Tim Booth put it best in the James song Come Home from the seminal album Gold Mother:
“After 30 years I’ve become my fears, I’ve become the kind of man I’ve always hated”.
Let me also quote this very site, written in March 2003:
“And before you ask, no. I won’t turn this into a John buying his house and going to DIY superstores weblog. I hate that sort of thing.”
Ha! What a liar I am! So I bought a house last year and it’s taken a while but I’ve finally turned into the sad sort of person I used to look down with scorn at. I’d be driving on my way to some adrenaline-packed weekend away biking or something and notice all these 30-something, overweight and out-of-shape guys dressing like teenagers, driving estate cars, maybe a few kids in tow, accompanied by the wife and on their way to a DIY superstore to look at paint, or power tools, or plants, or wallpaper, or garden furniture, or all of the above. I’d shake my head and drive on to continue my exciting life while they got on with their boring, tedious existence including washing their cars on a Sunday morning before walking the dog. I hated them.
And I’m starting to become one of them. I must point out that I’m still in excellent shape however (all washboard, no twin-tub). For example I spent one weekend single-handedly redecorating the lounge and dining room. I just spent the last weekend with my good lady doing gardening! If you’ve known me for years you’ll be particularly surprised to hear that (to be fair, it didn’t involve planting anything, only digging things up). I’ve been in here over six months and I love the place. I really do feel different about actually owning my own house. I’ve become the housewife who nags about keeping the place clean and tidy. So I’ve been asking myself what happened and where did it all go wrong?
But to justify this behaviour I’ve realised that it’s just an extension of what I’ve always been like. It used to be mountain bikes – all the shiny kit, keeping it clean, upgrading to newer, better and lighter components. Then it was cars – faster, noisier, redder, then more refined, more hi-tech and then faster again. Now it’s my [our] house – so what can I (okay, we) do to that? We can customise it by painting it nice colours that we like. We can keep it clean and tidy. We can buy fancy fixtures and fittings, hi-tech electronic equipment and more hi-tech electronic equipment. And we can make the garden a great place to have a barbeque. In a nutshell I haven’t changed. At least I don’t think I have – I’ve just changed scenes.
Oh, did I mention that we got engaged? No? Oh, we got engaged. I proposed when we were in New Zealand but she wouldn’t make it official until I got her a ring – lots of money later and it’s official. Job done.