Despite the constant cynicism and Daria-like personality I project, I am quite an emotional person. Even when not under the influence of mood-altering substances I'm a crier. As documented earlier, I have cried at an episode of Pimp my Ride, and I cannot watch a full episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition without weeping into one of the sofa cushions. I have yet to make it through a full sentence without crying when talking about old people and their pets. That is my Achilles' heel, so if you want to hurt me, tell me a sad tale about a pensioner that has to put his or her pet to sleep and I'll be rendered inconsolable.
The past day has found me crying off and on about something that I'm desperately hoping some people will understand -- the sale of my family home. My Mom has been talking of selling her house and downsizing for a few years, but given her tendency for procrastination, I never thought it would happen. I received an email yesterday to say that she had accepted an offer and will move in the middle of next month. This is upsetting as is, but it is exacerbated by the fact that this Christmas will be the first one I have spent back home since moving to the UK three years ago and now it will be in an unfamiliar house, in surroundings that aren't a comfort to me as her house currently is.
I feel like I want to say goodbye to it. I lived from the age of 9 until I left at 22 (I was in college, not leeching off my Mom, for the record), so that is where so much of my life took place - climbing the trees during long, sweltering summer days spent locked outside by my mom in an effort to tear me away from the tv; the lawn I was forced to mow on our rickety riding mower, forever hoping that no cute guys from school would drive by and laugh at me bouncing up and down on this massive contraption over the slight hills in the front yard. It's strange to think I will never again sleep in the bedroom where I would sit on the floor as a teenager, phone in my lap, staring at the phone number of the latest boy that I LIKED liked and hanging up right after dialing the seventh digit.
There are bad memories too, though the fact that they took place in that house somehow tempers their negative emotional impact all these years later. The living room, where I was seated on the left side of the plush blue sofa, when my Mom told me that she and my Dad were separating. I distinctly remember seeing her distorted face as viewed from the bottom of the glass of orange juice I was drinking from as she gave me the news, with my first thoughts rushing to suspect infidelity. My mom's bedroom was the setting for the phone call telling us that my Great Aunt Betty, a woman who played a vital role in our lives as surrogate mother to my mom and surrogate grandmother to me after the death of my maternal grandmother, had passed away suddenly. I recall gazing out the window in disbelief as my Mom cried on my shoulder and I did my 12 year old best to comfort her.
The Dude tried to cheer me up with Manisms such as, "It's only a house." (Oh, THANKS. And so it is. Duh, silly me.) and "At least you have your memories, isn't that enough?" (Short answer: no). I'm sure I will get over it...I won't pine over this house when I'm 56 or anything, but it's difficult to deal with it as this is my place to go home to. Having moved 4000 miles away from "home", I am now acutely aware of that trite phrase "You can never go home again", because I have felt that in subsequent visits. However, I now feel even less that I can never go home again, because the place I will go to is not my home. Some may feel I am overemphasising this concept of "home", but for me it is my ultimate comfort. If my life here, for whatever reason, went horribly wrong I would find solace in the idea that I could go back "home" to get back on my feet. This reliance on this makes me worry that perhaps I'm holding on to something that left a long time ago. I'm an adult now, surely I shouldn't be so fixated on the past?
This is not the only property-related news in my life. On the same day a major feature in my previous life was passed on to another, a big decision was made in my current life as regards to property as well. The Dude and I decided, quite impulsively, to buy another flat in our building which we intend to let. Yes, IVF and property buying in one month is a bit overwhelming, but as we are the least spontaneous people ever, this feels good. If I do get pregnant via IVF this cycle (still not buying that), we might be bordering on the very skint for awhile, but we think it will be worth it down the road. Alternatively, if I don't get pregnant and we decide to give the finger to IF treatment once and for all, one day I'll be driving a very nice Jaguar and seducing a poor defenseless pool boy. Which is the better outcome?