Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Room of One's Own.

Or a place of one's own.

One bit of advice I am definitely going to dole out to Grace and Edie when the time comes is for them to live on their own for awhile.

Last night I spent a lovely evening with the divine Lexie, a "younger" friend who is all kinds of hip and cool, and she just moved into her own apartment. The apartment is everything I would want in my own - second-hand furniture re-finished with a personal funky touch; art work that speaks volumes of the dwellers' taste, personal travels and experiences (just hers, no one else's); favourite books here and there and everywhere just begging to be read during a free moment and a small-ish kitchen that may or may not get used all that often (which really strikes a cord with me because pretty much from the moment I get home from work and get the girls off the bus I am in my own, roomy kitchen preparing snacks, dinner, washing dishes and prepping for the next days meals). Her new apartment is downtown, and with the summer heat the windows are perpetually propped open, letting in the sounds of conversations from neighbouring balconies, people talking on the street, cars going by, bike bells dinging and ringing. And then there's the breeze from being on a higher floor, with the occasional waft of cigarette smoke sneaking in, which I just love. There are PEOPLE out there.

I have never lived on my own. When I went away to university, I lived in a dorm, which was great for a shy gal like me because I'm pretty sure if I had lived off-campus I would never had made any friends, learned how to tap a keg or follow the trend of wearing construction boots with jean shorts (gah, that actually would have been a good thing). Sure I decorated my little dorm room with lots of angst-y posters and posted quotes from some pretttty deep poetry I had latched onto (gawd I must have been so annoying) but it was a tiny space, and my door was always open with people coming and going and I never really liked being there all that much.

The following year I moved in with my bestie, and we didn't really have time for aesthetics - we were to busy partying yo! I do remember an attempt at ambiance with candles stuck in wine bottles and granny throws over couches, but that was before shabby chic was en vogue so I suspect we were just covering up a vomit/wine/beer/poutine stain with those blankets.

The next year my bestie and I moved into a new a house......with 10 other boys. Yup, we were two girls with ten boys. I had to take my showers on campus at the gym because our bathroom was disgusting (one fella took pride in spelling his name out in pubic hair in our shower) and by the end of the year the hallway was dubbed "Hall of Porn" with the boys' favourite graphic images taped to the wall - weep with me (they weren't even hung straight). So you can imagine how much say I had in the decor of this house. The point of pride of this happy, bustling home was a Ronald McDonald statue the boys had knocked down and stolen from the fast food restaurant. Poor Ronald was placed in the corner of our living room with a cigarette crammed in his grinning mouth and a king-can of 50 taped to his hand.

After university, I moved back home, into my old room, still decorated in my mom's taste, bearing no indication of the theatre major, expert on the Classics turned radical feminist who was now occupying the room (you know I'm talking about me, right?) I didn't last long. But by then I had met Jo, and we decided to move in together, and since then we have lived in 5 different places of varying shapes and sizes. And while I have a pretty strong voice in how we decorate, it is not only my voice that gets the say, I have to let Jo have an opinion.

All this to say that if I have any regrets in life it is that I never been able to call a space my own.

Lexie said I could borrow her place when she goes out of town.


Little Red Hen said...

The image of Ronald McDonald with a smoke and a beer had me howling.

Anonymous said...

What, is my apartment chopped liver? ;-)

- Your friendly neighbourhood curator.