My visit to the Million Dollar House turned out to be quite a lesson in compromise. The house itself was far less lavish that I’d imagined. I’d forgotten that when you live 25 minutes outside of NYC, a million don’t buy much. While certainly not modest, the house was not the amazing mansion I’d envisioned. And it was kind of crappy–a sad combination of uninteresting Victorian and ugly 70’s add-ons. It was also dreary, cold and filthy. My own house is (far smaller but) much nicer. (Lengthy aside: When we arrived, Mrs. Rich greeted us with the announcement that the housekeeper had not come that week. The house was in fact a FUCKING WRECK! But not just an I-have-two-young-kids wreck, which I’ve seen before. An I’m-accustomed-to-having-slaves-clean-for-me kind of wreck. I know lots of people have cleaning services and I don’t pretend I could keep a house that size clean, but I find it depressing when people don’t do their own housekeeping. It’s just a thing I’ve got. So, the house was filthy and Mrs. Rich, whom I described as attractive and fashionable, was covered in spitup and clearly worn down. HA!)
On the other hand, the town in which the house is located is vibrant and filled with shops and restaurants and great schools if you happen to have kids, all within walking distance. While I’m fond of my city and neighborhodd, they do have a bit of a rust belt flavor and are far from hip. So–great town or great house? Me…I come down on the side of great house in perfectly reasonable town. Another point of compromise had to do with the fact that Mrs. Rich gave up her career to have kids. She clearly feels sad about that, and mentioned that she struggles with not resenting Mr. Rich. Women having to make this choice is old news and I don’t want to dwell on it, but she said point blank that she envies me. Of course, she doesn’t know what I’m going through, and if I had to choose between never having kids and never having a career, I’d certainly choose not having a career. Maybe just because I have had the chance to experience pursuing and attaining a dream, so I know it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. I still hope I can have both.
A third point of compromise had to do with the fact that Mr. Rich works quite late (he’s usually not home until 8pm) and so doesn’t see much of his kids. In general, he seemed like a crappy parent (my middle name is Judgey McCritical Pants, by the way). Like, while Mrs. Rich was taking Little Rich Girl to school, Mr. Rich was in charge of taking care of Little Rich Boy. He plopped him down in front of the TV and fucked around on his blackberry, totally forgetting to feed his kid breakfast! Who forgets to feed a one year old? Unfed one year old = BAD NEWS. So, again, while having a lot of money and a fancy job might have advantages, I’d choose a husband with enough time to be a father. IN SUMMARY, the inadequacy I feared was not felt. Not one iota.
The rest of our trip was very nice, though it did not stop me from thinking about pregnancy every fucking moment. ‘Cause nothing can. The MFs show was great, of course. Mr. Bunny admired my stylish outfit (see Figure 1) and I felt reasonably City. On Sunday we went to the Met and tried to find the items described in From the Mixed–Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Is there any other reason to go to the Met? Sadly, the bed is no longer on display and the cat statue was on loan, but it was fun to have a mission. I confess that I had a powerful vision of telling Trixie about doing this when she was just a tiny embryo in my uterus and that made me really sad, but I shook it off. Sort of. Okay, not really–it was also the day of peaking progesterone and thus high emotion. BUT, we had a lovely dinner at a low key restaurant near our hotel and then Mr. Bunny graciously allowed me to watch figure skating. ‘Cause that’s love.