Since I found out that my overpriced rental house was put on the market, for an inflated price, I've been obsessed over finding a new place to live. Just like the potential Mr. Right list I used to keep in my head back in my twenties, I have my house criteria: No carpet (carpets are evil!), a loft bedroom, one thousand square feet or less, no fatal flaws, and located in a place where curtains are not necessary. The search is proving difficult in a place where "man-hos" (manufactured homes) have been slapped up on any nice piece of ground or where uninspired rancher houses in pastel, or looming boxes with few windows, are squeezed together on tiny lots.
Woods, I need woods. I want to come home to the sound of the river, the sigh of the trees. I want to ski out my back door. I want to lose the welfare apartments, the neighbors who run their diesels for twenty minutes at five in the morning. I want to live in the wilderness.
The few places for sale in these locations barely qualify as shacks. For example, what were the people on Liberty Road thinking with their fuzzy carpet, painted plywood and godawful wallpaper? There they are, surrounded by ten acres of beautiful forest, and the house barely has any windows. On the other hand, I looked at a couple of houses in town that made me uncomfortable. I realized this was because they were too nice. I don't want a house that is so perfect that I don't ever want to go outside. I want one that I am okay with leaving. I want one with character, with unique quirks for me to love.
My Mr. Right list has evolved over time. It used to emphatically deny the existence of beards. It definitely excluded hair longer than mine, a tendency to wear dorky clothes, or men who looked like they were stuck in one place forever. Over the years the requirements have changed as I have realized that it is not about the outward appearance.
Perhaps my house list will change as well. Maybe there is no perfect cabin in the woods. But I'm not budging on the carpet.