Feb 15, 2013

A House of One's Own

I was lying uncomfortably in bed, thoughts twisting around in my brain like the winter wind blustering around outside the window, wondering if this pulled back muscle or pinched nerve or broken rib or whatever the hell it is will eventually heal itself or if I will just eventually get used to the pain or if maybe a call to the chiropractor would be a good idea, when I started thinking about my house, which has recently doubled in size, thanks to the recently-renovated basement, and about what feminism means to me. This is a terrible thesis. Those two ideas have very little in common, with the exception of my Virginia Woolf-inspired title. If this was an essay, I'd probably fail. But it isn't, and so here are my 3 a.m. thoughts.

I live in a house. A little grey house in suburbia. With the addition of the basement, it is about 1600 square feet. We now have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, an office, and another tv area. As an aside, while this expansion will be convenient (no more calling first dibs on the bathroom after coming home from the movie theatre-we can BOTH pee!), I am most excited about the eradication of all (or at least most) basement spider activity. Anyway, having a house is important to me, not for the investment opportunity, but because this space is mine to do with what I will (with the agreement of my dude, of course).

When said dude and I first moved in together, we bought a shitty little condo for just under 60 grand, with the help of his parents for the down payment. A few years later, we sold it and made 20 thousand dollars, which turned into the down payment for our current modest abode. We were pretty lucky. Not everyone gets the opportunity to build a house of their own.

A house of one's own is important to me because I think that everyone should be allowed to play loud music in the middle of the night without worrying about the neighbours. Because builder's beige is not a colour and because painting is a pain in the ass. (I've been painting for the last ever, so I know of what I speak.) Because you should feel comfortable and content in the place you spend more than half of your time, assuming you leave the premises to go to a workplace of some sort for a few hours a day. Because your home should be reflective of you. If you rent, these obstacles can be difficult to overcome.

My house is full of space, because I need space. Physical, emotional, and mental. Without space in all its forms, I feel ignorant and resentful and trapped.

My house is full of rectangles, because I like lines. Lines of poetry, lines of prose, lines of cocaine. (I'm kidding about that last one. Cocaine scares me.)

My house is black and white and grey, because the world is not made of absolutes, and because white is clean and pretty and pure, and because black is dark and twisted and mean, and because I am all of those things. (It is also red, but only in splashes, like menstrual blood.)

My house is full of books and music and things to cook with, but not much else, because those are the things that are important to me.

So I'm not really a feminist. (Or good at smooth segues.) But I don't expect a boy to hold open the car door for me, because, unless both my arms are broken, I can probably open it myself. I don't expect him to pay for stuff, because I have money, too. I don't expect him to know how to fix things just because he is a boy. I sort of like taking out the garbage. I will not get married, and I wish I didn't have to have my father's last name, because I am not identifiable property, but short of changing it to something (Ramone, maybe), I guess it'll have to do. I know how to open a tight lid, although I will sometimes ask for help because it's quicker and his biceps are bigger than mine. I will hang out with the boys on the patio rather than with the girls in the kitchen. I don't have babies, or even want them. I think we should all try to be nice to each other, and not rape each other or punch each other or call each other names or make each other feel bad to make ourselves feel good. This isn't about being a girl; it's about being a person.

Therefore, it is very late and everyone should have a house that they like and boys and girls should forget about being boys and girls and just concentrate on being human beings.