My American dream didn’t turn out quite the way society planned. I’m 28. Unmarried. No children. I live with my boyfriend, or as I like to say, domestic partner. Our partnership was made “official” by a notary at Bank of America, who after stamping and signing the form we gave her, handed it back with an arched eyebrow and these four cool words:
Good luck with that.
Now we’re getting a house. We’re getting it together, but the mortgage is only in my name. And don’t get me started on how much that confuses people. The mortgage guy, the inspection guy, the closing attorney. They all need a man to talk to, a man’s name to write down on their paperwork.
Then there’s the confusing notion that we’re buying a three bedroom home for our non-growing family. Despite the fact that he’s never met me, our roofer decided we needed to put up a fence in the backyard to protect the children we don’t have or want from wobbling helplessly into the retention pond. (Good point. I hadn’t thought of that.)
But none of that skepticism or confusion or presumption has made us any less excited about our first home.
She’s a blue two-story charmer in a suburbia section of Charleston. From curb to chimney, she holds so many corners of our revamped American dream.
Like having a mailbox of our very own. And a doorstep to receive packages when we’re not there. A kitchen table to sit down at for dinner—even if we never do. A backyard with a patio . . . and mosquitoes the size of your thumbnail. Enough space for our sweet pups to run around. And stairs they’ll undoubtedly use for racing. Room to store Christmas decorations. A place to put up a tree. An office where I’ll have a hammock chair. An informal living area. An even less formal den. Enough closet space that I can actually stock up on wrapping paper when it goes on sale. And enough space between us and the neighbors to allow for a good old-fashioned yelling match every once and awhile.
No, my dream is not quite cookie-cut from the same seersucker cloth as most southern belles, but it’s a dream just the same.
And I know there will be breakdowns. Mortgage payments scare the mess out of me. And I only have to make 360 of them before I really own anything. The HVAC will go out one day. The water heater too. (God bless us if those two things happen anytime near each other.) We’ll outgrow our extra 600 square feet before we even get moved in. And we’ll panic when something breaks and there’s no online portal to put in our maintenance request.
But from now until the closing date, it’s still my dream home, as perfect as I could have ever imagined it.
So we’ll take all the “good luck” we can get, even if it’s coming from judgmental notaries. And we’ll embark—with an embarrassing amount of optimism—on life’s next big adventure.
The only one that comes with hazard insurance and a termite bond.