l i l e p h y t e

October 29th, 21:12 | Bitter and sweet go together more than people think

So I was thinking lately about the whole diary-keeping process, and feeling guilty about holding out, as it were, on the documentation of my life.

I'm not one of those people. You'll never catch me, ten seconds after seeing something startling, text-messaging myself so I won't forget, or scribbling into a notebook to pour online later that night. Well, actually, I take it all back: you might. I have no problem with writing about observed stuff immediately.

Anything that I'm actually thinking about though, anything that's taking significant time and cycles as my subconscious chugs its way through it, I tend to hang on to for weeks, months. I guess I like having the chance to digest it, and make sure I know how I feel about it before I'm ready to let it go. Like little kids when they get a new toy: they can be the best kids in the world, but they probably still need a little time (half an hour, a day, a week) when the toy is only theirs before they're ready to share.

In that spirit, I'm going to reminisce about the Milk Festival. Well, more specifically, I'm going to reminisce about the shirt.

Way back in grade 10, our English teacher volunteered us for a children's festival where we (as very mature 16-year-olds) were to supervise younger children as they did craftsy-type activities, mostly involving empty milk cartons, and other moo-ey things.

While most of my friends were on Sparkle Patrol in the hat-making section of the fair, I was Chief GlueGun Operator in the castle-building section (this is where the empty cartons came in). All of us got free XL-sized t-shirts with the logo of the festival on it, and most of us were a little bored of it within 2 hours.

My most vivid memories of that afternoon are of one kid in particular, short for an 8-year-old, and wearing a Star Trek baseball cap, trying to out-trivia me about TNG. I remember repeatedly telling children that No, they could not use the gluegun real fast just for a second. I remember some girls on Sparkle Patrol just giving into temptation and making their own (quite stylish, really) hats out of card and tinsel. I remember being glad when our "shift" was done, and running to the glass-blowing section to watch them making crazy candy-coloured glass.

I used to think about those things every time I saw my shirt, which was fairly often since, as is the fate of half my XL t-shirts, I kept it as jammies. (The other half of the giant shirts get used as "crappy shirts/towels/pillowcases when I'm dyeing my hair".)

But. Over the weekend I gave the shirt away. I have, quite frankly, way too many giant t-shirts, and it's time to move on. Over the past month, I've given away probably around a third of the clothes I own, along with more purses than I want to think about. Have I noticed that they're gone? Aside from having more empty hangers now (finally!), that would be a big Nope.

This is sort of a resounding theme for me lately, and one that comes at a good time.

Now that I'm done percolating, I thought I'd note here that we almost bought a house. The house was perfect: bright, warm, slightly irregular in surfacing, completely unique in layout, on a lot that was... perfect. We weren't outbid, we just weren't first, and other folks had dibs. We lost, and it's been a long, long time since I've felt such bitter disappointment in something.

Having now had a couple weeks to "let it go", as my mom said, I'm glad. I still semi-wish (in my jealous heart of hearts) that we'd got the house, or that the buyers for whatever reason (hopefully nothing very bad) will need to sell and we'll get it after all but... my mom's right. It's gone, and it's time to face forward. And I have. And now that we've seen what we really want, The Boy and I are less likely to settle. We're harder, pickier, less forgiving.

Maybe that's a bad thing. Maybe we're hardened and bitter now, a heartbroken team too jaded to give a great house a chance. I prefer to think that instead we're putting our own fantasy future, our castle in the air, as it were, first. We've decided that the idea of Our Home is worth more than we thought it was. And I really like that.

It fills me with a rush, a warm wave of blood and trust, to remember how we were essentially eye-to-eye on everything for That House, how since then we've been on the same page at least, if not the same sentence on everything else. It reinforces my belief that we are a team, and if we can't find our house, then fuck it, we'll build it.

There's a part of me that's always afraid that I am spoiled, that I do take things for granted. (Part of me doesn't bother being afraid; it knows I do.) That part is a little glad we didn't get the house, because it means I won't forget what it's like to not get something, that I'll have it underlined that, you know what? The universe my love me and take care of me, but that doesn't mean everything's always going to go the way I want it to.

For now, it just feels good to know that all the disappointment wasn't for nothing. I'm a little sick of waiting, of searching, of being let down by other houses. It's nice to know I can warm myself up at least a little by thinking that we've got the most important part of "house and home" down though.

So that's that.

How's you, world?

Last book read: No Sheep For You, by Amy Singer (quite good, if you're the yarny type)

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