As you know, Copain and I live in 28.85 meters squared to be exact. (For you non-metric peeps, that means teeeeeny tiny). Picture a studio apartment, now cut it in half so that we can have a living room and a bedroom. Bienvenue chez nous!
We consciously made the decision to rent something tiny so that we could:
A - save our money for a future purchase
B - go out in Paris and enjoy living in this great city
C - not clean so much?
In any case, it was a choice, not an obligation, and up until now we've managed pretty well if I do say so myself. No, you will not be receiving an invitation to dinner (there is no dining room table - well, no table at all really) and we may not even invite you up for a drink (we would all sit in a line on the couch and have to turn out heads right and left to see each other), but other than that, it works. We make do.
We also like to remind ourselves that this is the only time in our lives when we will actually be able to make this choice - we have no kids just yet, but when we do, we will be obligated to upgrade, big time.
I give myself little apartment pep-talks all the time, especially when I start to feel down (I live in a great neighborhood, I can walk to work, I get to live in Paris blah blah blah) but on Friday morning I hit rock bottom. I'm being pushed out of my own apartment because of our stuff!! It's dirty!!! I can't breathe!! They still haven't repainted the walls after the dégat des eaux from May 2010!!! AHHHHHHH!!!
Copain noticed my down-in-the-dumps vibe and offered up this gem: well, we'll just have to buy something. Oh right, like we're just going to buy something in Paris - that can house us and our future children. riiiiiight. I can see it now - us sleeping on the pull out bed in the living room/bedroom/dining room while our children doze in the mini-hall closet...if we're lucky enough to find an apartment with a closet, that is. Oh god, save me now.
I told him that this weekend we were going to do a GIGANTIC spring (summer, whatever) cleaning and like the nice copain that he is (or maybe out of fear of my wrath), he said oui, bien sur cherie.
We woke up at 10am this morning, had our coffees and promptly got to work. We tossed, we yelled, we made piles, we organized and we didn't stop until 5pm - not even to eat. We had four bags of trash, three bags of recycling, one bag of giveaways and a whole pile of random stuff. I am sorry to report that our beloved Gary didn't make it...
Gary, it wasn't you, it was us. You will be missed.
When my blood sugar started dropping to startling levels, I ate one artichoke heart. Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking either. Then we sat on the couch and admired our work - Wow! We have space! It's clean! We rock! We should get a new TV! (that last part was Copain...he knew he had me where he wanted me after his day of hard work).
Our apartment is still suuuuper small, but after having taken out most of the merde that was piling up, I feel so much better. Even Copain, the man who saves everything (he has two drawers dedicated only to pens) keeps mentioning how great the apartment looks. Our morning motivation may have sparked some Art of Living in 0 meters squared creativity, because he just came up with this handy contraption for drying his work shirts:
So, do I feel better? Oui, exponentially. Am I still afraid that my future children will be sleeping in hall closets, or that we will be co-sleeping until they are five because all we can afford to buy in Paris is a chambre de bonne? um yes.
But for now, I'll just drink a glass of rouge and enjoy the extra space...perhaps make some plans to inherit from a distant dauphine that I'm sure is somewhere in the family line ... right?