I’m Not Buying It For You

No, this isn’t a post about the toddler having a meltdown because I won’t let him get a pony. It’s about how we are shopping for a home.

Yesterday our realtor (see a picture of his dog!) came over during nap time to draft an offer on a place. There may or may not have been beer involved. And scotch.

drink glasses

It was a helpful sit-down, but scary. I will pretty much want to vomit until we hear back on our offer tomorrow or Wednesday. If our offer is accepted, I’ll want to vomit through all the next steps. But that’s in the future. I’m here to complain about the present.

We have been looking at homes in our glorious historic neighborhood, and in a couple nearby towns. My heart and my ego want to live in the city proper. I could wax poetic about why this is. But, practicality and circumstance have led us to a house 3.5 miles from here, in the suburb of East Grand Rapids.

If you’re from the area, you can just call it, “East.” If you’re from here, you kinda have to curl your lip when you say, “East.” Because you picture Patagonia-clad full-time moms out jogging. Where are their children? With the nanny! You picture million dollar lakefront houses. Audis purring into winding driveways. A little downtown area that has heated sidewalks to keep the snow away. Get a shovel already, right?

And when I tell you we are looking at houses in East, something happens to your eyes. You like me. At least you thought you did. So you try to keep your eyeballs from rolling up into your head, and keep your mouth from saying, “La-dee-da!”

Dude. I know. The taxes are higher, and I imagine some residents view living there as a status symbol. It’s super white, and there’s a lot of wealth. Here’s the thing about us (maybe) buying a house there:

I’m not buying it for you.

I’m buying a home for my family. If this offer doesn’t work out, we’ll continue looking in East (eye roll). I want to be able to walk to the library. Walk to the grocery store. Walk to the lake. Our kid’s schools. The coffee shop. Actually, it’s a Starbucks, and annoying. Maybe I’ll petition to open a real coffee shop. And, ya, I want to walk to the mother effing yoga studio. In my Keens.

And ya, our friends here are totally allowed to make fun of us. And ya, I feel unresolved about all of it. For now. I’ll work through that eventually. I hope everyone else is able to do the same.

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5 Responses to I’m Not Buying It For You

  1. pia says:

    Dude. You’ve seen my house. I can’t walk to the grocery store, but our kid is going to go to the best elementary school in the area. We do what we choose to do for a reason. Don’t be so worked up about it, you’ll do just fine. I have!

  2. Kitty says:

    Huh. Living in the burbs, far be it from me to criticize you for moving to the burbs. If it’s better for you and your family right now, then it’s better. (Walkability is not a common feature of burbs, so sounds like you found a pretty awesome place.) I’m sure your friends are way too understanding and mature to be so judgmental. 😉

  3. Liz says:

    It’s funny that I read this on the same day I listened to an NPR story about the growth of poverty in the suburbs. GR was one of the cities they discussed. Anyway, I’m assuming they weren’t talking about *this* particular suburb.

    Girl, you’re the one who’s gonna live there, and it’s your money paying for it, so guess what? You get to live whererever you want, and it’s nobody else’s business. Period. Do what will make you happiest and gives you peace of mind on a daily basis.

    And speaking of surburbs, I’m starting my clinical in Silver Spring next week (in the geriatric ED at Holy Cross). Too bad I can’t meet you for a drink afterwards. : (

    • alanajoyski says:

      Thanks, lady. You’re right. My struggle on this issue is mostly mine – not other peoples’ (isn’t it always). Because I want a forever home in our hood. But this is what we can do now. And the more I grow used to the idea of this house, the giddier I am about it being our home.

      I am so bummed I can’t meet u for drinks, too! Xo for your rotation!

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