|In my job interview scarf, looking hawt.|
Since the dawn of time (about seven or eight years ago), I have been dreaming about having a house full of people and food. I had no idea how to go about obtaining these things. I didn't even know how to cook.
In February of 2010, I purchased my house on Park Ave. in NondescriptCollegeTown, Indiana. That was part one of the equation. The house is old-ish -- built in 1928 -- and has its own set of problems. My workload and checkbook often trump the house to-do list, but I enjoy fixing the house up when I can.
Before moving into the house, my now-ex-fiancé (with whom I bought the house) and I spent three weeks fixing things up. Those few weeks are weird to look back on now. The essence of the house seemed different then -- like it wasn't really ours yet. Maybe it had to do with the ridiculous wallpaper we kept finding or the plaster coming off the walls to reveal a chimney we didn't know about:
A couple of months before the wedding, my fiancé went "fuck it" and left, but I stayed with the house and those dreams I had of making something into a home. A comfortable, pretty, fun home. After he left, I spent every free second running back and forth between the house and Home Depot (which, thankfully, is only about five minutes each way), determined to make it "my" house -- the cozy house I always wanted as an adult.
Helping me with these projects -- in addition to killing spiders, lifting heavy furniture, and reaching top shelves -- was my cousin David.
Decorated war veteran, former paramedic, ladykiller, athlete. But most importantly, the coolest kid EVAR:
I realized, after a while, that I would have to learn how to entertain. It was around this time that I began cooking as a creative outlet -- for a long time, I was trying out a new dish nearly every night. My friends and family enlisted themselves as guinea pigs, and as it turns out, I'm a pretty damn good cook. That came as a surprise for me, since I used to be a bit afraid of cooking. I was always worried that I would start a fire or make someone sick.
David is brutally honest about my food. Problem is, he's a picky eater. No seafood, no spicy food, no fried food, "prefers" no breading on food, lactose intolerant, dislikes vegetables but might eat them if I hide them in something else, and NO PIZZA. Unfortunately, I can't really experiment with his food, because it turns out he's got a tolerance level that only goes so high. Therefore, I started cooking for everyone else, too -- mini-quesadilla-spring-roll thingies to accompany me to a friend's cookout, deviled eggs and my now-award-winning chili at poker parties; hosting Thanksgiving (2 years now!), Mother's Day, and Fourth of July; inviting over my buddies for a dinner party when I feel like trying a new recipe (the last one is the most fun... I always try a new main entree).
I've reached my goal trifecta -- a home that's usually full of family and friends, with the aroma of a roast in the oven and the sounds of ice in cocktail glasses tumbling together.
However, I'm still learning: how to stay afloat financially (especially now that we have a single income household, but I doubt that'll last long), getting the house in shape, kicking ass at my full-time job, making sure my body does not age 20 years in the next 10, keeping my three kittens happy... since becoming owner of my Park Ave. Pub, I've been thrust into adulthood without realizing it, and trying to navigate adulthood appears to be my biggest challenge yet. I'm not a wife or a mother, unlike most girls my age, but I've still got a lot to figure out -- that, and with some honesty and hopefully a little humor, is the foundation of the Park Ave. Pub.