It’s been a while since I’ve looked at the phone, willing it to ring, willing the person on the other side to say “Yes, you are the chosen one”. Trying to play it cool; not seeming overly awkward with how much I want to be that chosen one, not seeming too desperate. Trying to give off the image of a cool collected individual instead of a wretched desperate woman begging to be accepted. Ahem. That never happened.
In the past, it was jobs, it was boys, it was competitions I was never destined to win. There was a mixture of acceptance and rejection over the years; none as bad as the ones who never called at all. I tried to retain the illusion of sanity, of nonchalance, of being too busy to care. Then I became a Mammy, and my hormones went nuts and haven’t really allowed me to perform this illusion as perfectly. Perhaps I should have stuck with the drama degree.
These days it isn’t jobs or boys that have me waiting by the phone. Facebook informed me yesterday that myself and himself became Facebook friends a grand total of three years ago to the day; which is a good reasonable amount of time to have stopped that particular reason to fling the phone at a wall, cursing it, wondering whether my number was lost or mistaken or if the guy in question was just a douche (the latter is the most likely answer. This ain’t no Hollywood movie. Alls well that ends well). On the job front that has been stable too for the last two years; the odd variance of wishing to move about but all in the same, rather lovely, company. So what has me so on edge?
A house. Holy hell Batman, I’m a grownup.
Last year when we moved into our two bed, two bath apartment with our then five month old son, I initially started the year with a “it’s just a year. Next year there will be a house”. Then I discovered just how crap the reality of moving house with an infant who would give Superglue competition for how attached he could be is. We got settled. I started to like, maybe even love, the apartment we considered home. I stopped waiting for something better to come along. It was central. It was in our budget. Sure, the dryer was next to useless, half the things were broken, but it was big and friendly and had our stuff in it. Home is where the Nespresso machine is, and all of that. It’s where my son took his first steps, walking from his Daddy into my arms. It’s where many nights of co-sleeping, snuggles, crying and laughter happened. We thought we might extend our lease. My desire for a garden was overcome by my desire to not have to actually move all of our stuff from the places we had finally unpacked it to, we were happy.
Rental market being as it is at the moment we should have been more prepared for the possibility of a rise in rent. That combined with some issues which came up with our landlord and boundaries meant it was time to don our house hunting hats and take on the murky underworld of Daft.ie once more.
Hell. Yes hell. As painful as moving stuff from House A to House B is, finding a House B to move to is a million times worse. Limited ads, lots with no pictures (why??), blatant lies in the listings (don’t tempt me with the thoughts of a dishwasher/dryer/garden if it doesn’t have one!) and the ever growing stack of listings marked as “Student Accomodation only” make the search for a new abode the fodder for a mental breakdown. Add to this landlords who don’t answer the phone, landlords who will only rent to students, and landlords who promise to call and never do. It’s a wonder I’m not back in the psychiatrists office begging for mercy.
For a fifth of my life, even a bit more, I studied Economics. The science of demand and supply. I’ve even got a degree in the damn thing. So the basic principles of “when there is feck all supply the prices are going to be ludicrous” is not beyond my reasoning. I expected to see bad quality, damp on walls (“Just needs a lick of paint – and a hazmat suit to enter”) and furniture that survived World War 2. Seeing it would have meant that I actually got a foot in the door. We started hunting in early July thanks to our landlord issues. This was to be our solution to avoiding the student rush in a city dominated by students nine months of the year. Our solution solved nothing. Calling letting agency after letting agency to be told that the ad gone up mere minutes before was null and void as the house was either taken or completely booked up for viewings. We upped our upper budget limit. Who needs food? We lowered our standards and upped the distance we would travel on a daily basis. I began to understand why people live in the countryside.
Then I got a chance. In the last 24 hours I have viewed two houses. Both three bedroom. One in the city centre but in a student area. One in a housing estate in a suburb but on a bus route. The first one was small – not unreasonably so, I imagine if we didn’t own half of Smyths toy store as well as stuff that is well overdue a charity-shop/skip dumping we could make it work. But we do, and I’m not sure dumping a lot of it (not to mention the toys) is an option. The second house, though further out and more expensive, is a storage heaven. Complete with not one but two gardens. And a dishwasher. Let’s not go there about having a separate dryer to washing machine.
I’m in love. Himself wasn’t really getting much choice in the matter but we’re in agreement; this is the place for us. I’m already envisioning doing up E’s room, making it a home for us.
The one downer on the whole thing is that I’m likely not going to be the only one in love with this house. When I explained my level of interest as “very interested” (way to not appear desperate!) I was told I’d be emailed an application form to be sent to the landlord. After that, we’re left waiting, and hoping it doesn’t take as long as Godot did. We hope the landlord likes us and sees we’re two young “professionals” with a kid who just want a nice place to live. No parties. No wrecking the place. Just a home, where we can while away our evenings, watch some Netflix, tell bedtime stories and cuddle up on the couch.
Too much to ask? I’m waiting for the phone to ring…