Seattle pros and cons: ‘I never want to buy a house again’

Your View is a recurring series of opinion pieces from members of The Evergrey community. To share your ideas, goals, and work about with the community in a Your View piece, please submit it to [email protected].

What would you attack about Seattle, and what would you defend about it? 

‘I never want to have to buy a house again’

I don’t want to move. My main motivation currently is that I bought a house in April, and I never want to have to buy a house ever again. It was a horrible, nerve-wracking experience. You have to simultaneously make sure no one is ripping you off, while trusting others to do major things. Also, spend a lot of money.

I probably couldn’t afford a house in Seattle, if I had to buy again as a first time home owner. I had one of those young people tech jobs. I squirreled away money. I put up with the tech bros who made more cash and complained about not having bacon when we had a waffle bar where fresh waffles were served to us. I try not to let those fuckers ruin my own enjoyment.

I do need to find new places that I love in Seattle. My life’s changed a lot, and Seattle’s changed. My favorite Chinese restaurant is now condos under construction. I moved to Beacon Hill, but my boyfriend likes shopping in Shoreline. I guess I can walk from my house to the GLC (Georgetown Liquor Company), and Georgetown is still the same enough that noobs ask me if I brought them to this ally by the rail tracks in order to murder them without witnesses.

I like the light rail. I unfriended someone on Facebook who complained about tabs for her brand-new car and then questioned if anyone actually used the light rail. 175% more people rode the light rail last November than the November before, and more people rode it last November than peak summertime.

I need to find places in my neighborhood to eat lunch and dinner. I need to spend time driving around in my boyfriend’s car, when he’s at work, to see how all the byways connect and to find better geography. I need to take the bus further than my house to see where it goes. I need to figure out the hyperlocal. The ways to make it easy, to say to my boyfriend, nope you don’t need to drive to Shoreline. You’re being ridiculous. I need to figure out where to take my parents to dinner when they come and visit.

My house kind of insulates me from the world outside of it. Hell, I could give Bezos money and never leave. But I can also make it the Seattle that I want to see. I just have to figure out what that might be.

‘The place where I could have purple hair’

People complain about Seattle behaviors. But have you been other places? I grew up in Oregon. I know, big deal, how different from Seattle. The Pacific Northwest is just one swath of flannel and songs written by heroin addicts. Where it never stops raining.

I grew up on the other side of those mountains. In the cradle of Oregon Libertarianism. The hippie or the redneck, the same when you scrap off the bumper stickers on their car or pickup truck. Who buy weed together and complain about traffic because they had to drive through five stoplights today. They all brag about the mountain ranges they can see from their backyard. And the sunshine.

When people say Oregon and Washington are the same, I shake my head. I shake my head a lot.

I walk around Seattle with minimal judgements. I dye my hair purple, and I’m probably not the only one on this bus with “unnatural” hair. My neighborhood has BLM signs. I watch the kids across the street at Cleveland High School try to take a 20 person selfie. Sometimes I’ve forgotten I’m dressed like a superhero for comic con, like it’s just a day ending with a “y.”

Whereas in Oregon, “a little bit of hate” doesn’t matter because you’ll always keep it to yourself. This is what I’ve been told, except when I’ve been the recipient of that hate. I told my hometown-loving brother his pickup wouldn’t fit on my street. Bring your girlfriend’s car. She has a pickup too.

I voted for a socialist city council woman. My politics are a little left of Ghandi according to an internet quiz. My next-door neighbor texted me during the last election assuring me her screaming was only politics-related. People ask me for advice on how to recycle, how to make bread, and how to market on social media.

My hometown’s House representative thinks the Muslim ban is a fine thing. I remember when Oregon voted no gay marriage. But never take their guns or pot. My great-grandma refused to wear a seatbelt until the day she died because the government couldn’t tell her what to do. But I’m pretty sure she’d disown me if she were alive and on Facebook.

Seattle became a hope for me when I was younger. I used to watch out my window as we’d drive through it on the way from Oregon to my uncle’s house in suburban Lake Stevens. I remember imagining it was the place where I could have purple hair. Where no one would find it weird that I liked to read books. Where I could be justified in listening to my sad songs written by heroin addicts, and my parents would never visit me because of the rain.

(Published in 2017 by members of The Evergrey Writing Group; updated 2021)