homeowner cake eater

What a weird day. I am a homeowner now. Just like that. I mean, five million legal documents later. I think I signed something that said that the NY State government is permitted to remove one of my limbs for every year that I forget to replace the carbon monoxide detector.

There were so many people in the room. Lawyers and couriers and I think someone involved with the bank. At some point I said “badass!” about something and got a curious look and thought that I sounded like a teenager and I needed to get a grip.

At some point I asked the lawyers if in a hundred years all of this would be reduced to a single eyeball scan. They said,”Yes,” instantly. So good for you, future generations! Enjoy it.

Bear’s knee was brushing against mine, and for some reason, it felt like a first date. I was so excited and nervous and I couldn’t get over how sexy he looks in his driver’s license photo, which they needed to scan for the records. Sexy in this dazed, shaggy-haired, sunburned way. A kind of confused farm boy from somewhere south of here. The man next to me in the professional pale blue button down shirt still has the same innocent face, but the long hair has since been carefully cut and there is something directed about him.  Bear was only twenty or so when the picture was taken. It makes me want to go back in time and do things to him.


We signed things until we owned them.

I bought a bunch of paint samples and some foam brushes and went into the new, empty apartment. I put hot pink swaths on the wall. And different shades of gold and different shades of white. I couldn’t decide at all at first, and then suddenly, I picked colors, bam bam bam! Done! And then I had nothing to do, so I sat down on the floor with my back against the scuffed wall across from the painted one, and I just stared into space for a long time.

(I want one of my walls to be this color. I don’t know why. I just really want it. source)

This is mine, I thought.

But I didn’t really believe it.

I have never owned a place before. Never been in a place where someone couldn’t just walk in. The super walked in on me naked in my first rental. He had two guys with him. They were there to check the gas line behind the stove. No one told me they would.

He stood there for a long moment and then he said, “OK, we’ll wait outside while you get dressed.”

And they did. And then the four of us stood in the cramped space as they pulled the flimsy oven away from the yellow grease-spotted wall.

I sat on the floor of the empty place that is now my home, and I tried to imagine myself, later, in it. Me, holding a baby.

Nope. Can’t really picture it.

Me, with a copy of a published book, my name on the cover. Nice. I guess that could happen here. Maybe. Could it? How long will I be here?

I feel like I just got married to this city.


*  *  *

Unroast: Today I love the way I look in bright yellow. People always told me that yellow is a bad color for most of us. So I want to wear it more. It’s so happy.

This is the coolest thing ever. A reader named Tyler Feder just sent me this:

It’s me! She drew it! It’s amazing!! (She made my arms thinner than they actually are, but I think I can forgive her somehow..) :-)

And she has a new Etsy shop that I am of course delighted to share with you. It’s called Roaring Softly.

Her unroast for today is: I love the way I feel when my usually grumpy cat nestles into my lap, unprovoked


Kate on July 26th 2012 in life, new york

22 Responses to “homeowner cake eater”

  1. San D responded on 26 Jul 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    Congratulations on your new home. Like all things in life, you just have to breathe it, live it, embrace it, and then it will feel familiar and you’ll wonder how you ever lived anywhere else. Once you discover the little magical flecks than dance in the sunlight shining through your window, you will know it is yours.

  2. Melanie responded on 26 Jul 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    This post almost made me cry. How freaking exciting!!! I have owned my home a year and a half now and I still can’t believe it. I am so glad that every time I drive up I still smile and think, “This is mine.” I think because I’ve been through so much and thought I’d be dead by now. And here I am, responsible home owner Melanie.

    I LOVE that wall color. Do it! I haven’t painted anything yet, and it’ll be a while. My walls have a lot of art on them so that makes it pretty enough for now. Congratulations lady. I am really happy for you.

  3. Yasmine responded on 26 Jul 2012 at 7:31 pm #

    I just recently started following your blog, and reading a bit of your achives — I LOVE that you link back to old posts. It’s like following a trail of goodness, from one post to another to another! CONGRATULATIONS on your new home, Kate! It made me smile to read about how sitting next to your husband while signing endless documents for your new home made it feel like a first date!

    That wall color you’ve chosen is gorgeous — perhaps you could paint it as an accent wall in the guest bedroom or office? It’s YOUR home, and you can paint things any way you want now! Congratulations again =)

  4. Kate responded on 26 Jul 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    @San D and Melanie
    Thank you!! You are both so awesome and sweet. I can’t wait to see flecks dancing in sunlight coming through my new windows!
    Melanie– I am so happy for you, too! I love that you’re still excited about your home. I feel that way about the things I love, like the excitement doesn’t stop with familiarity. Somethings are too good for that. I’m very glad you’re alive.

