Paul and I decided, a little while ago, that we were DONE with dramatic life decisions. For the first five years of our relationship, we made one dramatic life decision after another, with barely a head scratch or sleepless night between us. We’re not prone to giving major life decisions a great deal of thought, truth be told. Which meal from Wok in a Box, YEAH, now there’s something you want to get right, but getting married, and having babies, and - hell - leaving your job and your flat and your family behind in England to shack up with a chick you met while you were on holiday in Australia, well, they’re the sorts of life changes best left to a close-your-eyes-and-hope-for-the-best decision-making process. And, for the most part, it’s all turned out pretty well. Yes, we’re idiots, but we’re LUCKY idiots.
As an aside, I think there’s a lot to be said for not giving things a great deal of thought. As a rule, people think way too much about stuff. I have some friends (yes! I do!) and they’re marvellous, and they don’t have kids. They’ve thought about it way too much, and they’ve talked themselves out of it. And jesus, yes, if you THOUGHT about having children you’d never do it. It’s insane! So these friends, a few weeks ago, spontaneously - and totally out of character - took ownership of a cat, and now they bloody love it (the cat, not acting spontaneously). I’ve tried explaining that child rearing isn’t THAT different to cat ownership, but they won’t be told.
But anyway, my point is that Paul and I crammed an awful lot into the first five years of our relationship. And this year we said we were DONE, and we would put our feet up, and we would do nothing with our adulthood but watch back-to-back episodes of Orange is the New Black, and drink.
But then we went to a new park in a beachside suburb of Perth, and the park was WONDERFUL, and the people friendly, and before we could even say, “Should we?” we’d put our house on the market with a friendly estate agent who once gave Ben a $100 Toys R Us voucher for drawing a particularly charming picture of the Easter Bunny (THAT was our criteria on choosing an estate agent. THAT. My mum’s hit the roof, because his fees are astronomical, and we should have negotiated, and shopped around, but fuck it, he’s got a nice smile, his picture’s on our bus-stop, and he made Ben happy, once).
And then we spent our entire Saturday with a builder, redrawing en suites and requesting double plug sockets in the kids’ zone. I’m serious. I was all ready to sign off on this house, but fortunately - FORTUNATELY - I’d dragged my mum along, because - as you might recall - we are fools in grown-up bodies (albeit wearing children’s underwear), and she is the voice of reason. We didn’t sign for this new house, which is fortunate, because it’s really, really fucking expensive (I wasn’t listening to that bit). Also, we’re probably not the home-building types. My mum has since explained to me - in very simple terms, as though she were talking to an idiot (she was) - that building a home requires many, many decisions, and you can’t just say: “Oh, you choose,” to the builder. Who knew? So seriously, I don’t think this is the project for us.
Which is why, on Sunday, we put in an offer on a house. The second one we saw. I would’ve put an offer in on the first one, because it was clean, and I felt bad for the lady selling up, because her husband (a bus driver with an extensive and immaculate collection of Vans shoes) had clearly left, so she was going back to England to be with her elderly mother, and taking her complete and perfectly ordered My Family DVDs with her. You can discover A LOT from a home open. But Paul didn’t like the vibe of the place, so we put an offer in on the second house instead, which had a fucking SCULLERY, goddammit.
I feel a bit bad selling our house. It’s a nice house, despite the Hungarian masseuse who died in the kitchen. We love our neighbours, and our park, and the massive toy cupboard that hides a multitude of sins. We’re not quite so keen on the local primary school, or the tree-haters (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) and the spirit of the dead Hungarian masseuse that hangs around the bathroom after dark. BUT, it’s time for a life change, and a sea change, and a new league of school mums to piss off all over again. Off we go!