dream House, and is in about the same condition (not so hot) as Dream House was, but I saw my life in the past five years flash before my eyes, and it looked a whole lot like the movie Groundhog Day. Alarm rings at 6:14 again, wake up, and find yourself buying a 1960s colonial that needs a lot of work. What the whuk? Just because Groundhog Day is one of my favorite movies doesn’t mean I want to live it.

Some deep breathing, 90 minutes of hot yoga, a few therapeutic phone calls with friends and mostly, my mom, all followed by a glass of wine, and I was talked back off the ledge. We’re thinking about making an offer, and who knows if we will get it, but if we do we will definitely not overpay, and we will definitely do some work, but no where near the extent of the work that went into Dream House. We’ll just replace some appliances, countertops, rip out some carpet and then paint, and leave well enough alone.

You know what’s great? If this house works, we’ll be in under the radar, which is what I want more than anything. We’ll be in a house for a price that we can easily afford on one salary. We won’t be slaves to a gigantic mortgage. This time around, my expectations are low, because I don’t need a house to be anything except shelter. I don’t need a Dream House to be the be-all end-all of my life, a culmination of a lifelong fantasy. I just need our house to be comfortable, and then I want to go on with my life.

You know what else is great? If this house doesn’t happen, so what? There are other houses, other deals. If it’s not right, then we’ll move on.

There are so many other things to focus on: a job hunt, a book, and most importantly, our family and our boys. And that, my friends, was the lesson of The Houseover.


6 Responses to "Commitmentphobia Domus"

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  1. Tiffany L

    December 6, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Enlightenment. A lot of people joke about it, but I believe, dear friend, you’ve achieved it. Well done! Good attitude to have!

    Now, are we going to be neighbors or not??

  2. Karen Hirata

    December 6, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    And just today, I was thinking it would be so nice to have a pretty yard. Inside is comfortable and great shelter, none of the furniture matches, but I was thinking how it would be so lovely have nice landscaping. And then I remembered who I was married to and how practical he is, although I usually am too, and thought… maybe after my third and forth graders are finished with college. Shelter is a good thing, heat, hot water, paid bills… all things to be grateful for in my life. Good luck on your offer, if it doesn’t happen, another house will come along; I’m one of those people who believe if it is meant to be it will happen (it helps me not be quite so type A all the time.)

  3. kate

    December 6, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    and seriously- a new coat of paint can do wonders. if you end up with it, let us know. Tom is (seriously) a pro a paint. (He also happens to have fabulous color scheme ideas. even though his entire family makes fun of him for it. you can come look at what he’s done over here- even though we’re not totally done. you might get some awesome ideas.) =)

  4. gretchen

    December 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Laura, I so love your perspective!! You’re talking my language – even though I don’t speak Latin and never have. We’re living congruent lives.

  5. Mimi

    December 17, 2012 at 11:13 am

    -bo, -bis, -bit, bimus,-bitus, -bunt.

    I love your perspective. Having gone from almost 6000 square foot house to 600 square foot apartment, I would like to say, no one needs 6000 square feet. Or double ovens. Of course, I would love to have maybe a few more hundred square feet than I currently have and would love to have more than two tiny closets in the whole apartment. Call me spoiled. My point is, we’ve lived here for over 2 years with 2 teen boys who live in a hallway of a room and guess what? We survived. Good luck with your house. I am confident it will go from house to home in no time flat.

    BTW, I ate a bag of gummy bears while I wrote this.
    Semper ubi sub ubi, girlfriend.

  6. Laura Tiebert

    December 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Mimi, my friend, you have nailed it as usual. My next post is going to be right up your alley, so stay tuned, and thanks a lot, because now I am planning a quick stop at Walgreen’s to pick up a bag of gummy bears before school ends and the kids get home. bo, bis, bit, bimus, bitus, bunt! For my non Latin-speaking readers, this is how you conjugate Latin verbs :)


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