Friday, April 8, 2011

Having My Cake

Edith "Little Edie" Bouvier Beale:  You can't have your cake and eat it too, in life.
Edith "Big Edie" Bouvier Beale:  Oh yes, I did.  I did.  I had my cake, loved it masticated it, chewed it and had everything I wanted.
The lines above are from the original "Grey Gardens" movie, the documentary filmed in 1979, and if you haven't seen that one then I highly recommend you rent it, if only because it will make you feel better about your own housekeeping abilities.  I feel very safe in saying that, even though I haven't actually seen your house, or yours, or even yours, because Big Edie and Little Edie were, quite possibly, the original hoarders.

But I digress.  What got me thinking about the Edies was that today, all day, I cleaned my house and sorted through things and dragged a couple of bags of junk out to the trash, and then one of my neighbors stopped by and said something like, "Don't you wish you didn't have to sell your house?" and after she left I sat in the middle of the front parlor just staring at the stained glass windows there all teary-eyed.  Of course I wish I didn't have to sell my house.  I wish, like Big Edie, I could have my cake and eat it, too.  In my case, "everything I wanted" would be both having the perfect guy and living in the perfect house with him.  I can have half of that:  either I can marry the perfect guy, and not live in the perfect house; or I can live in the perfect house and not marry the perfect guy.  The former seems a better choice.

I read back through that paragraph I just wrote, and it sounds incredibly spoiled.  It sounds like whining, and I hate whining.  I hardly ever whine, and usually when I do someone smacks me.  Maybe I need to be smacked.  I mean, really, what in the Sam Hill do I have to complain about?  I'm marrying a guy who is so thoughtful, kind, honest and loving that he really is darn near perfect.  We'll be living in a house that's not in a constant state of renovation, doesn't have cracked plaster ceilings, and won't cost 300 bucks a month to heat.  Those are good things.  They are.  Right?  I mean, right.  Right??  Someone smack me.  Please.


  1. If you had a friend who felt a bit of sadness over leaving behind a very important part of her life; a part of her life that she'd put a lot of energy and love into; a part of her life that made her feel empowered and of which she was rightfully proud; a part of her life in which she contributed to her community and which preserved a bit of history, would you SMACK that friend for her deeply felt emotion just because she had another wonderful option in her life opening up to her?

    You're entitled to your feelings. It's ok.

  2. That's why I'm thinking, rent it instead of selling it, but if I remember correctly, you said there was some reason that wasn't workable.

    How about renting out his house and the two of you live in yours?

  3. Sorry, I'm with Why S on this one. I think the fact that we're reading this instead of hearing this, takes away the whine factor. But I also think, that even if we were there with you and actually hearing this, instead of smacking you, we'd get out the cheese, crackers, & the w(h)ine glasses & say a toast or 2 (or many) to you & your house.

  4. You've done so much to your house, of course you're going to be attached to it. You life has been enhanced because of this house but your life will be amazing in his house too!

  5. Smack! Just kidding Jayne:) I'll pass you a little cheese to go along with your whine. I'm sure it is super hard to sell your house, I can't even imagine. You have poured your heart and soul into it for so long. But you are trading it for something even more wonderful to pour those things into, your marriage. That doesnt make it any less hard though.

  6. I don't know how you COULDN'T feel the way that you do about The Kelly House. When you put that much of yourself into something – especially in your case as a reverent steward to its history – there’d be something wrong with you if you simply could just walk away with no emotion attached. I still think it’s a shame that you have to pick between the house and the dude. (In my mind, FOUR hands get the job done in half the time …)