Friday, November 10, 2006

To stay or move...


The other day I decided that I want to move, get my own place. Right now, I have a roommate, and it works out okay, but it is not ideal. I love living by myself, and I haven't lived alone for two years. It is time. When I moved here, I had an afternoon to find a place; I was here interviewing, and by the time I got the job offer, it left me a few hours to find a place before flying back to CA and then making the drive cross-country. So, I went to craigslist, found a house downtown, met my future roommate, shook hands, and that was it. My roommate is an interesting one, and yes, it was odd moving in with a total stranger--and a male southerner: brave. I have lived with a guy before, my best friend actually, and it worked out fabulously. He gave me advice on guys, I gave him advice on girls, we kept the place clean--it was a fun year. Girls can be drama, and I've had enough bad roommate situations to know that I need to be very choosy. But time to shop around was not a luxury that I had when I moved out here.
Here is what I love about my house right now: It is downtown--I walk to work on days that I don't meet my running group. I am right across from Old Salem, which is charming and quaint. The location is ideal. I have a great front porch, complete with a swing. We even have a bug zapper. Add some bourbon, and bam, you feel like a true southerner. My room is fantastic, and it attaches to my bathroom, also a plus. My room is girlie and white and clean and organized and a very relaxing space.
Here's what I don't like: Basically, the rest of the house.
It's not so much the house itself, because it is an old, charming design. But in reality, the livingroom is a UNC basketball shrine. The bikes--okay, I am contributing to the clutter, because I have nowhere else to store my three bikes. But near my three bikes are two sets of golf clubs, lacrosse sticks, a basketball, hockey sticks, and random UNC-related shit that clutters the floor and bookshelf. The house is truly a boys world. My roommate has his big screen tv, foosball table, and enough basketball memoriabillia to stock a small museum. If I were back in undergrad, maybe, but now that I am a so-mature 26, I need order and Pottery Barn-esque decorating.
But beyond the living room problem is the kitchen problem. My roommate is a slob. He has yet, in two months, to empty the dishwasher or put away his dishes, and he has a penchant for leaving grisly remains of steak on the counter. It disgusts me, and as I result, I have not cooked a proper meal in two months. I used to be the queen of throwing a fabulous dinner party or whipping out some mouth-watering artisan bread. No more. My friends here don't yet know that this ex-Californian can cook and bake, quite impressively, if I can be so modest. Right now, the kitchen functions as the place where I stumble to in the morning for my coffee.
Living by myself was fabulous. I could blast NPR as loud as I wanted in the morning, walk around un-clothed, and in general, just completely let down my guard and revel in all of my own space, neat and decorated to my exact specifications. Granted, my roommate isn't home that often, but still, it is his cluttered space that I live in.
My plan was/is to buy something in a few months, which is why I moved into my current house: cheap rent, no lease, no deposit. I still want to buy something, but in the meantime, I have this living-alone right now! inclination. I know that I can be impulsive, and maybe it is just a case of impetuous own-space fantasies taking over.
Moving out will mean that I will have to buy furniture. That feels like a big step. Also, I hate moving, with a passion, so it will be the again dreaded-process of finding boxes, packing, un-packing and all that, only to repeat the cycle when I buy a place.
So here's the question of the day: Do I make the jump and move, or bite it, endure the dirtiness and stay? I ventured out for some apartment-hunting this afternoon. It is hard to find something right downtown, that is reasonably nice, for the price that I want to pay without having a roommate. Plus, the whole being-locked-into-a-lease thing. I hate these kinds of decisions.

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