Sunday, December 31, 2006

I want to see your new place!

"Awkward" is a great way to describe me in a social setting. I get tongue tied really easily because I SUCK at making the small talk. I have like three topics: Work ("Workin hard?"), Significant Other ("How is Becky/Mike/your dog?"), Movies or TV ("You really should check out the new Battlestar Galactica, it's not lame I swear"). I try to steer clear of the weather and politics because I have weird opinions on both and it takes too long for me to get into them (rain loving libertarian). My nature is to always wonder WHY someone would ask a question other than "how's it going?" No idea where that suspicion comes from. It's a confidence thing... I'm working on it. So it's weird now to have this new topic of conversation to deal with...

"I want to see your new place!" Friends and even mere acquaintances say this to me all the time now... I don't really know how to react to it. My place is just over 700 square feet, so there really isn't A LOT to see. Sure, I'm proud of it and am looking forward to having people over for dinner or events (something I pledge to do MORE of in 2007), but someone coming over JUST to come over seems weird.

It's actually happened a couple of times. For example a guy from work who I don't know REALLY well was in the neighborhood having lunch only a few days after I moved in. I'd taken some time off around the move so my new place came up in the typical "post vacation" coworker conversations. He called out of the blue, explained that he was nearby and asked if he could come see the place. Which he did, and it was fine... but like I said, it's not like I can give you a tour of the East Wing or the Conservatory... there are basically 3 rooms to "tour." When he was here there wasn't even any furniture except for my bed which was in the living room because I had not yet bought a couch. He liked it and all, but when he left I felt a little weird, exposed.

Plus, you really can't ask the big question, "how much?" I mean you can, but you have to preface it with something like, "I don't want to be nosy (LIAR) but..." Nowadays I guess if you really wanted to know you could look up comps online, or even go to the developers website but it still comes up. I never know what to say! My contemporaries and I probably make comparable wages, give or take 5 or 10 g's... so it's not about discovering who makes more. When it comes up I always say that it was less than I expected (and it was), and then offer up what I "heard" similar units are selling or sold for. But when does that stop being informational and become braggadocio?

Thanks to an abundance of holiday parties I have been hearing the "place seeing" statement more lately. It's not a question, "Can I come over and see..." it's a statement "I want to see..." I always say, "Come on by anytime!" But is that what they want to hear? Does, "I want to see your new place," REALLY mean, "I am acknowledging that you have purchased a home or moved recently and having said this fulfills my obligation to you on this matter?" or do people really want to see where I live?

This building is brand new, it's a prominent addition to the neighborhood and there are ads for units in Phase II (construction starts Tuesday) in all the local papers all the time... so I guess that contributes to SOME of the curiosity.

Admittedly, I like to go to see my friends places (new or not). I've said, "I need to come see the new place," myself many, many times. I like to see their style and taste, get ideas for my own place, and I LIKE giving people compliments on their home. I'm not a judger (unless it's a stranger's home), people's tastes are people's tastes and unlike our impending tax returns there's no accounting for them. Discussion about the decoration or style of someone's home I have been in is inevitable, but I am typically the one who tries to convince those who did NOT like aspects to look at the bright side. Find SOMETHING worthy of a compliment, even if it's just convenient parking, or a cute refrigerator magnet. Oh, I've mocked too... yours truly is definitely guilty of starting my share of "what were they thinking?" conversations, but more often than not, I'm the defender of unusual taste.

Thinking about it, my awkwardness and suspicious nature are probably the causes for my inability to deal well with people's interest in This New Condo. I am proud of it, but I wonder if at this point in my life I should have more to show, I worry if when my friends do come to see my new place that they'll leave having expected more. I have friends with less, and I have friends with much more and they're all friends. I'll just shoot for being the awkward friend with just enough.

Side note... the weather today is SO AWESOME!!! Overcast, steady drizzle and as a perfect compliment to this grey day BRAVO is having a "Six Feet Under" marathon! Perfect way to start to end 2006.

My little brother (no longer little he’s 3 inches taller than me) who lives on the other side of the world is in town for the holidays staying with my Dad. His visit to this new condo last night is in part responsible for this post. P and I will ring in the new year with he and my Dad and my steps out in the ‘burbs tonight.

Have a happy and safe night. Best wishes for the new year.


Matt said...

We always feel the same way ... we love our house, but it isn't as "nice" as other friends. We have some friends who are quite well-off, and it's hard not to think that, somehow, they will judge us on the old carpeting or the needed paint jobs. But, like you said, we're the friends with "just enough". And, it truly is enough.

Happy New Year ... I hope it's better than each one before it.

Sorted Lives said...

You should:

- be proud of your place.
- be proud of your accomplishments.
- be proud you can live where you do.
- be proud it's all yours.

Family and acquaintences always judge. True friends will love it because it is yours.