Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Being a Homeowner

There's something very empowering about being a homeowner. Something that is hard to describe. I am unsure whether it is the accomplishment of what is so frequently seen as the American dream, or the sense of owning, and therefore being in control of, your own space, or whether it is just being home. We so cherish the idea of having a home- it is, after all, where our hearts are. Whatever it is, I love it.

I was recently talking to a co-worker about being a homeowner and how it has changed my weekends. By this time last year, I'd been out paddling a number of times, hiking, climbing, weekend trips- you name it. People at my last job told me that they looked forward to Mondays to hear about what I had done over the weekend. Now my weekends involve scraping, caulking, painting, mowing, sanding. It's not nearly as glorious, and yet it's still so satisfying.

My kitchen in my apartment was beautiful. Ceramic tiles, new cabinets with shiny knobs. Bright, clean, nicely painted. Here I have the floor that never cleans, no matter how many times you mop it. The walls are half plastic sheets and half bare from our wall paper removal. The appliances are old. The windows should probably be replaced. But it's still my kitchen. Every day I come home to my house.

When I was in an apartment I was very strict about the heat. No heat before November and no heat after April. Do you know I've turned the heat on probably 3 times this May? Because I can. Because it is my house. For some reason it is less of a worry. If I can pay this mortgage, I can pay an extra $50 in heating bills.

I worry a little bit less. It is my home, and if something were to happen, the consequences would be unimaginable, but I worry less. Because it is mine. I answer to myself. And there is something comforting in that. I have so much cleaning to do tonight. And tomorrow night. And the night after. I have to clean my house. Not my apartment that my landlord might see. My house. And I love it.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Is there such a thing as too much grammar snobbery?

So I'm a self-proclaimed grammar snob. At times I make mistakes, as do most people; however, I am frequently appalled by the failure to master even the most basic of principles of grammar. Recently, one of my biggest pet peeves has been noticing the correlation between people who discuss how ignorant others are, and the lack of grammatical correctness of those people. This slays me.

Frequently it takes place in the form of hatred of one minority group or another. One week it could be immigrants. The next week it is black people. Essentially anyone who could challenge the status quo and voices an opinion that is different than what is seen as the norm is labeled as, "uneducated."

The labelers, on the other hand, aren't making much of a case for themselves. I recently participated in a Facebook dialogue in which people were disparaging the poor, based on a misrepresentation of what poverty in America looks like. The folks railing about the poor made the following types of statements:
This is what's wrong with are nation. . . (our)
There is way more people like that then you think. . . (are, than)
When you vote for people you should have to fill out a survey that your educated. . . (you're)
(About a black woman) They should send her back to Mexico. . .
I am your sister, so you no where I stand. . . (know)

Okay, so am I a total snob, or is it safe to generalize here and say that most people who are discriminatory and hateful are just plain ignorant? Anyone else see this correlation in their lives?