My parents have lived in the same house for 31 years. In those 31 years, they have raised a family, hosted countless Thanksgiving, New Year’s dinners, Super Bowl parties & Memorial Day cookouts, provided rest to the weary and been a constant in a world of change and chaos.
Their house has been a refuge for siblings who were just moving to the area who crashed on the couch for weeks or months until they could get on their feet. When said siblings finally got settled into their own apartments, they would come over on the weekends to wash clothes or to get a meal or to baby sit my brother and me.
Apparently, my parents threw plenty of B.C. (before children) parties where hook ups were made and too much fun was had, that are still being talked about 30 years later. So you know those were some good parties if they are still being vividly remembered after all these years...
Everyone knows how to get to the Rum Punch household. Even those family members, who haven’t been there in awhile, can always seem to find their way back without minimal directions. It’s like once you’ve been there, you know the way and you never forget.
My friends know that they can always pop in for a plate at our annual gatherings, no invitation or reminders necessary. They can call and say ‘I’m getting on the road and I need to spend the night at your house’ and the door is always open. And they will more than likely get a home cooked meal out of it.
So basically my parents have planted roots, something I find enviable. I want to plant some roots. I want to be a homeowner and throw Friday night fish frys and bid whist/spades parties, have dinner parties where I can breakout my fine china, throw an annual house party that is talked about for years.
The thing is I never envisioned that I would be planting roots alone. And as I get closer and closer to moving out of my parents’ house and there are no marriage prospects, I know that this will mean that once I tak that step, that I will truly have to be I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T, do you know what that means man? And sometimes I’m like, “well to hell with that…Shouldering all the finances by myself on top of having to live ‘alone’ is for the birds...”
So then I abandon that planting roots thing, and instead envision myself living in Paris in a fabulous apartment (we’ll get to my love for Paris in another post), inviting friends over on an annual basis for a Parisian crepe cooking and bid whist/spades party. And even though I’d be “alone”, I don’t think the loneliness would feel so palpable. I wouldn’t have to answer family and old church ladies well meaning questions of, “seeing anyone special?” or “when you getting married?” Who knows, old lady, who knows? I wouldn’t be around to watch the divide of married vs. unmarried get larger. I could just be content eating croissants and shopping for shoes, and I guess working or writing (haven’t really figured out the how to make money piece yet)…
I once had an older Black woman tell me, “girl don’t buy a house on your own, that will turn black men off. They will really feel like you don’t need them...” Le sigh. And le groan. And my esthetician told me, “don’t move out of your parents house, just live at home until you get married…” Oh how I wanted to say, “June, I’m a Black woman, there’s not telling when that could be…” And being 35 and still at home cause I'm waiting for my huzband to come take me away is not a good look.
So, even though I keep Paris as a plausible escape clause, I am taking steps to being a homeowner: saving money, paying down debt and doing research. And while I have trepidation about moving out, deep down I know that I want and need my own space. I want to be able to invite people to Rum Punch’s house, I want to entertain friends and family and I want to have the satisfaction of planting roots, of being home base to somebody else.
That’s my time y’all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!
SO LONG, FAREWELL...
The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot