Saturday, September 19, 2009

dirt & paint

our neighbor Elaine often shares that she is perfectly okay with her home being dirty. and it is. dust bunnies, caked on dirt in corners and untouched spaces, dust, plaque, and various pieces of collections and shit (as her husband John likes to call it) everywhere.

you would think that with this self awareness of how dirty ones home is would lead one to clean their home. if you think that - which i totally do - you think wrong. this is the deal - Elaine's mom was a cleanaholic. she cleaned everything all the time, everywhere. even places where no one would think to look (i.e. under the bedroom dressers, in the cabinets under the bathroom sink - you all know you don't often clean these space, come on!). Elaine reasons her lack of cleaning desires by rationalizing sharing that she did enough cleaning in her younger years (through force from mom) to fill her for a lifetime. reason enough i guess.

i have this thing about our nasty apartment home. there is no way i could be like Elaine's mom in this apartment. i would literally go insane. i know i've mentioned this in previous posts, but bear with me for a moment if you will.

i think the reason i have been recently fixated on our home not being "clean" or welcoming is because of it's lack of cleanliness - or should i say presenting lack of cleanliness because we clean & wash with regularity - but the crap & plaque on the walls just won't come off!. it really drives me crazy sometimes because i feel (again - please feel free to affirm the insanity here) as though our home is not welcoming because it is so, so... sticky. which in the end makes it not feel like a "home" to us.

the hot pink, peach, yellow and baby blue walls are not our own; the ready-made furniture with holes, stains, and flaws (with the exception of the computer desk) are not our own; the beds that make a ridiculous amount of noise every time we have sex is not our own; the plastic & wooden dressers that don't match, stack or really serve the storing purpose are not our own; the fake marble shelves are not our own; and well, most everything else is not our own either.

it does not represent us, who we are, what we love, or how we would live if we were to walk into an empty space and make it our own. something that defines us, identifies us, or welcomes us and others home at the end of some very long days.

now, don't get me wrong here. i know that my/our identity is not in our home and who knows if we will ever feel at home in a structure with walls. i am aware that in feeling this way there is a part of me that simply just needs wants affirmation from others that we have a cool place that represents us, welcomes them and is comfortable for all. i totally get this and the fact that i am, in fact, looking for affirmation in the wrong place.

still, our home is nasty. so - for all: we took pictures and did a little work today (after going to get dunkin' coffee).

who was this guy who lived here? did he EVER clean?

after our paint job -
we're still deciding if we really like the color or not.
i think i may be leaning toward yes.

this is the thing - Elaine & John's home is one of the most welcoming homes i have been in. you (okay - i) notice the dust bunnies floating around, the dog hair all over the couch, the dust building on their pez collection, frog collection, spoon collection, thimble collection, video collection (you get the point) - but what you really notice is the dinner cooking on the stove, your favorite snack (monga bread!) waiting for you in the cookie jar and the soda (such a treat!) in the freezer getting cold just for you.

i'm hoping that this paint job will help affirm me in my need to have a clean house and make the best of this temporary home(?) here. i will try to follow in Elaine's footsteps and not base my worth and ability to provide a welcoming home based on the cleanliness (or presenting cleanliness) of our home(?). but maybe this paint job will help me in this.

p.s. you should also know that Elaine & John's bathrooms are super super clean all the time. that's John's thing and he does it well.


cory said...

haha. yours is the most welcoming home i've been in on this side of the atlantic.

let me say also, that the dog hair in John & Elaine's place gets to me.

Krista said...

The color of the new cupboards looks good. But moreover, the "paint job" looks well done!
I will concur that sometimes it is just hard for me to relax when I feel that things are not clean. And in a rental house, there are so many areas where things can be sticky, caked-on, stained, etc. It can get a person down from time to time.
You are smart to take a step or two to make the house your own, but to also recognize that there is more to make a house a home than its four walls, its furniture, etc. I don't know you, but I sense that your friends and family love visiting your home! And as for its physical surroundings, here's wishing you the opportunity to one day have "the house of your dreams"!

Rachel said...

Your home is welcoming. For sure.

Jake and Jess said...

cory & rach - much love.

krista - thanks for stopping by! you thought the paint job was good - you should see it with the handles on! thanks for the well wishes and stop on over anytime!

Christin said...

Your home is one of the most welcoming homes I've ever been in. It's not the building that makes something welcoming, it's the people and love that make it a home. I know it sounds uber-cheesey, but it's no less true. Though - I struggle with the same exact stuff. :) So when can we get together again? I miss you guys!
- Christin

Lauren said...

I just remember waking up at your place and you throwing the newspaper at me and saying "Read - what do you want for breakfast" as jake cooked an awesome breakfast. It may have been my favorite Sunday morning of last year.

I miss spending time with you guys - it always feels peaceful, welcoming and it is a place I look forward to visiting each time.

Jake and Jess said...

lauren - please come visit soon!

christin - next weekend?