There’s no shame in confessing your lack of desire for a house

carlyn yandle/for metro vancouver


Love at first sight: A stylish grocery pullcart made of recycled inner tubes could add heart to the neighbourhood shopping stroll.

Since this week’s column lands on That Special Day that makes floral, candy and greeting-card companies happy, I’m devoting the subject to love — of the apartment life.

I’m in love with my 1,000 square feet now, but it’s only recently that I gave my heart over completely. Like an attached person who still browses online dating Web sites,

I’ve been a chronic MLS-listings junkie, always wondering if the home of my dreams will appear. Something with a backyard, or a rec room, or even just 200 more square feet, or in a soundproof concrete building.

When the Man Of The House and I (and cat, and dog) moved into our place as first-time homeowners, I assumed we would stick it out for a couple of years until we jumped to a better place. It’s what Vancouverites do. That was over a decade ago.

Over the next 10 years, we got into the groove of what we discovered was not just a few blocks of apartments and stores, but a community.

We fell into a routine of Saturday morning dog-walks to Granville Island, Sunday runs on the seawall, a frequent walking shopping circuit that might include drop-bys at the fish store, the hardware store, the video store, the magazine store.

The Man became the authority on the best price for bananas; I started thinking that a particularly stylish grocery pullcart could turn lugging groceries into a more leisurely social experience of my ’hood and all its increasingly familiar faces — human and canine and feline.

And as it goes with matters of the heart, one day it dawned on me: I’m in love with our apartment lifestyle. Ours is not exactly a show home, and the common areas are a bit shabby, but then I’m far from perfect myself and have my shabby moments.

There’s no concierge in a shiny lobby at my place, but then, I don’t worry about wearing PJ bottoms when I take the dog out for a late-night constitutional.

Suddenly I stopped looking.

Still, it’s bit awkward when those who haven’t fallen in big-city-small-home love ask: “Are you planning to move to a house?” It’s a question loaded with judgment, like the “Are you planning to get married/have a baby” question. There’s a moral implication that one must constantly desire more, not be happy with less. But there’s no arguing with feelings, especially when that feeling is true love.

Carlyn Yandle is a Vancouver journalist with her own room-planning business, Home Reworks ( She dwells on urban-home issues every Thursday in Metro.

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