As we near our one year anniversary, I wanted to write a little bit about nesting. When I first started writing about marriage, I made it clear that I wasn’t going to equate marriage with nesting – because what it with those blogs that turn into records of pillow buying one second after the wedding? I don’t need minute by minute updates of your pillow purchases, thanks. We were, more or less, already nested, and were not planning to buy a house any time soon (down-payments in the Bay Area are regularly in the low tsix figures), so I was going to talk about other things.
But. It’s never that simple, is it?
In the weeks after we returned from our honeymoon, we began to settle back in. The changes were not huge – we had new dishes and pots, we had a few honeymoon souvenirs on the wall, we had a wedding picture or two in little frames, and we had a huge Ketubah on the wall of our bedroom. They were small changes, but it felt like a subtle shift. Our home felt a little more permanent than it had before. It was nice to be reminded of people that loved us, and wanted to help us build a home, each time that we pulled down a plate or a cup. It was nice to walk by our Ketubah and remember the commitment we’d made to each other.
But, the economy, she is a b*tch, and we didn’t get a hoped for sense of the future we’d expected. Normally, when you do really well in law school, you have a bright future mapped out before you well before you even graduate. (Whether your future turns out to be anything like you think it will is another question all together, of course). But that’s not the case these days. So we waited, and we waited, and we waited… and we waited some more. I kept thinking that soon we’d know where the road was going to lead, and we could buy a new couch, or paint the living room, or know we were going to move and make plans. But the future never presented itself. (And it’s not just us… huge swaths of the incredibly talented graduating lawyers we know have no job prospects, and their families are spinning).
So we had two options: keep waiting, or start learning to live with the present. And, um, I’m no saint. So I chose the waiting and whining option for quite awhile. I spent endless emails b*tching to Jamie* about how I wanted to nest, but I couldn’t. I had all these ideas, but we had no idea what was happening next, so how could I do anything? (Poor patient Jamie).
And then this spring something snapped. I can’t put my finger on the moment that it happened, but I was just done. I was done waiting for some magical event to occur in the future that would spell out what our lives would be. I wanted to live now. I wanted to do the best with what we had, to do more with less.
So we re-painted our bathroom, we re-arranged pictures on our walls, we planned to find an affordable dining room table (for our living room, we have no dining room, natch), we bought a new rug, we bought a 1930’s bar cart from an estate sale (Yes. It is awesome), we made plans to bite the bullet and buy a new couch.
And through this process, I realized that this is what marriage is. It’s making a home, where you are, no matter what the circumstances. It’s being home, whenever you’re with your partner. It’s not waiting for the one-days, and the might-bes, and mourning the could-have-beens. It’s being home. Now.
So that’s where I am, a year in. We’re nesting. Finally. We have no idea where the road is going to lead us, or heck, what the next few months will hold. But f*ck it. We have 900 square feet, and hardwood floors, and a phone shelf, and door chimes, and a beautiful 1930’s arch way. We have family furniture, and style, and the ability to re-finish tables. We have each other. So to h*ll with the future, and welcome home.
Picture: Me & the iPhone. This is one of our huppah poles, which now lives on our living room wall. We couldn’t part with it.
*Poor Jamie. Jamie and I like to talk about home design-y things… possibly because she is both an architect and a designer, so she really got the brunt of my complaining.