So, there’s a story which begins in a townhouse almost identical to the one we lost, and ends with me feeling sad in a paper gown.
It goes like this.
We went to see a couple more units in the same complex. Our realtor, perhaps feeling it wise not to show his face, sent his daughter (my coworker’s sister, who looks just like my coworker, except completely different) in his place. We liked her a lot, actually. The first unit she took us through was a hole compared to the Great Lost House. It had damaged drywall behind the front door, ancient and grimy linoleum, carpeting instead of wood flooring, and some truly distasteful back splash in the kitchen, featuring blue flowers. There are renters living there, which shows in the care they took to leave the house looking as un-presentable as possible. I also enjoyed the plaster cast of a pregnant torso in the baby’s room, featuring an outie belly button and lopsided breasts. Remind me not to do that, when I’m pregnant.
The next place was newly renovated, with a stove and fridge that were so new that their plastic was still on their handles, and their instruction manuals/warranties were still inside of them. New laminate flooring, too. Exact same layout as the Lost Place. Except… where the other place had had a tiny yard, this had a big wooden deck. And no crown molding, of course.
When we first saw the Lost Place, it had seemed like a wonderland. Given our budget, and the ridiculous cost of housing out here, our hopes had mostly extended towards a two bedroom one level place. Suddenly there was this three bedroom place, with two stories, and a yard, and it was in our price range.
Well, this place had the second story that I had coveted so highly. It had the lovely laminate flooring (actually, it was a nicer colour, too. Richer, not quite so Ikea). In fact, it had more laminate flooring, because the old place had carpet upstairs. This house had laminate upstairs too, except in one of the bedrooms – already painted blue, which is what I would want to paint a baby’s room some day.
Could I see or appreciate any of this? Nope!
All I could see was the absent crown molding, and worst of all, the missing yard. To someone who has a very beloved dog, and an endless procession of mouth-breathing, retrieving houseguests, a yard becomes a precious thing. I felt that our realtor had robbed us of our yard. Now we would have to take this stinky second choice, and I would be miserable forever, with no yard for the dogs. Miserable forever. All because of this one mistake. Couldn’t we just rewind? Why couldn’t we rewind?
“Well, I have no problem with this place,” said Perfect Husband to me, as we looked out the master bedroom window at the creepy, dark-windowed little child’s playhouse in the courtyard below.
“Don’t you?” I responded grimly.
“…Was that the wrong thing to say?” he asked.
“…No…” I said, “We’ll probably have to take this one anyway, so we might as well like it.”
But I couldn’t. I was fighting tears as we thanked Realtor Jr. I didn’t want Perfect Husband to know that I was reacting like a spoiled brat. However, when we stopped for groceries and I went to use the bathroom and came out with my face red as a tomato from a short bawling session, he gave me a resigned hug. I was still trying to put on a brave face, so I pulled away after a while, gave him a watery smile, and we went back to shopping.
We drove home in silence.
When we got in, he took the dog for a walk and I bawled heavily over my computer keyboard. When he came back in I smothered it. He could tell that I had been at it again, and his lips tightened as he fought between the conflicting emotions of wanting to kill Realtor Senior for making his beloved wife cry, and wanting to kill the beloved wife for being such a brat. He delivered irritable hugs, and I let him go lie on the bed while I retreated to the den. There it all became to overwhelming to be bearable, and I curled up on the floor, sobbing into the carpet and writhing in physical pain. Feeling like my heart was in a vice, I felt that I couldn’t bear the pain of losing the Lost Place. It just had to be undone, someone had to fix it, because I couldn’t handle reality as it was now, I just couldn’t.
After much sobbing into the carpet (hoping to muffle the sound), gnashing of teeth, rending of garments etc, I became aware of Perfect Husband’s presence. Turns out my vague attempts at muffling had been less than successful.
“I need to know why this bothers you so much,” he said. No doubt part of him was wondering what kind of tantruming child he had married – it must have been less than sexy to find me on the floor wailing like a frustrated two year old.
And it all came pouring out – how it hurts so much all the time, all the little sadnesses that weigh on me, and I feel like my friends don’t care anymore or listen to my problems any more, and my job is going nowhere, and I can’t seem to lose weight and how this had somehow just made everything too much… too much.
“Oh, well, if it’s just depression, that’s ok,” he said with obvious relief. Clearly he feels much more comfortable with craziness than with mere selfishness. Now reassured that I was simply a sad person pushed over the edge, instead of a spoiled brat throwing a tantrum, he held me tight while I sobbed and blew snot all over his shirt.
“It’s not depression,” I said, after the hyperventilating and uncontrollable wails had mostly drained out of me. “I’m just depressed these days.” I was aware that my argument was weak. But since I have had bouts of depressed mood my whole life (all the time in winter, and off and on when it’s not winter…) where I feel sad/near tears all the time, general hopelessness and so on, this feels fairly normal to me. I have never wanted to actually kill myself or anything like that. Then he gave me a big lecture about how you don’t need to be suicidal for it to count for depression, and pointed out that this kind of depression is actually much more treatable than the other kind. “Psychiatrists love people like you,” he said, “they can fix you.”
I had a doctor’s appointment the next morning, to get my usual invasive probe… I mean PAP… and general yearly physical. We were supposed to be talking about me maybe having a baby sometime in the next year. I thought she might want to do a chicken pox titre on me or something. Perfect Husband made me promise to mention the depression to her.
After forty minutes in a waiting room, I was weighed (why does the doctor’s scale weigh me in at a good nine pounds more than my own scale/wii fit? Do you think they do that on purpose to demoralize you?) and then told to get naked and put on the embarrassing paper gown. Then I sat there for over half an hour, naked under my sad little paper gown, waiting for the doctor. My eyes were still swollen from the night before. I tried to remember everything I wanted to ask her about – my itchy ear, the pus blisters I keep getting on my toes, my family history of diabetes, the difficulty my mother had in conceiving me, the persistant irrational sadness… When she did come in, it was with rushed but sincere apologies.
She prodded my abdomen, inserted speculums, poked breasts and took blood pressure while muttering to me about folic acid. I told her what Perfect Husband had made me promise to tell her, and she seemed concerned but too busy to do anything about it. She suggested that I either go to the drop in mental health centre for a referral, or rebook another appointment with her.
“But I’m moving practices next week, so if you can’t make it for Tuesday…”
After a couple of “dears” and empty reassurances she hurried out before I could ask her about chicken pox titres, itchy extremities or anything else.
So, to sum up, I am accepting of the fact that I shouldn’t be this sad, but I still don’t know what to do about it. Self-medicating with chocolate last night helped, though, and we’ve made an offer on the otherwise perfectly fine place. Perfect Husband likes the deck better anyway, and pointed out that if we used some postage-stamp sized yard as a dog toilet area, it would hardly be a nice place for friends to come for a BBQ, or for a baby to play in.
He’s right, of course. He always is.