There comes a time every summer when the rest of the world takes their well earned holidays, one realizes you can't remember what jeans and leather weather feels like, and forget about ever imagining wearing my beloved black beanie again. At this same time, for me, there comes a yearning for my own books (particularly An Everlasting Meal for some reason... probably linked to my next yearning), my own gluten free oven, pans and my little white tea cups, a worn kitchen table with mug rings and a half drunk bottle of wine and Jesse and whatever friends happen to swing by sitting there while I cook a sprawling, nibbler spread to feed us all. With plenty of minced herbs, ripe tomatoes, meatballs, sheep and goat cheeses tucked into whatever empty spaces there may be left. Olives. Buttery green ones, spicy blends that require cucumber chasers to cool the burn.... Any nomad will recognize these longings... these foods aren't even winter foods but summer is linked to strangers' homes for me... and using the least amount of dishes and gingerly using the stove and oven for fear of cross contamination and wedging my sparse grocery runs into an already packed refrigerator.
I probably mentioned before that my cousin Charles is coming to be our roommate... and he arrives in just six days!!! Communal living is kind of cool again right now, although our reasons are purely mercenary... well, also we love him. Alternate housing is in right now, but the two directions that manifests are 1. tiny house movement or 2. buy a giant house and fill it with friends. I fully admit I love both those concepts but find it funny that we are doing both... together. We're like, "Hey!!! let's rent a tiny little apartment and hey!!!! Charlie! Come live with us in said tiny little apartment! It'll be the BEST!"
Classically speaking, I am not a prime candidate for either of the alternate housing trends. I am somewhat of a hoarder with a crush on minimalism. I recently saw a studio apartment tour that warmed my heart... most people keep walls blank, no rugs, no art, tiny leather couches but these ladies channeled a cozy little study feel and it was perfect! While I do love to keep things I also hate ugly things, passionately. So I can end up not having very many things because whenever something ugly finds it's way into my home I have this uncontrollable urge to take a sledge hammer to it, throw it out the window or tear it to shreds. My biggest collection trap is books but I have such specific taste in books I will pass up a copy of my absolute favorite book or one I've been dying to read simply because it's ugly or not quite soft and battered enough. I love the canvas-book-taped-spine look.
The second reason these housing situations are not classically "me" is I get so so exhausted by people. But... I'm not your ordinary introvert (who is though??? all those introvert crazed lists going on about how we love one on one conversations? I'm like, "oh hell no!!! I will NOT be cornered in one of those! I may actually have to talk about something deep then.") I actually love having people over! And do you know what makes people feel weird? A couple inviting them over. Really... in this day and age that seems super formal and foreign and oddly, romantic? Apparently?
Part of it goes back to my whole hating ugly things... no offense everyone else, but I am very full of myself and really really love my own style. In fact, I've come up with a name for this problem... and I'm sure I've talked about this before because I'm very proud of it. Chronic Spatial Anxiety. Think about it, guys! Every time that I've mentioned this to a creative type person it's a face palm moment. It's so obviously a real thing. Chelle, I know you agree with me on this one. Anyways, I get incredibly uncomfortable at other people's homes. I just can't deal. But really the problem is probably less a made up psychological condition (Just kidding...it's real) and more the fact that I can't eat anything at people's homes because of my celiac disease so I either have to pack myself a little brown bag meal (which hostess' usually find incredibly insulting... I get it... It sucks when you just want to make someone welcome in your home and they refuse to eat the very food you've prepared. But I also get it, guys, if you need to bring your own food to my home... just no crumby gluten stuff... be smart about it!!) or I'm silently starving in a corner because lack of food renders me completely limp, uninteresting and conversation-less.
Ok go back two paragraphs. Let's pick up that train of thought. I'm really hoping three people inviting friends over will feel less romantic and/or formal and the whole vision of the worn kitchen table, scattered tumblers of wine, herb-y boiled eggs and buttery green olives will really come true.
Random side note: a specific thing that triggers my chronic spatial anxiety is raised beds. I'm never happier than when I'm sleeping on a billowy white shrouded mattress directly on the ground. I actually get crazy nightmares any time a bed is raised. Maybe it has to do with classic childhood fears about things under beds but it even happens if there is no "under the bed" like the bed here at this sublet.