Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I Wonder If They Call Me . . .

Let me tell you how I see myself.

I am a free spirit. I wrote out a list of why I think of myself this way, but it turned into an ILOVEME session, and it was boring, so I erased it. What it all boiled down to was – I am young, I am unfettered, I am a little bit wild. Kind of a hippy. Somewhat transient. Blowing in the wind. Open.

So you can imagine my distress when my husband and I looked proudly over our 2007 Christmas newsletter and we suddenly realized – holy Schmitt, we’re sending a Christmas newsletter. We’re MARRIED. We have a cat. We have a dog. We have a freaking WHITE PICKET FENCE. And we’re about to have a baby.

When, oh when, did we become so domestic?

I have a friend, just a few years younger than me, who’s a nursing student here. She doesn’t eat meat. She has a nose ring. She is traveling to Guatemala this summer for a class. And I look at her, and her fiancĂ©, and I wonder – what must they think of us? They didn’t know me when I was traveling Australia with only what I could carry in a pack on my back. They didn’t know Darlin’ when he was in Americorps and slept on a different basement floor every night. They didn’t know us when we stayed up late, and spent what little money we had going to the bars, and when my work uniform was a sarong and tank top and Darlin’s hair was down to his shoulders. These friends of ours, and all the friends we have here in North Carolina, met us as a settled couple. I’ve had an office job since I got here, and the early hours I have to work for that job keep me from having the energy to stay up late. In order to meet our domestic obligations (the mortgage, the cars, feeding the cat), we have to be much more sensible with money, so we don’t go out to the bars anymore. The travels we make now (honeymoon and Patrick’s research trip aside) are all to visit family, and all short (that damn job again). Our hairstyles are conservative. Our house has furniture that we care about in it. I would be hard pressed to carry everything I care about in one backpack now. The wedding album alone would take up half the space. Diapers would take up the other half.

I garden. I crochet blankets. I have a Kitchenaid. I’m decorating a baby’s room. I am the very definition of DOMESTIC:
** ORIGIN Latin domesticus, from domus ‘house’adjective 1 relating to a home or family affairs or relations. 2 of or for use in the home. 3 fond of family life and running a home. 4 Blogger G Love, one of the Wonder Women. (per

Sometimes, it gets me down. Sometimes, I think I liked me better when I was less in love with my house and the stuff in it, more able to pitch a sleeping bag on any old floor. I was more myself when I only had about ten articles of clothing. Two pairs of shoes – one for winter, one for summer. A disposable camera. When I actually drove the pickup (gas costing what it does and my commute being what it is, I now drive the more fuel efficient Matrix. Because, you know, it’s the more responsible choice.)

But sometimes, I like it. It soothes me to know that Patrick met me when I was still loose and a little wild, so that’s the me he fell in love with. And this new, domestic us is just who we’re inevitably evolving into. Children have always been in my picture, and unless you are bazillionaires like the famous Brad and Angie, it’s a lot easier to raise children if you have an established and comfortable home, a single stopping place, a depository for all the trappings that are required to feed and clothe and comfort them.

There is no shame in domesticity. It’s foreign and new for me personally, but it’s an evolution that I can get behind. As the wee imp in my belly (getting less wee by the day) pummels me with his fearsome infant strength, and I think on how prepared we are to welcome him, I realize how appropriate it is for me right now to be called domestic. Domestic and free-spirited are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

In fact, just to prove it, I think I’ll drive the truck to work tomorrow. So there.


Wicked M said...

Adorable. One of my thoughts yesterday was about wondering if people called me old. Domestic and settled were also on my list.

You can still be a free spirit and be domestic! Take it as a compliment when I say that I do not know anyone more bohemian than you two -- if you want to know why, e-mail me!

kaycee said...

As someone who is also a bit transient (I mean, I live in an Airstream for pete's sake), I gotta admit... today I was at my dog walking job and admiring the quaint little craftsman houses we walked by. Picturing myself, just for a moment, in similar shoes to you, my friend Sarah, most of the people I know,was odd. BUT, I find it very encouraging to know that you can plant yourself somewhere and be happy about it. And I think I can still be living in an Airstream and feel domesticated. For sure it is a state of mind, so go, let you be free! And still come home to your creature comforts.

MSO Rin said...

Hear, hear! Domesticity RULES! For when I consider "domestic" I think: warm, cozy, contented, sated, wanting nothing, H-A-P-P-Y. I agree that those fuzzy cooing notions are in no way a damper on "free": creative, open, huge-hearted, eager, H-A-P-P-Y. See? They match!