Thursday, June 24, 2010

Books That Raise Questions

I just finished reading a book called This is Where We Live by Janelle Brown. It took me awhile to get into it, but this morning, with nearly half of it left, I sat down and read the rest of the book.
The book focuses on an artistic couple in their mid-thirties. She writes and directs films. He has been in a successful rock band and is trying to start another one. Some bad luck lands them in trouble with their mortgage on their Arts & Crafts house in Los Angeles. Of course, I live in an Arts & Crafts-style house, so I can immediately feel a bond with them.
They had a balloon mortgage that ballooned out of reach. The husband wants to walk away from the house to travel. He feels the debt and the house are a ball and chain pulling him down. The wife, a midwesterner by birth, is desperate not to lose the house.
And that's what got me thinking. I found myself agreeing with the husband. This couple had no kids, no obligations, and I thought, of course they should give up the house. Sell it or let the bank repossess it. Move on without the trappings that weigh you down.
I remember as a woman in my 20s I was so anxious about finding the right man and buying a house, starting a family. Now I wonder what that urge, that need is all about.
I wouldn't give up my kids, and maybe I can say this now because I have three kids, that this couple shouldn't sacrifice their creativity for a house and a family. Maybe I've just moved into my mid-life crisis where I'm ready to sell the house and travel the world.
What would you advise a young couple, or even a single person in this predicament? Do you think the young people you know feel too eager to marry and settle down?


Stephanie said...

Yes, especially women. I think when you are young (20's, early 30's) your identity is tied to extrinsic things...the spouse, the career, the house, the kids. If you are lucky, you finally figure out that your identity is so much more, that it is about you and knowing yourself.

Linda said...

I'd vote for traveling the world but I think many women find having a home very important.

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