Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Nesting Impulse

As I've mentioned before, Mr. Octo and I have moved around a bit in the past few years. Once we finished college in Pittsburgh, we moved to Las Vegas and lived together for the first time. After three years in Vegas, we moved to Boston, where we've lived for a year now. For the most part, we've really enjoyed this sort of semi-permanent lifestyle. He and I are both fairly adventurous people who like to see new places and try new things, and living on both coasts and making two cross-country road trips in the moving process has afforded us the opportunity to do just that. We've seen nearly the entire country in the past five years, and it was incredible, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

You know what else it means, though? We have an apartment full of ancient, mismatched, cheap furnishings that have been battered to hell and back. Frequent moves, as well as just prioritizing our money elsewhere, have meant that we haven't been able to build up any kind of real "home." We have lots of stuff with no decor scheme (at ALL) and no quality, all packed into a really small, really old Cambridge one-bedroom.

Please note that in this photo alone, we've got black, fake cherry, wicker, and white furniture. Unseen = the fake oak end table behind me.

This hasn't really bothered me until recently. When Bridesmaid Erica got married in April, we spent a lot of the downtime of her wedding weekend hanging out at the adorable house she and her husband recently bought and started working on in the DC suburbs, and Mr. Octo and I were surprised by the pangs of wistfulness we both felt when we left. Bridesmaid Erica has a front porch with a little table and chairs that you can sit on and see the neighborhood. Bridesmaid Erica has granite countertops and refinished floors. Bridesmaid Erica has a guestroom and a little backyard and a cool light fixture from Pottery Barn and walls painted nice colors and a party/sports-watching room in the basement. We have a kitchen that I believe may in fact be smaller than a prison cell, bright pink and purple towels from my freshman year of undergrad, and bathroom furnishings that just never seem to get completely clean. Siiiiggghhh.

Wait, there IS a theme here! And it's "none of the fake wood anywhere in the apartment is the same color!" I'm looking at you, horrible tiny cabinets.

The couch actually used to be pretty decent. When Mr. O hauled it out of his sister's basement five years ago. At this point, the cushions are misshapen and it is slowly turning from beige to gray. I would gladly light this thing on fire.

I've been surprised in the past few years by how typically and predictably my biological clock seems to be unfolding. For the longest time, marriage was not on my radar in any way. People would ask me if Mr. Octo and I were thinking about getting married, and despite the fact that we'd already been together for years and lived together, my answer was an emphatic NO, we weren't ready. Until, one day, we were ready, and jumped into our engagement with guns blazing. We've also happily lived in random apartments with a hodgepodge of stuff dredged from craigslist, garage sales, and relatives' basements for years, until, one day, we were both struck by a whopper of a nesting impulse. Now, suddenly, Mr. O and I find ourselves craving a real home, full of permanent, pretty, adult-appropriate furniture. Currently, the idea of becoming parents makes us both think "YIIIIIIIKES NO THANKS!!!!!", but at the rate we're going, it seems fully possible that in a year or two, one or both of us will wake up with a sudden case of baby fever.

Sigh. First things first. We can't scratch this nesting itch until after September, when the wedding isn't claiming every spare dollar we have. Can't. Wait. West Elm won't know what hit it.

Anyone else feeling the urge to settle down and build up a home with their spouse-to-be?

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