In the last two months, two friends have bought houses - you know, four-walled structures with backyards and driveways - and a third bought a condo. None of them are married - in fact, they're all single. None of them have had their job for longer than two years. And they are all my age.
Can we dwell?
They are my age.
I've always seen myself as the grounded, responsible, straight-and-narrow type. I made Honor Roll in middle school, can cook a quiche, know who Kristin Scott Thomas is, and vote in midterm elections. If I didn't know myself better, I'd peg myself as a ready-made homeowner.
Except I am standing here aghast thinking:
Why are you excited to own a home? Have you hit menopause?
Frequent readers know I view marriage/relationships/everlasting love as an anchor - but guess what? Here's an even bigger anchor. It's not even metaphorical. It's a bloody mortgage tying you to a place for, like, as long as the real estate market wants to keep you. Can you think of anything scarier?
(Therapist: "Do you think you have control issues?")
I'm not against buying homes just as I'm not against marriage. They're a good investment. If you're going to live somewhere where you want to stay long term, your rent might as well go toward a homeowner's loan - but they're also permanent. You can't cast them aside next year when you get a new job/find a long-distance lover/decide you need to experience Southeast Asia. You can't break up with them in a single conversation or a text. Professionals have to get involved.
So why are you smiling in your selfie with that prison behind you?!
Also, where did you get this money? Did your birth parents contact you and reveal themselves to be the monarchs of Morocco? You haven't had your a *real* *adult* job for more than 14 months! Are you laundering?
I understand people have different goals than me. No one needs to adhere to my dreams to find personal happiness and success. Nevertheless, it freaks me out when friends embrace things that scare me more than vats of hair and arachnids. How does anyone at 24 know they want a potentially decades-long attachment to a certain city or neighborhood?
Maybe more disconcerting to me is, why does the notion appall, alarm, and befuddle me? Am I so flighty that I embody an irresponsible, candle-in-the-wind millennial? Should I be less agitated by the prospect of homeownership? One day I'll settle down, too . . . won't I? What scares me about permanence?
(*Therapist stares back at me.*)
Well, the answer isn't in this paragraph. Or the next one. But what I do realize is (after sending a mass Snapchat to friends declaring, Everyone buying homes . . . STOP), no one is asking me to buy a house. No one is asking me to marry them (nor am I asking anyone). These aren't threats to my current being. Let my friends decide what color to paint their new kitchen while I daydream about where I'll move next year.
In the meantime, I'll try to stay in town long enough for your housewarming.