Some girls (or women or men/boys) fantasize about weddings. Or babies. Or both. Or perhaps their thing is X-Men fanfic. Or X-Files fanfic. Or scandalously, both (also know as X-Men/X-Files crossover fanfic).
People fantasize to get through the day. Having some well worn topic ready at hand edits out the middle man of having to think of something to think about. So when we’re delayed due to train traffic up ahead we ruminate on the hundreds of ways that our fantasy could present itself, all to suppress the emotions conjured by train traffic. Maybe you’ll end up married to an Italian baron with three step children under the age of 6. Or maybe the Lone Gunmen will have to call on Jubilee and Wolvie to help break into a secret government facility. All things are possible when your imagination is your only escape underground.
My fantasy has always been home ownership. In all the MASH games I played the only aspect of my future that mattered to me was the one that determined mansion, apartment, shack, or house. A Frames? Sure. Hudson Valley renovations? Yes please. Mexican courtyards filled with pasta tile? If you insist. It’s not as much about the size, style, and location of the thing as it is about “it’s mine” factor. How else can you explain the joy generated by the thought of getting free mailing address stickers in the mail? While my home ownership dreams used be indiscriminate and far reaching they have shifted since beginning to look seriously at places in late 2015. Now bulk of this fantasy has taken the shape of furniture placement, redecorating, and renovation. You want proof?
If I had to guess the psychological underpinnings of this fantasy it probably has to do with feeling secure, being able to point to something tangible that I accomplished (..to give me sense of worth), and the fact that I was always told to buy and not rent by my family. Simple stuff. So now I own. Am I fulfilled? Of course not. I’m a mess, because somewhere along the way I forgot that dreams and nightmares are distant cousins.
After the closing we went to our apartment (!!!) to have our requisite meal of Chinese food without furniture. In our case we modified this trope slightly and went for Thai food with fold out camping chairs. While sitting in our “kitchen” (can a kitchen be called a kitchen if there’s no kitchen in it?) and guzzling down an inordinate amount of prosecco for a Thursday, I began to question. What have we done? We’re not up to this. We know nothing about renovations. Notice how the last two aren’t even questions but just negative self talk. How interesting. I immediately begin to chip away at my self esteem out of terror. Judging myself gives me the illusion of control and allows me to bask in another well worn fantasy. How I could have been better.
Danny and I are a good fit for a variety of reasons. This is good news since we’re married. However, on the long list of reasons we work (don’t worry there’s also a list of reasons we don’t- a story for another day) the number one reason would be that he is steadfast when I am shaky. When I am afraid of commitment or of change he is a rock, my touchstone, if you will. So when I begin to judge, to criticize, and to panic he doesn’t even blink. He knows that I’ll come through the other side. Danny has faith in me/him/us when I can’t find anything. I’m the dreamer (and the worrier) but he’s the one who gives me the courage to make those dreams a reality.
In the immortal words of Mariah Carey;
But it’s just a sweet sweet fantasy baby
When I close my eyes
You come and you take me
It’s so deep in my daydreams
But it’s just a sweet, sweet fantasy baby
For all the time I spent thinking about having a home and what I would fill it with I neglected to think of who else would live in it. Isn’t that funny. I guess some of the best things don’t require any fantasizing at all. They’re just reality.