I love my house. I really, really do. It is smack in the middle of a fabulous neighborhood. Many of my neighbors are original owners (and our house was built in the 60’s so that says something). I live on a double cul-de-sac. That means that the street I live directly on is a cul-de-sac and the little street that juts off of our street is also a cul-de-sac. It’s kind of like lowercase ‘y’. See I live right in the middle of the long stem and the short stem is almost dead-on in front of us. The biggest perk to that ‘y’ shape is the parking – I’ve got lots of it; a far cry from that decade of apartment living where a two-car household gets one spot and the other person just has to battle it out on the precious part of the curb that isn’t painted red. And you can forget about having friends over, they may as well just walk from their house, it would be closer than any spot they could find on the street.
Three houses down from us is a family whose daughter is in the same grade as my daughter. Two houses the other way is a boy who is Daniel’s age – same with the house two in front of us (on the little stem). Little ones scoot around or ride their bikes, everyone puts their American Flag up during the summer and kids actually erect lemonade stands for .25 cents a cup. It’s the perfect picture of the ‘burbs’.
When I was a kid, I grew up living in apartments. The first complex I can recall (in La Habra) was right in the center of a string of apartments – all 4-plex’s, identical in design, one after the next, after the next, after the next. To the east was a neighborhood that is much nicer than even the one I live in now. To the south, there was a hill which meant even NICER houses; 3-car garages, wraparound porches on the second floor to showcase the view looking down on us apartment dwellers. To the west stood a small, hidden playground and the Alpha Beta, to which I am often referring. To the north was the busy intersection of Imperial Hwy and Euclid Street.
So many unfortunate things happened while I lived in those apartments. I had to physically fight other girls (more than is my nature to enjoy). A stranger pulled up and asked me if I knew the time. He was naked. My brother was physically abused by a neighbor kid …and his mother….it’s actually pretty sad now that I start listing it out. The most intriguing part of the whole neighborhood was where the apartments ended and the nice houses began. No transition. It’s a perplexing vision if you’ve ever had the pleasure.
It wasn’t a far walk to those really nice houses … but … whenever I would try to walk to end of the block I’d stop where that first house stood. I had set up an invisible barrier to keep myself from ‘crossing-over.’ I did not belong there.
This is such a perfect picture of my confused identity. There, in the small space between that last apartment building and that first house sits the poor, little, rich, white, Mexican. If I move one inch either way, I fully embrace one and fully reject the other.
This Blog started out as a lighthearted look back at my life but somewhere, I found a little therapy and a slightly uncomfortable dose of authenticity (a new concept to me). I have shared with many of my friendly readers that I do not know how long I can sustain this blog. Even at one post a week, I wonder if there is enough to make it for one year. More importantly, I have to consider where the healthy place to stop sharing is. Does the whole world need to know every down and dirty thing I have ever done? Where does authenticity begin and where does it end? WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS POST? I HAVE TOTALLY DERAILED!
Well, I suppose I could edit this to make better sense but instead, I think I will just leave it the way it is. Authentic.
PS – I didn’t mean to communicate that my life was tragic in the apartments. It wasn’t. I laughed. I was loved. I grew. I also had my first kiss at the age of 5 under the stairs. Not too shabby. 😉