House go bye-bye

My mom bought a condo. This really would not be an earth-shattering development, since she’s living in a house that’s a pain in the ass to take care of and is way, way too big for just her.

Except it’s the house I grew up in.

I never seriously thought she’d move. She’s been bitching about wanting to move (understandably) for the last couple of years, but I never really took it that seriously until I called her last weekend to say hi.

She asked me if I wanted to hear some incipient news or if I wanted to be surprised. I said “What’s inicipient?”, meaning what’s about to happen, and my mom thought I didn’t know what the word meant.

Ma, I got an 800 on the English portion of the SAT. I know what incipient means.

She finally told me that she put a bid in on a condo near the Cathedral in D.C. It’s a nice neighborhood, near where my dad used to live when he was still in D.C. From everything she’s told me, it’s a really nice place, and exactly what she needed.

But my permanent address is no longer permanent.

I gave out that address to everyone. I knew my dad was probably gonna move (though I thought it would be to Idaho instead of Atlanta, but those are minor details), so I gave everyone in the universe my mom’s address as my permanent address.

I’m not really sure how I feel about all of this.

I sort of made peace with the house going when my mom was looking around at houses earlier this year, but she had given up on finding a place about three weeks before her broker called her on a Sunday and said, “Mary, you have to see this place,” and everything went out the window.

If I were emotionally detached from the decision, I would have told my mom to sell the house a long time ago, though I guess it’s smart she waited because the value of the house has shot through the roof in the last year, so she could afford a nicer place.

It also wasn’t like I was ever going to live in the house. There’s no way in hell I’d be able to afford the upkeep and taxes on it on the kind of money I’m going to be making, and it’s not like anyone could ever pay me enough money to make me move back to D.C. on any kind of permanent basis.

I love that house, but I cannot fucking stand that town.

However, this is the house I came home from the hospital to. There’s still pictures of my mom and dad holding me and grinning like idiots, starting their little family for the big pink house on Garfield street (a name I always found appropriate because I was a big fan of the comic strip and our cat was really, really fat).

I have 21 years worth of crap in that house. When my mom initially told me she was thinking about selling the house, my reaction was “No, you can’t sell my house!” When she told me she got the condo, my reaction was, “Oh, great, I have to come home and deal with all of this crap!”

And really, most of it can go. Like my collection of really old magazines that I keep because I think I may someday want to read through them. I blame my dad for this, because he saved the issue of the Washington Post from the day Kennedy was shot, and I read it and found it absolutely fascinating.

Anyway, most of my crap can go. Most of my stuffed animals, though some I can’t bear to part with. A large number of my old books, with titles like “The Baseball Record Book: 1990 Edition,” will likely get donated to charity and bought by someone who has more room for useless junk than I do.

But I’m still really sad to see the old place go. I hope nobody ever makes good on my mom’s threat to paint over the brick with some weird color (a job that thankfully, she could never quite afford).

I hope I can come back someday and knock on the door and have people look at me like I’m a total loon when I say I grew up in this house, do you mind if I take a look around?

Hopefully, they’ll be loons too, and let me in.

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