Where I've Been
July 17, 2007

Jared and I are getting there. What I mean is that he's less than six months away from graduation, and we're officially in the planning stages of his practice. We've settled on a few areas that seem viable for a chiropractic office, and we've started investigating available properties. So far, there are three promising places: a farmhouse on a main road in a small town, an empty storefront in a strip mall, and space in a professional building. We're true-blue New Englanders, so of course, we're leaning towards the farmhouse.

The cool (or uncool, depending on the way you look at it) thing about the farmhouse is that we would live and work out of the same building. It's zoned for a business and there's plenty of living space upstairs. The very cool (or strange, depending on the way you look at it) thing about the farmhouse is that it's actually nice. Not just decent, but really nice. It's a circa-1900 building that's been updated with a gorgeous kitchen, new walls, new ceilings, and we'd even get to pick the floors. Unbe-fricking-leivable.

You see, Jared and I have always lived in what some might refer to as 'substandard housing.' The possibility of living somewhere, ahem--nice, really has me reminiscing about our past homes. If I ever have access to a scanner I'll post some pictures--you'll probably poop yourself laughing.

When we met, I was living in an apartment with some college roommates, Sarah and Kristina. We had an enormous three bedroom apartment with more square footage than Donald Trump's daughter, and I swear to you we thought we were royalty. Looking back, I'm not sure why.

You had to walk up a two foot wide, winding staircase to get up to our place, so we never invited hefty folks over. It's not that we had anything against bigger-sized people, they just simply couldn't fit. That staircase was so narrow that when you'd buy a new pair of shoes you'd have to haul the shoebox up though a second story window with a rope. Ok, not really, but it was almost that skinny.

We had sweet plywood counter tops, and one of those smooshy toilet seats that let out an airy sigh of relief whenever you sat down to take a whiz. But I think the best part of that apartment was our insane-o downstairs neighbor, Allen. Allen was one angry fool. He came up our staircase one night at 2:30 and banged on our door. He was all, "That person has got to stop jumping!"

We were like, "What?"

And he was like "It sounds like a 200 pound person is doing jazzersize right above my bedroom!"

My roommate was like, "You're nuts," and shut the door right on him.

He was nuts. Sarah, the roommate who lived above Allen weighed about 92 pounds, soaking wet with boots on, and I never once saw her do aerobics, or jumping jacks, or anything of that nature. And besides, judging from the sweet nothings that we could hear being whispered into Allen's ear as he got it on with his girl (and other sounds that I'm trying hard not to remember), those apartments weren't very soundproof.

After we got married, Jared and I moved into an old house that had been divided into apartments--seventeen of them. We had no kitchen cabinets, the oven was too small to hold a cookie sheet (literally), and the floor was so sloped that the computer chair would roll away backwards as you typed. One set of neighbors smoked dope around the clock and the guy under us had some sort of note attached to his door about how much he didn't like Mormons (or J-dubs, or vacuum cleaner salesmen). What can I say? It was home!

After that we bought a house--for less money that we could have bought a mini-van. Literally. It was 800 square feet and two stories. I'm still not sure how that worked. Our master bedroom was 7x11, a previous owner had insulated the laundry room walls with men's clothing (seriously), and somehow it cost $500 a month to heat this smurf sized house in the winter. My favorite feature of this place, besides the 1985 rusted out Cutlass Sierra that our neighbor perched on some blocks, was the triangle room. The triangle room was the biggest room in the upstairs of the house. The walls weren't straight at all, the shape of the room followed the pitch of the roof and the whole thing was shaped, well, like a triangle--almost like being inside of an army tent. If I stood up very straight my head touched the 90 degree angle that I will loosely refer to as the ceiling.

I actually loved this house and cried like a baby when we moved from it. But we sold it 'by owner' for the price of a tricked out Lincoln Navigator--so I think we made out like bandits in the end. We took the profits from that place and moved to Texas. With the exception of a flaming air conditioner and some poopy smelling water, our apartments in Texas have actually been fine, so I won't go into detail about those.

It just blows my mind that we might actually move in to somewhere nice...it may or may not work out. But really, if it does, I worry that I might get a little bored with it. Going in and out of a convenient front door seems so, I dunno, regular. I might just build a fire escape to use as our primary entrance--just to mix things up a little bit. I'm also considering using an outhouse in the winter instead of indoor plumbing--it could be fun! Or maybe, just maybe, we'll finally start to feel like the hardworking grownups that we are, sit back, kick our feet up and say,"You know? We've worked really hard and we deserve to live somewhere just like this."


Smith Family said...

The farmhouse sounds SO great!!! I love old houses! I vote for that one too. I loved your other stories too. Our first house we rented after we got married didn't have a bedroom. Nope not any. It had a tiny living room, a tiny kitchen and a tiny bathroom and it sat on an unfinished "basement". We slept in the very very unfinished basement. We're talking dirt. And we loved it!!!

The Carrie Collection said...

Hey, I know how you found me. I grew up with Meghan Shipp Sonnenberg. Dog Shipp as I so lovingly called her throughout highschool.
Um, I love that you had plywood counters. I really think you could pull that off with the industrial look.
I also vote for the farmhouse. I grew up in Oregon and my bedroom for a few years was a bunkhouse outside the back door. Oh ghetto living. Nothing is better.

Patty said...

Oh, now I get it, you were joking when you referred to all these places as "substandard housing", right? Because clearly that is a huge overstatement! rofl.

And ohhhh, the memories of the padded toilet seat... who can forget that wonderful thing.

Michemily said...

Welcome, this is a farmhouse . . . is a good start to a song I really like by Phish. Check it out.

Jared said...

Yo Amy! I can't believe you told the story of our first apartment without mentioning our bathroom! You know the one that guests had go through our bedroom and down the hill (the hallway was sloped) to get to. And the one whith the phone booth shower that we tipped over that time (what can I say we were newly-weds). You left out some great details!

Amy said...

Jared....c'mon! My entire extended family reads this blog!

To my extended family: yes, we tipped the shower over...but we were fully clothed when it happened. We were goofing off and TRYING to tip it over.

Geesh Jared......!

Sarah said...

Gahhhh.... 1900's farmhouse... I'm very interested in your fulfilling my own fantasies of Martha Stewart living by moving in there.

And please don't make me poop with laughter. It sounds like just the kind of thing I'd have to write a post about and my poor mother would have a heart attack.

Amy said...

Your only obligation once you move into the farmhouse is to remember what it was like to live in creative housing. My mother-in-law lived in a converted garage with a countertop made of 2x4s stacked on cinder blocks when she was a newlywed and through her first two children. Thirty-six years later, when I was pregnant with her 9th grandkid, she looked at our 2 bdrm 2 bath apartment with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances and said "I just have no idea how you are going to fit a baby in this place." She called me a few times after her visit with suggestions on saving space like, "Put a book shelf next to your bed to clear room for the crib." It's amnesia or senility or something. The same thing happens when married people set their single friends up without regard to personality or religion or temperament or common interests, thinking, "He's single, she's single--perfect! They'll be married in no time."

Grandma said...

you need to mention your trusty futon that has gone to each one of those places and Amy the little "shed" in back of the house you are considering actually has a cut-out of a moon on it... so you can easily convert it to your outhouse! xo