One of my favorite volunteer activities in high school was manning concession stands. I didn’t do it a lot, but it was an ideal gig–you provide the candy, nachos, and pop that make a sporting event more fun (or that which parents will concede to purchasing to tie kids over until dinner). I was experienced in food-service (ha…I had experience, whether or not that makes me experienced) because of my job at the local DQ and it felt like I was on the inside…behind the scenes running of event XYZ.
Frequenting concession stands was something I epitomized as a kid in late elementary school and junior high, although it wasn’t habitual. I remember going to the pool occasionally in junior high and coughing up the 50 cents for sour punch straws or a ten-pack of super sour warheads. Sometimes I went for the more-economical popcorn, sometimes I would get skittles. I was always thoughtful about how far my money would go…skittles, for instance, had more pieces (and therefore more time to enjoy) than a Snickers bar.
Concession has been a word that’s been rolling around my mind a lot in the last week or two. I’m in the middle of a housing hunt and though I have toured 9 very different places (we’ve got quite a spectrum), all of them come with some concessions…whether the cost or the commute (or both) or amenities missing. It’s such an exercise in priorities I can’t help but remember the simpler times when agonizing decisions involved candy. Those decisions usually worked out, as I’m sure this one will, but with grown-up choices come more variables. Some limitations I’m working through are my courage to drive in bad weather, my acquired furniture (and where it’s all going to go…knowing that I could sell it or store it is in the back of my mind, but when I eventually have a house I’d prefer to not have to start over), my timing (Thank you, July 31st, for falling on a Thursday…not), and my ignorance of the area.
I’m realizing that the part of my house hunt that has prioritized comfort and “newness” has been heavily weighted, perhaps overly so. I am not so afraid to spend money on things that make life a little easier or help me to feel more secure (though I don’t rely on that security, living in a place with constant fear is not my idea of making a home), but I’ve allowed that to include spacious layouts, new appliances, and convenience of laundry. All good things, but not necessarily the most important qualities in a rental. Also, things that add significantly to the cost. It’s just money…yes…but have I been overlooking things that I could make work in favor of looking a certain way or living a certain way? I’m afraid so, and I’ve become adept at justifying these things to myself. In conceding the quality or classiness of the apartment I choose, I may be more motivated to settle into a more-permanent house (yay, home ownership!) and end my renting career, at least for now. That’s a concession I can live with!