My Hall Tree

I’m a shopper. It’s one of my releases. I like to hunt down the “perfect” something for my wardrobe or home or whatever it is. The Internet has done nothing but exaggerate my obsessions. There was the great boot hunt of 2009. And then the great boot hunt of 2010. I like boots.

There was the hall tree hunt this past spring, which led to my mother driving from Wisconsin to Tennessee with a very large box for a very short trip. But I have my hall tree. (Since you probably don’t know what a hall tree is, I’ve provided a picture.)

Over the past few years, I have searched for a new duvet and a storage headboard for my bedroom, curtains and pillows for the living room, pots and pans for the kitchen… basically, a new home without the house. Until now.

That’s right: I am now house hunting, and no amount of shopping could have prepared me for this. Usually, I seek for a while and then find something that fits the bill. The biggest purchase I’ve made thus far was my Jetta last fall. Shoes and duvets and curtains can be easily replaced. A house? A house needs to be, well, perfect.

Only that’s just it. In just the short time that I’ve been house shopping, I’ve come to the realization that not everything is perfect. Sometimes things are just right.

There’s a give and take to house shopping that I haven’t really experienced in my other shopping endeavors. This house has the right amount of bathrooms, but that house has larger rooms and this third one has a beautiful kitchen. With so many different criteria, your best hope is to find something close to your dream.

Thankfully, I have time and am not hard pressed to find something. A house isn’t something that will go out of style next season or is only fit for warm weather. A house isn’t a purchase, it’s an investment. A house is a relationship. And relationships are never perfect. Like a house, relationships require give and take. They need time for their foundations to settle, a personal touch to make them feel like home. After all, is that what we all want, to feel at home?

Looking at the shell of a house is like looking at a person for the first time. Would my world fill in these walls? Are the rooms spacious enough, or are they tiny and compartmentalized? Would they be able to handle all of my furniture and excess baggage? Will the floors to hold me up when I need them? Will this roof protect me from storms?

Can I trust this place with my life?

Shopping is one thing. Investing is another. Who and what are you investing in?