Every time I climb out of the shower I curse my own indecisiveness. Then I apologize to the towels.
Once, our towels were new. I got them when we moved into our home in Philadelphia, roughly the size of the Palace of Versailles. I remember thinking “Look how much money I just spent on towels! I must be a real grown up now!”
But now, those towels, much like my illusive adulthood, are ragged and worn. They are stripping off at the sides. Drying oneself off with them leaves you covered in scraps orange string. These once plush towels even jump off their hooks by themselves as if trying to end their own agony. “Just a little longer,” I urge them.
Why don’t I just go and buy new towels, you ask? The reason is this: I am not buying new towels for an old apartment. We need to buy a new apartment—not new towels. Until we can organize ourselves to tackle this momentous task, we are not entitled to new towels.
The Man of My Dreams, it seems, is having a similar moment. A few weeks ago, a nearby fancy furniture store was closing, promising slashed prices on their inventory. “Ooh, we could do with a new couch,” I thought dreamily. Our previous couch, is starting to sag in an uncomfortable and noticeable way. We’re practically sitting in the lego trays. (To be fair, we dragged it over from our neighbors’ apartment after they decided they were done with it, so it is not the couch’s fault it didn’t have the longevity of, say, our old bed. It met us late in life. But it was great for reading.)
No, insisted Mr. Fun Apartment. No new couch. No even going to look at and sit on new couches. He was very firm on this.
It seems that somewhere, somehow, we crossed a line. From this day forward, we are not investing in anything that would make our lives somehow easier or more comfortable. New towels and a new couch would make us too comfortable here on Easter Island. And if we are too comfortable, we will never leave. And leave we must, because adolescence is looming. It is looming too large to fit in the Fun Apartment.
I’ll be honest, my experience with adolescent boys is extremely limited. But from what I understand from my panel of former adolescent boys, they need truckloads of food, delivered hourly, and they need bedrooms with doors so that they can engage in–I am reliably informed–silent prayer before going to sleep.
Also, a mother of adolescent boys will need a bedroom without a great bloody window into the rest of the apartment so she can change her clothes without hiding into the closet. I know it brings light to the rest of the apartment, and doubles as a goalpost, but people, enough is enough.
After all, this was only meant to be a two year experiment. We are now seven years into that two year experiment. Soon, we might be ready to publish our results.
A preliminary look at the data: As Big said this morning. “The Fun Apartment is basically a hallway.”
Another data point: A friend of Little’s, who attended our birthday extravaganza in the crystal palace/vacant apartment across the hall, remarked, “Your apartment has that small room with all the toys.” Alas, that small room with all the toys is our apartment.
Thus far, the data also supports my promise to myself that this will be the only time I make a major life decision for a reason as flimsy as tax purposes.
Don’t get me wrong, we still believe in micro apartments. We still believe in living small–it’s New York City, after all. For a kindergarten teacher and an architect, there is no living large. But there is living in two bedrooms. With doors. And new towels. And, maybe a new couch. We can take all this fun with us. It will fit.