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breaking up is hard to do
part 1 - my first love
by jay colucci

The last two months have been kind of rough for me. I just broke up with my house of five years. It’s been tough, but we are trying to work through it. The important thing is that we make it easy on the cats. I truly hope that we can remain friends when the dust settles.

I don’t expect much sympathy. After all, I was the one who ended the relationship. Even worse, I cheated.

It’s not like I went out looking for another house. I was perfectly happy where I was. She gave me shelter and a refuge from all the crazy things that go on in my life. I took care of her as best I could and made her feel loved. It just sort of happened.

When I first moved in, I had hoped that it would last forever. I guess when I think about it, I knew deep down that it had to end some time. People grow; needs change. We weren’t a perfect match, but I was young and in love.

I had been out of college for a few years and my job was going well. I had been in and out of leases for several years, and I felt it was time for me to settle down.

We met through a mutual acquaintance in the winter of 1995. Debbie had been trying to fix me up with a nice three bedroom/two bath for a couple of months. She had introduced me to several very nice places, but there was no spark. I never heard that little voice whisper, "This is the one."

Debbie was beginning to discover just how particular I can be when it comes to relationships. I wasn’t going to settle for just any old four walls and a roof. Spurred on by the prospect of a nice commission, she took me out one Saturday and introduced me to 688 Hill Street.

She didn’t think that it would work out between us. The house had been in several bad relationships that left her somewhat needy. She was a fairly plain, old house. At 75, she had seen better days. The first thing that struck me about her was that she was beige, very beige. Her walls, ceilings, trim; all beige. Walking across the scuffed wood floors to the dilapidated kitchen, I realized that she needed a lot of work. The linoleum was peeling, the cabinets were pressboard, and a big German Shepherd had reduced the backyard to a patch of Georgia red clay. She wasn’t going to be in Home and Garden any time soon.

For all that, the house had a great personality. Not a dazzling showpiece that I could brag about to my friends, but something that my mom would appreciate. Sturdy and reliable, she had a good flow and was very welcoming. She was the plain Jane who would really turn heads with a new hairdo, some makeup and a pretty dress. With a little (ok, a lot of) paint and a decent home-equity loan, we could really go places.

We saw each other a few more times to make sure that we would get along ok. Sure it would be my first big commitment, but somehow it triggered my nurturing side. I’m usually the high-maintenance one; the thought of taking care of something, watching it flourish, appealed to me.

I told my friend Debbie (she became my friend once the commission looked certain) that I would go ahead and make the commitment. We set a date, had the inspection, got the papers in order and went through with the ceremony.

After I moved in, I threw myself into the house with an eagerness I hadn’t displayed since getting my first fake id. Every room in the house got a fresh coat of paint. Not just the eggshell that my parents preferred. We found colors like moss bucket green and tobacco road. Colors that said, "I’m not just a bungalow; I’m a Victorian bungalow. I’m not old; I’m a classic."

We gutted the kitchen and refinished the floors. Whatever she needed, she got. I asked a landscaper friend of mine to give the backyard a complete makeover. I even brought mom in to pick out the right throw pillows and to make the flower arrangements that would pull everything together.

This past spring we celebrated our fourth anniversary. Even then I didn’t know it would be our last. I'll tell you about that in my next column.


more about jay colucci


breaking up is hard to do
part 2 - the other woman
by jay colucci
topic: general
published: 12.30.99


jay colucci
12.28.00 @ 2:54p

I have a wandering eye. What can I say? I'm a dog.

roger striffler
12.28.00 @ 3:52p

Uh, I'm not even going to touch the issue of whether or not you're a dog...but I will say that having met both the former and current "Ms. Jay's House", you made the right choice. I liked the first one, but you definitely traded up.

jack bradley
1.12.01 @ 2:33a

I'm one of those friends who only knew one, and is taking sides anyway. I haven't seen the new "Ms. Jay's House" but I was quite fond of the old one. The crumbling concrete stairs out front reminded me of home.

Jay, you're a slut for leaving her.

jay colucci
1.12.01 @ 11:07a

So, Jack... what did you think I was before i left her?

jack bradley
1.13.01 @ 11:26p

I can't answer that without incriminating myself.

Oops. Too late.

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