Sunday, May 2, 2010

Aquapocalypse, Day 2

So far, not having "safe" water is not a big deal. Brushing my teeth with bottled water reminds me of Paris.

Today was hot and muggy, perfect for bottled iced tea. It's not hard to follow most of the safety guidelines, but I'm not soaking our dishes in bleach. I'm washing them in hot, soapy water and giving a final rinse in safe, boiled water. So there. And anyway, we went to a picnic today and came home with spare paper plates, cups, and plastic flatware.

The cats miss their daily access to wet bathtubs and running faucets. Snicky loves to drink from the bathroom sink. Possum asks to play in running water every morning; he's disappointed in me for not accommodating his every wish. I explained about protozoa in simple terms that a scientifically minded kitten like himself should understand. But I find we've spoiled him. He thinks only of his pleasure in the moment. (How I envy that.)

We went to just one real-estate open house today, in a remote, rural area known as Winter Hill, Somerville. (Yes, that's a joke. But it's also how the area really seems to this inner-city girl). We visited a rambling, Greek Revival Victorian single-family, with a deep front yard, on a quiet side street. The front porch had a fluted white columns, rocking chairs, and a sky-blue ceiling. Inside, we admired the double parlors with original details and floors, the dining room with glass-fronted pantry cabinets, and the cozy kitchen. There were four pretty bedrooms upstairs. The two-and-a-half baths were recently redone in classic white tile and period-style Waterworks fixtures. Pretty darn perfect overall, at least in style and historic detail.

But — and it seems there's always a But:

It's a ridiculously large house for two people. We'd be rattling around in so many rooms (it's three times the size of our current place, not including the full basement, attic, double garage, and yard). We'd be forced to adopt a half-dozen cats just to have a glimpse of one once in awhile. We'd also need to bring home a big percentage of the inventory of the Brimfield Antiques Fair to furnish the place. Housekeeping would be a full-time job for me: I'm slow, incompetent, and easily distracted when I clean.

Also, it would only be a matter of time before we were compelled to take in a few elderly relatives; with all those spare rooms, we'd have no excuse not to. Unfortunately, we only have batty, curmudgeonly elderly relatives — no one as charming as, say, Grandpa Munster or Grandmama Addams.

The biggest downside: it's about a mile to the nearest Red Line stop, Porter Square, for access to Boston, grocery shopping, a bookstore, and gym — and that's still on the outskirts of what we downtown snobs view as "civilization." As a non-driver accustomed to walking everywhere in my decades of living in Back Bay (where I feel like the best of Boston is practically on my doorstep) it would be a depressing commute to everywhere.

I'm a spoiled brat, I know. I'm feeling depressed and guilty about it, but there it is.

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