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Closure December 7, 2007

Posted by Sparkel in family, home improvements, to friend or not to friend.
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Last night I had a talk with M’s sister, Karla.  A two hour, “let’s get out everything we’ve been wanting to say, even if this is really random,” talk.  I finally said “you know what, whatevs” and told her things I’ve wanted to tell her for a good two years.  That I think she’s been selfish and manipulative about things.  That she put her mom and brother in a really awkward position, and even if I did too, I never tried to make them choose like she did.  That most of the time I couldn’t stand being in the same room with her, and that’s why I spent so much time in my room.  That I busted my ass to make the house a home, and all anyone ever does is use my stuff, and never contributes or offers money, and because of it it’s hard to not feel like they’re using me.  That I felt like I was living with someone else’s family, and it was lonely.  That I was angry at her and her mom for abandoning all affection they had for me so quickly, and even if I’ve gotten past a lot of it, I’m still not over it and don’t know when I will be.

Miracle of miracles- she listened and understood.  She told me that I’ve been cold and distant, and it made living in the house miserable.  My response?   “Good.  That’s exactly what I wanted you all to be because that’s exactly what I was.”  I admitted that I went a touch overboard, and that I was rude at times and could have gone about things in a better way, but overwhelmingly I honestly feel that I was reacting to them, and I refuse to accept even half the blame.  And another miracle?  She agreed.  She said “you felt like we divorced you” and I told her that was exactly it.  She said that she wants me to feel like part of the family, and that when she talks about me, she refers to me as her sister or sister in law, and that for a long time she just didn’t understand why I was acting the way I was.  I told her that I did feel like part of the family for the first two years I was with M, and that’s why it hurt so much when they disregarded my side and my feelings.  I told her that I didn’t understand why, if family is so important, the fact that M loves me, and is happy with me, and that I’ve tried SO. DAMN. HARD. to be a good girlfriend to him means nothing unless I’m getting along with Karla.  I told her that I’m not a horrible person, and M doesn’t think I’m a horrible person, and that should count for something, right?  And she said they never thought I was a horrible person, they just didn’t understand why I was so cold.  But now she does, and she’s sorry for everything.  I told her that this conversation needed to happen before I got over my anger.  That she can’t just pretend everything is fine and expect me to do the same because I don’t work that way.  I need apologies.  I need explanations.  Sue me.  I can do the same, and admit when I’m wrong, so I need other people to suck it up and do the same.  I told her that it’s selfish of her to move out a year after we moved in because M and I cannot afford the house on our own.  She tearfully told me that she’s 30, and has dreams of having her own house.  I told her that we all have dreams, and that (no offense) but living with my boyfriends family isn’t what I thought I’d be doing at 22.  And M’s mom probably didn’t think she’d be divorced and have to rely on her kids.  But we all agreed and made the choice, and we all have to live with it.  She said she never thought of it that way, and that she’s not going anywhere without helping us until we can afford otherwise.

I finally feel what I’ve needed to feel regarding her- closure.  I relayed the conversation to M, and he seems happy that we finally had it out.  I’m happy too.

The pros and cons of owning a home December 4, 2007

Posted by Sparkel in annoyances, home improvements.
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Pro: The obvious; you can paint, nail things onto the wall, do pretty much whatever you feel like as long as you fix it when you try to sell.

Con: You are responsible for anything that goes wrong. And the things that go wrong are never. cheap.

Pro: More obvious: the tax benefits, the money you hopefully accrue, the pride that comes with owning something vs. blowing money on something that will never be yours.

Con: Yeah…the whole “you’re financially responsible for everything” is worth two mentions. It really sucks.

Ever since we moved into the house, we’ve been forced to take half hot/half cold showers. As in the water will be gloriously warm for approximately three minutes, and then turn freezing and stay freezing even as you weep and corner yourself to the opposing wall and gingerly stick your body parts under one by one to rinse off soap. I’ve tried speed-showering, tried shutting off the water after I shampoo and rinse to allow the water heater to heat a few more precious gallons, and yeah…no matter what I do I find myself standing under a waterfall of what feels like ice. M doesn’t mind too much because he likes his showers to be lukewarm as is. Me? I like practically scalding hot water. For a good 15-20 minutes. I like to be able to lather/rinse/repeat, leave conditioner in to soak while I shave and soap up, and it is impossible to do all that needs to be done in under 10 minutes.

So, this morning I finally break down and try to call service people to see if there is a quick solution. They all give me the same answer: “We can replace your tank for the low low price of (enter slightly varying estimates of more than a few hundred dollars, that frankly, with still recovering from my half job month, the enormous dentist bill, the trip to El Salvador and Christmas AND bills, I just don’t have.)”

And suddenly I’m wistfully looking back at the days of my parents glorious (working) water heater that provided all the scalding water I craved, or the apartment where even if I had this problem, it would be someone else’s financial problem. It will work out. But it will suck, and leave another (albiet relatively small, considering I don’t live alone) hole in my wallet.

Money? Sucks.

Home Improvements and Harry Potter August 21, 2007

Posted by Sparkel in books & movies & shows, home improvements, school.
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This past weekend was very uneventful.  Friday M and I saw Superbad, which was so. freaking. funny.  Seriously, go see it now!  I worked on Saturday, then M and I snuggled up on the couch and watched Vacancy.  Sunday we slept in, then went to Target and Ikea to get some things for the house.  We (well, mostly M) are doing more and more things to improve the house, and it’s coming along slowly but surely.  We watch shows like Flip That House or My First House all the time to get ideas.  Right now M is sanding down all the cabinets in the bathrooms so we can stain them.  We decided that there are three big projects we are going to save up for so we can do them next summer; fix up the patio (lifting the ugly bricks that aren’t at all level so everyone trips everywhere and the tables and chairs rock, pulling up a really ugly tree, and put new dirt down to level things out, then put stones in; redo the entire kitchen (new stone floor, rip off the wallpaper and paint, redo the cabinets and countertops and buy a new fridge and stove); and redo the floors in all of the bathrooms with either stone or marble.  We’re really into stone (as you can probably tell.)  We actually have the same taste and the same ideas for what needs to get done, so the planning of it all is going pretty smoothly.  We found a kitchen we both LOVE at Ikea, so we’re going to go back and talk to someone and see if we can do a layaway or something like it.  We’re also going to buy two stones for the patio and kitchen every week for the next 9 months so the cost of it all doesn’t hit all at once.  I’m getting really excited.  Whether we decide to keep the house for longer than we thought, or sell it in a few years, all of the work and improvements we’re making should get us a decent amount back.  We saw three other houses in the same complex when we were looking, and they were pretty crappy.  The house we bought is the best out of the four, and we needed to re-carpet and paint the entire house, and the previous owners gave us an additional $7000 for repairs, so…that tells you it wasn’t in the best shape.  But it’s becoming something to be proud of, so…we’re happy. 

I also finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last night.  I cried and cannot wait for book 7.  I planned to wait until it came out in paperback because I don’t like paying $20 for a book, but yea…I got it this morning at Target.  Damn you Harry Potter, and the insatiable need to finish all of you that has taken over my brain and life (and wallet)!  I think that when I’m finished I may re-read all of them, but I may just wait for winter break.  Gawd…where did summer go?  I can’t believe school is starting again.  Well, my school is very different than other schools with its schedule, so only one of my classes begins in September.  The rest start at the end of October.  Which is actually a pretty sweet deal, so…I won’t complain. 

Gotta get to work.