    Anyway, your blue fluffy coat is coming with me! And I’ll write a post about it eventually. And then I can send it on its way, back to you or to someone else you pick. I feel like I’m hogging it.

  5. Kate responded on 26 Jul 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    Thank you!!! I try to link back, but I feel like I’m not very good at it. I forget so much of what I’ve written. My memory is terrible.
    And yes, I think I’ll do an accent wall in gypsy pink. Isn’t that a great name?! That’s what the color is called!
    Thank you for reading! Send me a picture of you eating cake sometime!

  6. Melanie responded on 26 Jul 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    Yay about the coat! You had the right to keep it as long as you needed. There is no time limit. I am looking forward to seeing the pictures and for it to be passed on. I think you should just do a post about it and pick from the comments. Then the next person can do the same. Or I can post about it and choose from the comments. It’s up to you. :)

  7. Kate responded on 26 Jul 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    Every time I see it in my closet or put it on I smile at it. It’s so soft and comforting and huggy and I always think of you and how cool it is to have this random bond across states and in contrast with traditional modes of friendship. It’s going to be hard to give up, but don’t worry, I swear I won’t keep it forever :-)

  8. Kate responded on 26 Jul 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    BTW, I thought this line was amazing in your long distance relationship post: “It obviously wasn’t love at first sight, but he grew on me like a fungus.”

  9. sami responded on 27 Jul 2012 at 3:19 am #

    Gosh that reminds me of a song by my favourite comedian (Tim Minchin) called You Grew On Me. There is a lyric that goes ‘you grew on me like a tumour’, and it is a somewhat disturbing song but also slightly romantic! haha!


  10. Karen responded on 27 Jul 2012 at 8:23 am #

    I LOVE that colour. Actually I have an accent wall in my bedroom that is that colour. Good taste ;)
    Congrats on the place!

  11. Sheryl responded on 27 Jul 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Congrats! I can’t even imagine it must feel like to own a home. It’s got to be one of those big, weird scary and amazing all at once moments, I’d imagine. Take your time and let it all sink in!

  12. Janet T responded on 27 Jul 2012 at 11:17 am #

    Kate, congrats to you and Bear on your new home. It takes time to get to know a place, so take your time.
    We are on our third house, but this one feels like the home I never want to leave or sell. It was built in 1925 and was not very well cared for, for many years. We have brought it love and affection (plus thousands of dollars to paint, tile, remodel, landscape, reroof etc..)- but we did it all ourselves and so every room has a memory attached to it- and it still needs a bit more, but we have the time to give, new projects stretch out ahead of us like a road to travel.

    Post pics of your updates as you make them. Love the gypsy pink.

  13. Stacey responded on 27 Jul 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    Congratulations! I’m so excited for you. And just so you know, my living room is that pink color that you pictured, and it’s amazing. I think it was called Gypsy Rose or something like that on the paint chip. It gives the room a wonderful glow and makes me feel happy whenever I’m in it.

  14. Kate responded on 27 Jul 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    OK, that’s awesome, and now I feel even better about choosing it!

  15. Stacey responded on 27 Jul 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    Oh, I just clicked over to the source for that paint, and it’s literally the exact same color on my walls! So I guess it’s called Gypsy Pink, not Gypsy Rose, but I like Gypsy Rose better :)

  16. Kate responded on 27 Jul 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    Yup, gypsy pink!!

  17. Bridget responded on 27 Jul 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    Congrats! I love, love, love that color!

  18. Rosanne responded on 28 Jul 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    Congratulations!! So very exciting! Can we get a picture when the walls are painted in that awesome color?

  19. Michele responded on 29 Jul 2012 at 11:37 am #

    Congrats on your new home!!

  20. Jeremiah responded on 31 Jul 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    How wonderfully cool that you guys own your home. I live in my 3rd “owned home” now and can’t really remember what it was like the first time. This current one I built myself (mostly, anyway, at each phase of it I had a friend who knew what he was doing and served as my mentor) over the course of 8 years, while living 30 miles away in Austin.
    We’ve lived here full time 24 years now and it still amazes me that I built the place myself.
    Coolest of all, though, is that the wall color you posted is pretty much the same color my whole bedroom was in my 2nd house. I was in a purple phase at the time–it lasted several years–and all my clothing and much of my stuff were somewhere on a spectrum from pink to purple.

  21. Kate responded on 31 Jul 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    I have endless respect for the fact that you built your own house. That is truly awesome.

  22. Soohyun responded on 01 Aug 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    Congratulation! I just saw this post now. I’ve been helping my friend who just got her apartment for the first time and it was lots of work to shop for a new home. I was her “freelance interior designer” and yes, if you start buying stuffs for home, it is an endless list of work. Though I feel it will be an overwhelming and exciting experience to own a home. Hope to see your fuschia-colored wall soon!