Here I sit in State College, PA… life uprooted, internet-less, cable-less, and living in a house that I can only liken to a summer cottage. Why? Because like a vacation home, it’s old, dusty and dank, as if it’s been vacant for months on end… devoid of life, save for the bustling community of spiders that appear to be doing quite well for themselves. Everything is dingy and worn, paint peeling… vintage chic, I suppose?

I’m not what one would call ‘comfortable’ yet. I’ve been unpacking, and sprucing things up, but refuse to place my silverware in the drawers, or my clothes in the closets. Hell, I’m still sleeping downstairs on a huge inflatable mattress, just in case the spirit moves me and I decide to pack it up and steal away in the night back to Carolina.

I’ve been scrubbing and Lysoling like Monk, but there isn’t a detergent in the world that could disinfect someone else’s toilet seat, so we bought a new one. Thinking about the butts that came before mine… I just… I can’t, and I refused to squat over my own damn toilet. Also, if I may interject, my marriage has been successful for many reasons, one being that we’ve always had more than one bathroom. It really kept the mystique… the fantasy that I don’t poop, or that it, of course, smells like roses and lilacs. He never had to come in DIRECTLY behind me, nor did he pay attention to how long I stay (and think, lol) on the toilet… sometimes until my feet fall asleep. We’ve been busted down to one, terribly tiny bathroom… hope we can keep the love alive. I digress.

I’m the tenant from hell.

I’ve already called maintenance twice, and I’m happy to report that they seem to be quite timely in responding. Rude and impatient on the phone, yes, but very timely. They fixed, even if only temporarily, the pervasive window frame issue that was allowing moths and other annoying insects to wander in and out at will… there was the also that little issue of climate control. They replaced the screen door handle which had fallen off and subsequently locked hubby out of the house. They also handled a plethora of albeit minor repairs that to me, in summation, seemed very urgent and VERY major. The spiders have been eliminated but the overgrown foliage makes me suspect that they’ll be back.

I’m glad to report that Tuesday, the cable and internet guy will be making an appearance and bringing me one step closer to turning this little house with it’s creepy ass basement, into a home. Until then, it’s Starbucks for Wifi and RedBox (and some old bootleg dvds) for entertainment.

All bougieness aside, it’s actually a nice house, and I’m sure in 1945 it was quite lovely. I just don’t understand how people in the northeast must pay so much for such little space. Raleigh truly spoiled me with its new construction and spacious, move-in ready homes. Come to think of it, the people were nicer too. Yesterday my mom called to check on us… to make sure we were adjusting and I shared with her a story that has defined my short time here. First, let me just say that in my four days in Happy Valley, I’ve seen 5, maybe 6 people that look like me. I feel very much aware of my blackness when I’m out, and haven’t felt ‘welcomed’ in some places. I’ll leave you with this story, and you tell me if I’m being ‘sensitive’.

Boog and I were in line at the grocery store, one person ahead of us, and one person, an older White woman behind us. I smiled at her and spoke (I speak to everybody), and unlike many of the folks I’d attempted to greet earlier, she actually acknowledged me and struck up a conversation. She asked if I was Christian and in search for a church family. She then handed me a brochure from her purse and for the next two minutes proceeds to sell me on her church, using ‘the single mother ministry’ as the plug. She said, ‘we have a wonderful single mother ministry… we provide lots of support and encouragement and financial and community resources. So far we have 30 single mothers in the church, and we’re having a picnic this Sunday if you’d like to come’. Really booboo?

Well meaning? Maybe. Presumptuous…definitely.

Later Gators,
Nik