A Guest Room

I'd have one, maybe even two, if I lived, say, here.

Or here.

But I don't. I live in an apartment. A very nice apartment, mind you. Even a four bedroom apartment. But the fourth bedroom is really more of a wannabe bedroom for the maid, not a proper bedroom where family members might stay. And the third bedroom is necessarily a study, so that leaves only two, one for my husband and me, and one for our son. Ergo, no guest room.

We had a bed, well, a futon couch in the maid's room, which was amazingly comfortable, almost as comfortable as a real bed. But it more or less filled the room once you pulled it out, leaving no way to get into it other than diving into it from the doorway. Not really a situation you would want to put, say, your mother into. Not a proper guest room at all. So we sold the futon and plan to make a little sitting room out of the fourth "bedroom." Now, if anyone comes to visit, we're going to have to put them on the couch in the living room or have our son sleep on the couch and the guests take his bed. Which should be fine, since it's a double (you should see our new bed!), but it's still his room, with all his stuff. We'll have a fair old time clearing his desk to give guests someplace to put their stuff.

I wish we had a guest room. A proper guest room for guests, not just a place where visitors might sleep. It's one of the reasons that I keep wishing (less so, thankfully, now that we have our kitchen done) we had a house. Houses more or less guarantee guest rooms, at least in my experience. Indeed, come to think of it, having a guest room is more or less what defines a house for me. Apartments are where you live when you aren't yet established. When your parents don't really come to visit because you're still in school. But then you grow up and get a job and get married (or vice versa, if you're a grad student). And then you buy a house. And then your parents can come stay with you. Viola! You're a grown up.

I see these houses more or less every day now, when I am out with the Dragon Baby for a walk. My sister would say, rightly, I think, "Good! It is much better to live in a neighborhood where you don't have the most expensive home." My guess is my family and I are about in the middle. Okay, maybe towards the bottom of the middle. Not in a mansion or even a townhouse, but not in one of the smaller high-rise apartments either. Very comfortable, mind you. But no guest room. It's a curious experience for someone who grew up in the suburbs where most of the houses cost about the same. Should I feel successful for living in such a desirable (thus the house prices) neighborhood? Or, as I do when I walk past the mansions (which, by the by, the houses above aren't; they're quite modest, really*), like a failure?

Okay, so I'm never going to live in one of these houses. But my son is fairly bright. Maybe he will. Maybe he'll become a famous mathematician or scientist and be able to afford a real house, not just an apartment. Perhaps he'll even be able to afford one of these houses. Then I could go stay with him. Or could I? It would be his house and his wife's house (if he gets married). I'd be a guest. I'd have to stay in a guest room. It's not like I'd ever get to live in the house. Which, come to think of it, is probably the way my mother feels when she comes to visit us. Perhaps wanting to have a guest room is wanting something one can never actually have, with or without a house: another chance at being at home.

*In comparison. I'll take some pictures of the actual mansions one day.


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