|Really - it was fancier than this!|
These were my feelings last night when I walked into the home of a book club member. A home designed and decorated in a style nothing like mine but in such an obviously expensive, no holds barred extravaganza of molding and cabinetry and designer excess that I was a bit awestruck.
Since we host the club meetings on a rotating basis and we now have 20 members (!) I may end up moving before it is my turn. If not, I have no idea where I will put them all. My little house was overflowing when we had 10 members. It isn't like I am the only member with a small home. One member regularly hosts in a restaurant rather than try to make the logistics work and I could do that.
Part of my chagrin is that we rent and the home has not been well maintained by the owners before we moved in or since. At the very least it needs paint and it's long overdue for a lot of updating and repairs beyond what Tom is willing to do out of our pockets - because we have already done quite a bit of that. So these things are not in my control. I don't want to go around making excuses for the "substandard" place in which we live but it is always in my mind when people are over.
The wistfulness comes because we had really nice homes in the past. Not only spacious, but nicely decorated and maintained. We have never had high end interior designer budgets, but then again, I don't really have a taste for a lot of frou-frau and embellishments. (Twice I have visited the houses we sold after the new owners poured a lot of money into them and for the most part, I think they were nicer before all the moldings and granite inlays and such were added!)
I enjoyed my nice homes when we had them and was aware of how fortunate we were.
I was willing to give up our last house for the little rental because it was in support of Tom pursuing his dream of a law practice. And 10 years later I am feeling, well, tired.
Maybe what it boils down to is loss. I don't see an end to our financial stresses. I don't see a time when we could own our own home again and have the ability to paint and choose window coverings and light fixtures and all those silly things that I feel so shallow just writing about but still somehow have a hold on me.
So I guess the feeling isn't envy - I don't want what my book club member has. I want to have something that is my own again.