I’m sitting, staring out of my living room windows. The curtains are white sheer, the better to let sunlight sift into the beige blandness of this wide open space. Outside are mirrored houses with mirrored yards and each with it’s mirrored Saturday morning husband mowing. A tree here, a tree there, trees that were purchased online or at the local greenhouse. There are no naturally grown trees or yards for that matter. The landscape that these poor underdeveloped trees stretch from is purchased soil, sod and stone. The development is a little over five years old and the houses standing beautifully erect in their mirror visage are or were recently virginal. Each of the houses in our suburban paradise are occupied (save two) and all are owned but ours. We are renting this American Dream, as defined in the terms of Home Ownership.
We are as fake as the picturesque landscape surrounding us. Looking every bit the part… my hardworking labored husband, my two rambunctious boys and I, the Homemaker. But if you peeked inside our house, peered into our lives just a little bit more, you would see how bland our beige living room is that I am sitting in. You would see how nothing is permanently nailed into our walls, how the furniture is sparse and old, worn and cheap and how the only thing that seems to be in great abundance is Elmo, our youngest son Judah’s favorite daytime character. Everything we have can be replaced or moved quickly and efficiently when necessary. We are renters, movers, nomads; inward temporary inhabitants of whatever establishment suits our purpose; which is currently the stable education of my twelve year old son, Cody.
When I was young I dreamed of living in a house like this as most young girls do that were birthed in poverty. I dreamed of getting married, having 2.5 children and owning one of the large intensely beautiful homes that the pastel girls of my time lived in. Pastel, as in pretty pink and vibrant yellow, sometimes so emerald green they shined. Outwardly of course, they could have been as inwardly bland as my living room. Nevertheless, I dreamed of having a home such as this. Now I’m 30 and I have two wonderful and amazing children of my own, a sensible sexy husband and this house. This rented house, of course. Sometimes what you perceive as children to be so overwhelmingly important turns out to be so small, so unimportant when you get older. What I realized is that the only permanent things in life that are beautiful, so pastel in vivid amazing brightness, are human; they are Life. My sons, my husband, my family, my friends.. my self. We had finally made it to the American Dream of possible Home-ownership and decided to rent it for awhile, tomorrow we may send it back and some other family who dreams the dream will pay a mortgage here and we will take my permanent and blessed collective to another house, sign another lease and forget to put pictures up on the walls, purposefully, just in case.