Monday, February 17, 2014

Housing Crisis, part 2

The commute – both the cost and the irritation – was the tipping point. One too many bad drives and one spin ‘round a commute calculator made me realize that it was time to move out of Liz’s house but it isn’t the only contributing factor.

In some ways, I’ve been ready to move out for a long time.

I wanted to move out for the entirety of Liz’s 9 month relationship with Fluff. They were always respectful but it was just awkward to be in a house with a couple. It was weird walking in the door at night to them hanging out on the couch. It was strange coming downstairs to the two of them having coffee in the morning. I always felt like I was interrupting something. I was always hidden away upstairs – in my bedroom or in the office – because I felt like I was in the way.

It’s only weirder now that Liz is dating around. She’s calmed down a bit since the beginning of the year but for a while she was really, really dating around. And I was regularly playing the role of the random girl in yoga pants who would show up in the kitchen, interrupting yet another second date. I never got the impression that it bothered Liz but it's never been a situation that I have enjoyed beyond having a few good stories about the parade of weirdos in the living room.

There is also the matter of living in someone else's home. It would be different if Liz and I were sharing an apartment that we were both leasing. We would be equals. But the house is her house and I am always going to abandon the sporting event/random documentary that I'm watching in the living room if I get the impression that she wants to watch the awful reality television of her choosing. It's her television. It's her couch. It's her house.

In addition to feeling like I am eternally trying to be a gracious houseguest, living with Liz makes me feel like I am just short of being a real adult. It makes me feel like I am Liz's poor, loser cousin who she is charitably giving a place to stay. It's not the truth but it's often how it feels.

Especially now that I know how much Liz makes per year. She doesn't need me in that house. Not even close.

And, finally, there is the issue of Liz's dog. Mia is a complete terror. She is perfectly sweet when it is just the two of us but the minute someone else walks in the door – or past the door – or parks their car near the house and she is The Worst. A total sociopath of a barking menace. It's so annoying and, for whatever reason, Liz has never really made an effort to train that dog. I hate to say it (because Liz loves her so) but Mia is awful.
Like I said: she can be sweet.

Mia hates little kids, which means Lucy has been to the house exactly one time since I moved in (approximately three weeks before Baby A was born). Mia hates adults, too, which means she gets shipped to Liz's mom every time Liz has a party. She's just so bad that it isn't even worth having anyone over and putting up with the dog's anxiety, which comes out as aggression. Eventually the dog settles down but it's just hell until she does. It's not worth it.

Mia's the perfect size to jump up and punch The Coach in the junk when he's over (while maniacally barking), which is behavior that I find infuriating. I especially love the part where I leave her outside, to keep her from punching him in the junk, and she just barks incessantly. It really creates a special ambiance. The Coach isn't a big dog person to begin with (yes, I also think that's potentially a very big red flag) and Mia does nothing to help the situation.

Needless to say, I don't have a lot of friends over. Seriously. Let's meet for coffee so we don't have to deal with the untrained dog princess and so I don't have to feel like an awful person for inviting someone to be barked at for 20 stressful minutes. Followed shortly thereafter to her rubbing affectionately up against whomever it was she was previously trying to kill.

I have learned to live with Mia, just like I've learned to live with all of the other imperfect aspects of living with Liz. (Just as she's learned to live with the imperfect aspects of living with me, I imagine.) But I think there's something to be said for knowing when it is time to move on. And it's time to move on.

Once I sort out the details.


Lynn said...

I don't think not being a dog person is necessarily a red flag. I wasn't either but some nice, well trained dogs have made me come around. Although I will always love cats more.

my life is brilliant said...

I grew up a cat person. I was always only around cats until high school, when I met my first boyfriend's dog, who had a real problem with sticking her nose in people's crotches. Super embarrassing to a high school girl. Actually, the ugh I dated the rest of high school had dogs who did that too. Mortifying. Cemented my preference for cats—or so I thought.

I got a crappy cat (Noodle. I blogged about him way back when), who tortured me for 9 months. I found a new home for him, and that guy could only stand the bastard cat for 3 months, if that. And then I found Piper. She's pretty much the best dog ever.

Turns out that all it takes to turn a lifelong Cat Person into a full-fledged Dog Person is the world's worst cat, followed by the world's best dog!

Accidentally Me said...

First...yes, not being a dog person is a red flag. He doesn't have to like ALL dogs, but if he has a problem with big goofy labs, then you should have a problem with him:-D!

Does all of this finally mean you are going to do some house-shopping? Among the half-dozen major life initiatives I have outlined for you, I feel like this is probably the most reasonable!!!

A said...

You make a good point, Lynn. And I would totally confess to not being a cat person but that's probably because I've never really been exposed to one either.

MLIB - Noodle! I do vaguely remember Noodle. And I am certainly familiar with Miss Piper and her enduring sweetness and general awesomeness.

Okay, okay. I relent on the dog person red flag. Mia is a horrible measure for his potential to love/tolerate any animal, honestly, because she's such a little bitch.

And, AM: I'll eventually get around to discussing the house shopping. So much to think about and I totally use blogging to organize my thoughts.

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