Friday, March 20, 2009

First day of spring

It hasn't exactly been winter: no frost, no snow but big splashy flakes last Sunday. Wintery sentiments of cocoa by the fire (or TV) gave way back in January to New Years' resolutions, now also long gone. I went spring clothes shopping with Melissa a month ago, and had to try on my new skirt again to remind myself what it was like. This awkward interim between seasons maybe be thanks to the forces of marketing more than nature, but it's still a relief to officially say today is Spring.

There's a pink tree outside my office window, and the rain has let up momentarily. Campus is mostly empty.

Nate and Melissa are looking at houses. $300k, three bedrooms, a loan at 4%, a zipcode outside the city. A yard for a pony-sized dog.

It was a shock to my identity to consider living outside Seattle. Wallingford doesn't exactly bustle, but we've got fancy cupcakes and a view of the city from the bottom of the street. People look happy and interested when you say you live in Wallingford. No one says, "Oh, Lynnwood! I love that neighborhood."

But, browsing Redfin, houses get bigger and prices smaller as you click further from Seattle. Developments with names like Windy Willowpines advertise low rates through preferred lenders. Pristine homes in gated communities offer benefits that make me feel both sick and entitled: "A security entry gate to ensure that only friendly faces are at your doorstep." I'm again conflicted to edge my cursor carefully away from my old neighborhood, my own school district. I may become comfortable outside the city, but I don't want Everett on my address labels.

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