My Old Room

My father still lives in the same house that he and my mother bought together back in 1985 or so. Up until about 4 years ago, it looked exactly the same as my mother had left it, when she and my father divorced. She had decorated it when I was a freshman in high school, and my dad never moved a thing after she left. That's a story for another day.

About 4 years ago, I got a wild hair, and decided to paint the whole first floor of my father's house (minus the kitchen and small 'powder bath' (which, why the hell is it even called a powder bath??)) in one day, with the help of my (then) 16 year old brother. I picked a color, we taped stuff off, and went to town. I think it came out great, other than the spots where my brother got bored, so in turn got sloppy, and painted the ceiling. My dad was a bit speechless when he came home, and I think it took him awhile to get used to it. But it really had to be done. I took stuff off the walls that had 7 inches of dust on it, and donated it. I bought him some newer decorations to replace those. Since then, he's redone the kitchen, changed the dining room into a workout/computer/piano room, and put up a ton of gorgeous pictures he took on his honeymoon (with his second wife, not my mom).

'My Old Room' as I so lovingly refer to it as, is nothing like I left it. Like Swistle, my father changed the use of the room after I moved out as well. Actually, if I remember correctly, before I even moved out, my brother (then just 9) was plotting his take-over of my room, picking out paint colors and drawing various furniture layouts. I left minor things, like a scrapbook I made from 8th grade, and some old Nancy Drew books (LOVED Nancy Drew!!) that my grandmother gave me, and some other stuff that I didn't think I would want. Within a few hours of moving to my own apartment, my brother had moved my stuff to his room, and shoved it in the back of his closet. Within a week or so, the wallpaper border was ripped off, the lovely girly color was gone, and the walls were covered in magazine pictures of basketball stars and R&B singers. The only thing he kept were the glow-in-the-dark stars I had put all over my ceiling, in actual constellations.

I had officially been evicted.

Just 8 years later, my brother left the room. He took the basics, leaving all the posters and pictures, and left the closet in shambles. It wasn't long before the room contained a computer desk and a computer. A couple of years ago, my father's step-sons moved in, and they made that room their 'hangout' spot, adding a TV, a Playstation, more computers, and a ton of other junk. The cat moved in with them, and guess where the litter box is? You guessed it.

When I go in that room now, I don't really get the chance to be nostalgic. I am not propelled back to my teen years. It doesn't smell like me, or look anything like I left it. It doesn't even really feel like mine. And really, that is fine. It is his house, and I am an adult, so what do I need a teenaged-me room for?

Although, it got me thinking, when I get nostalgic for 'home', what really can I call home? My father's house, where I grew up, does not feel like mine, or feel like it did when I grew up. My mother has moved more times than I can count on my hands (and not really her fault), and I view her house as her house, not My Old Home. I guess this is just part of growing up.


Jenn Martinson said...

I love how "my room" has been coverted to the "crap we're too lazy to get rid of/slash broken stuff/piles of shirts dad can't fit into" room.

Anonymous said...

Yeah...growing up sucks. But I have never lived in my parents house they live in now and IT feels like home. Home is where your family is...no matter what the old bedroom is like now...

Just my opinion.

Unknown said...

my room back "home" is still the same wallpaper paint-wise, but my mother turned it into her "storage" room for all of her decorations Valentine's thru Christmas along with Christmas gifts she buys along the year and then forgets about them in there because it's been MONTHS since she first bought it. However, everything is "in" there like my bed, dresser, computer table, wall decorations, and even my little GI Jane Army dolls, and some of my clothes in the closet and drawers where I left them! Oh, and the back of my door has all of my pom pon pictures and ribbons, and awards like I never left.