When I went house-hunting with my parents as an eight year old, I hated it; it was boring, and seemed to embarrass my mum and dad. They had never bought a house and couldn't really afford to. How strange it felt to go out with Tim last night to meet up with a man we'd never seen to look at a basement suite that might be our home. I had to play the adult, asking about utilities, painting, the laundry facilities; proving we were responsible and wealthy enough to make our payments, lying about my age. I've never been apartment shopping for myself before, but I wasn't embarrassed. I was only choked at the challenge of making the suite cozy and livable.
It's ugly, huge, and cheap. The carpet isn't tacked down, paint has soaked into unprimed patches on the walls, the windows are tiny, the sink is sausage-colored porcelain, the lights are dim, the switch plates feature Mickey Mouse. It needs paint, new lino, lots of halogens, some fresh air. But there's a backyard we could plant tomatoes, peppers, and poppies in, there's a room for Tim's tools, and a room for my desk. There's a gas stove. There's a month of free rent to paint if we take it.