…but meaning to post is pretty useless, all things considered. It doesn’t actually get much posting done 😛 But I’ve accomplished some other things lately, too! Let me demonstrate with this video:
Yup, that’s right, I’m officially a homeowner. Which is pretty freaking cool.
We move in on Monday, which is a week after we actually closed on the house, and exactly a month after my offer was accepted. I say “we” a few times here because I have more good news: my boyfriend is in town for the summer! Yay! Doing the long distance thing really, really, really sucks… but he’s worth it. I’ve never been in a relationship like this before, and as hard as it is, it really is completely and utterly worth all the heartache and hardship of being apart so much, because the times we’re together are so awesome.
But I digress. Anyway, so I’ve been spending the last month gathering every known bit of documentation that has ever existed about myself, from tax returns to my employment contract to a million other things, and actually almost all of the documentation gathering came together smoothly. I mean, it was a pain in the ass, but it worked. I even had a week’s vacation staying with my boyfriend’s family in Ontario while the loan was in underwriting. We got back here last Friday.
Sitting in the lawyer’s office Monday morning was kind of crazy. The lawyer’s front desk person smiled nicely and looked at my boyfriend and spoke to him until he pointed at me and said “Oh, she’s the one buying the house.” When the seller of the house got there, he shook my boyfriend’s hand and congratulated him, and my boyfriend again nodded off the congrats to me. I got a little half-wave from the seller. Seller’s agent arrives and does the same thing. Everyone there assumed my boyfriend was the one buying the house, and I was just along for the ride. Perhaps I was his wife or something, and you know, I’d be signing papers too, but the congratulations and such were all directed at him, and not me.
You know, we sit around here and blog about girl gamers, girls that play 40k in heels, girls and how we can do anything the guys can do just as well as they can, if not better. We talk about the acceptance we get – or don’t get – when the guys hear us over vent, or see us walk into a game store. And it’s certainly true that the guys are sometimes a little less than welcoming. But all in all, I’ve found the nerd community to be incredibly welcoming. Far more welcoming than any other male-dominated world – sports, cars, or apparently real estate.
Seriously. I have an ex that is really, really into cars, and you know how it goes…when your significant other is into something so completely, it’s only a matter of time before you care about it too. And I liked cars, I like knowing about how they work and how to fix them when they break. Useful skills. My ex and our roommates (both guys) decided to join up with this car club that sounded like something out of The Fast and the Furious, only with fewer special effects, less racing, and more standing around in parking lots. But whatever, it sounded like fun, so I was all for it. And the guy that ran the club actually told me “We don’t think we’re ready to have girls on board with this.” and that I was simply not allowed to join. But what about your girlfriends, I protested. They, apparently, were just along to ride in the passenger seat and wear miniskirts and, now that you mention it, would it kill me to change out of my jeans and wear something more revealing?
Um. Yeah, it might.
And now I hit this lifetime accomplishment, this major milestone of buying my own home, on my own income, and instead of congratulations and good jobs all around, I find a general assumption that I’m not the one entering this world. It is a man’s job to buy a home.
The world assumes – still – a woman’s place is not at the signature line of a real estate contract. It is not behind the wheel of a car, unless it’s a minivan. It is not in accomplishing the American dream of homeownership. Ironically, everyone assumed that accomplishment belonged to the only one in the room that’s not American. Not that they could tell… he hadn’t apologized for anything yet.
And then I spend an awesome Wednesday night with my friends, geeking out over our Iron Kingdoms RPG. I log onto WoW and get congrats from my guildies about the house, and snarky requests to come crash on my couch once I have high speed internet set up. I get offers from friends to help move for payment of a 40k codex and Coronas. I get smiles and waves and hugs when things go right in my life, and not a whisper of my gender while it happens.
Yes, there are nerds out there that will stop us in our tracks for being female. But that’s not indicative of the nerd culture. It’s indicative of a much larger problem in the world. We see it when the nerds do it because it’s rare and unexpected, not because it’s run-of-the-mill.
I can’t wait until the rest of the world catches up.