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.


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