June 26, 2014

Day 25: What I Really Want

The house where I grew up

One of the worst parts about moving frequently is that you never really get around to remembering your address.  I mean, there's only so many random number combinations you can fit in your head, and I'd much rather reserve mine for taco take-out numbers.

The thing is, not knowing your own address is sort of cute when you're in kindergarten but when you're a 23-year-old in the check-out line of a craft store... then you're just sort of weird.

And as you can imagine, that's exactly where I found myself yesterday evening.  Luckily for me, I have a habit of telling cashiers my life story (shout-out to the Trader Joe's girl who bagged my hummus last week, by the way). So the girl at Utrecht Art Supplies wasn't too judgmental; instead, she just told me that to become a Utrecht Preferred Member, I could just give her any address.  They weren't actually going to send me anything.

Now, normally I don't get these membership-type cards but the sound of being "preferred" just seemed so... preferable. That, and it saved me $5.00.  So I danced their little dance and said, "Oh cool, I'll just give you my parents' address then. They're never going to move anyway."

It was again one of those things that just come out of your mouth without any sort of approval process.  At least this time, I wasn't inspiring pity in a guy dressed as a slice of pepperoni, but I still left the store wondering, "Why in the world did I tell her that?"

Naturally, I answered myself: "Because my parents haven't moved yet... why would they start now?"  And it's true; my parents moved into their house shortly after I was born almost 24 years ago, and have been there since.  My entire childhood is centered on the that house.  My entire life, for that matter.  I look at the backyard and see a life's worth of memories: being chased up the slide by our slightly terrifying black lab when I was six, playing "Emergency Vets" with my brother, sister, and an assortment of stuffed animals when I was nine, sitting on the bench swing with Derrick the first time he came to Maryland when I was nineteen.

I've grown up; I make hard-boiled eggs in the apartment I pay for while pretending my cable bill on the counter doesn't exist.  But no matter how many arguments I get in with Comcast and how many eggs I wind up throwing against a wall because those damn things won't un-shell, I can always come home to that house and settle right back into where it all started.

I've been thinking a lot lately about what my goals are for the future and every time, I keep landing right back to this: I want to make for my future children the kind of world my parents made for me.  It might not be any time soon but in the end, that's all I really want.

Right after I figure out how to operate hard-boiled eggs, that is.