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Day 73: Breaking up: part two

July 17, 2012


The house hunt and dating are, once again, bringing to mind major parallels. You prowl the market, test a few out, then find a keeper. Getting comfortable with long-term commitment trickles into life’s little details: taking the house’s layout into consideration with every home goods purchase, taking another’s perspectives into consideration with every decision, even if it’s just dinner.

When it suddenly comes to an end, acclimating back to solo life is a bit awkward. No need to go to garage sales or look at paint samples. No need to check my phone with anticipation of a text message.

The similarities between my house hunt and dating life over the past six months have been downright uncanny. Right around the time I found the Ottawa Hills home, I met my (now ex) boyfriend. I spent the next several months dancing through a fairytale. But fairytales are usually too good to be true. This turned out to be the case for both of my “catches.”

After months of waiting to call Ottawa Hills home, the delay turned out to be a blessing in disguise. While I adore the house, I couldn’t ignore the elephant in the room any longer. The dollars beyond the purchase price were piling up in the thousands. My car is also on its last leg. And what if the furnace goes out? What if a tree falls on the house? What if the plumbing goes awry? I was suddenly struck with the harsh grip of reality. Separating my emotional attachment, I realized, yes, I can do it, but it would definitely be unwise financially.

Breaking the news to Mimi, the homeowner, wasn’t easy. But she was kind and understanding. After that phone call, a weight suddenly lifted off my shoulders: one I hadn’t realized I was carrying. That told me I was making the right decision.

When I said my final goodbye to the house, I stood inside the big, empty living room; collected the memories I’d already started making inside those four walls; and shed a few tears for what could have been but will never be.

So now it’s back to square one: searching for my happily-ever-after in the ballpark of $20,000 less and tall, dark and handsome.

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