My part of Houston loves gaslighting

Bougie Memorial house

The above house is pretty much the template for new expensive Houston houses. In the swamp, we like brick. And we like gas lanterns because… the South. 

Sales pitch: Are you ready? This one’s just going to be introspective hand-wringing and therefore might be the most boring thing you’ll read today. 

Stepson #1 (A.) had a tennis party to go to last night- “Tennisgiving” they called it because… tennis+Thanksgiving. And I should have known that whomever offered to host would have a BFH (big f’ing house). They always do.

But I Google Street viewed it, and was pleasantly surprised to see a wee little ranch house (I call them grandparent houses, because in many neighborhoods, the only ones that haven’t been torn down for a McMansion are owned by the elderly.) When we pulled up, I saw that the grandparent house had VERY recently been leveled and, yep, replaced by a McMansion complete with the flickering gas lanterns beloved by southern bougies.

“I want a rich friend.” C. exclaimed.

In their school district, they probably have several already. There’s certainly money to be had in Houston, albeit much of it is the “live well while the world burns” variety. But our house is not in their school district (where the money is)– they’re zoned from their mom’s house, which made a lot more sense logistically years ago, and still makes sense from a “that’s the better school district” perspective.

So desirable is Memorial/Spring Branch, that it is among the places in Houston where people choose to buy up the tiny lots and build McMansions with no yards.

But I digress.

I liked these people’s house. It was very on-trend. I liked their bougie gas lanterns, though I make fun of EVERYONE needing to have those. I hated that they had Christmas decorations up already, including two gaudy Christmas trees (can’t buy taste!)

Mostly I hate how it made me feel. Like, if I’m playing this game where money is why I do things, I need to win it. Because I always need to win everything. Even though I like my quirky house, and I like that it needs renovation so that I get to do it. And I genuinely love home decorating.

I think part of it is that at age 40 (in 2 days), I feel like I’m just starting out and that I’m horribly behind the curve in life. Never mind the amazing adventures I’ve had- OTHER people are mid-career.

Having two kids ages 14 and 12, and then two who are 2 means that I’m constantly crossing worlds, between established folks and young families just trying to manage the drama of small children.

Who do I want to be as an adult?

I don’t want my uncertainty to keep manifesting as disdain towards these people whom I’ve never met. I don’t really feel disdain. I feel like I’m still finding my way.

I think I need to read this book, just for the title: What if This Were Enough?


p.s. Somewhere along the line I signed up for notification of incoming UPS deliveries. Yesterday I got notice that I am going to be receiving two UPS packages from a law firm today.

The problem with being anxious is that I’ve spent the past 24 hours preparing to find out that M or I have done something horribly wrong and been sued. I can’t think of what this horrible thing would be – but the only interaction I’ve had with the legal system in my life has been our current custody filings. Oh, and the time my ex-roommate took me to small claims court for moving out of our apartment early (underscoring why I wanted to move away from her). I go out of my way to avoid trouble.

I think by the time you read this, I’ll know what the stupid packages are.


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