Some people love to travel. Nothing makes them happier that packing up an assortment of bathing suits and tourist shoes and hopping a plane to somewhere with strangers who think they’re strange and giving exactly zero cares about that. Some of these people are nice. Some of them are insufferably superior.
I am not one of them.
Hi. My name is Lauren, and I’m a hermit.
Though I’ve never lived anywhere exotic, I’ve moved on average every 1.4 years of my life. I’m always the new kid, I’m always trying to fit in. I’ve reinvented myself more times than Cher, I’m half her age and only a smidgen as fabulous. I can unpack and decorate a house faster than Ty Pennington and a slew of helpful neighbors who want to be on TV and maybe see what’s in your drawers. I can do the entire thing in 24 hours, but last time I forced myself to take 48 like a mentally healthy person. Jon kept wanting to SIT DOWN FOR A MINUTE like the gallery wall would hang itself or something.
I like to be home. I like to make “home” an awesome place to be, (like it needed any help). It’s where my couch, blanket, wine, and Netflix are. It’s where my cats are waiting with their unconditional tolerance. It’s where my books live, it’s where my art supplies hang out. It’s where potential dinner is stored, in pieces that will be assembled exactly to my preference. For the most part there are no pants, bras, strangers, traffic, or informational input I could do without. (It’s Nebraska, Fox News is playing on every courtesy TV everywhere. I’ve only paused to remind the TVs to fact check themselves, like, a handful of times, though.)
Moving here – to this sweet 2 story apartment that I’ve decorated with a successful blend of Jon’s red things signed by people who played catch for a living and my books, art and Sherlock Holmes nutcracker – felt like an accomplishment compared to the strange places we’ve been. For the first 4 years of our marriage, we’ve had zero choices for housing in rural Midwestern towns with livestock related front page news.
In Kansas, we lived in an extremely crooked house on the main drag of a town that turned off it’s one stoplight when the 600 student college let out. It had shag carpet and wood paneling in varying shades of dishwater. Our first couch was a cast off from the dorms. The front yard faced the main entrance to the school, sporting a sign “Sterling College, Partner With God” whose shrub accents sheltered a few of Jon’s football team mates as they tried to find their way back home after “laundry nights”. The guys reimbursed us with Natty Light, which we never actually drank. We were 22 year old student newlyweds; so it was basically Camelot.
In Central City (Central to a population of brown cows and yellow corn, mostly) we lived in a unique apartment with brown and yellow (sensing a theme?) floral carpet that was, as every other material in the place, 20 years old when it was installed in the eighties. IN THE KITCHEN. The stairwell lights were rigged to our own electrical bill and tobacco stains leached out of the lovely built-ins and arched doorways. It DID however, have normal walls, so we considered it a disappointingly uncool step up.
But HERE is amazing. We had out pick from SEVERAL places with beige walls AND floors. La Di Da! And actual vent fans, and a dishwasher, and disposal! Such Riches! I love this beige palace with it’s easy access to ethnic take out.
That sounds so good. I’m calling the tikka korma place now. No. Shawarma. Pad Thai?
All of the above. Leftovers for Daaayyyyyys.