photo by Sheri Dixon

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Frontal Lobe Confectionary

TV is chewing gum for the brain.

I like to say that I don't watch TV and for the most part that's true. No daytime TV, no afternoon soaps, no prime time TV (other than listening to Rachel and Chris in the background while Ward watches them).

I don't have time for it, don't see the point of it, have better things to do with the numbered moments I'm given here on earth.

But we all have our little routines, don't we?

At the end of a long day (they're all long, but it beats the alternative), I crave just a little wine weed chewing gum.

So I try to get to bed by 11 for my 2 hours of chewing gum- the first hour to calm me down and the 2nd hour to blow off whatever steam is left. I'm aware that there are other things we could do in bed that relax and relieve stress and we do those, too. Sometimes simultaneously. TMI? You were thinking it. You get what you think for.

The first hour I watch The Office. I dunno. I've honestly never even worked in a traditional office.

The second hour I flip it over to HGTV and watch House Hunters and House Hunters International.

I've always loved real estate and looking at houses. Always.

So it's neat to see the different properties, especially overseas to see what's considered 'normal living' over yonder.

But the real stress relief for me is screaming at the house hunters themselves.

Because they're absolutely and without fail the stupidest people alive. Seriously, I wonder sometimes how they manage to make it to the different properties fully clothed and without vehicular incident.

And they all have a list. Of things they absolutely must have. Which everyone has, no doubt- things like number of bedrooms, bathrooms, single or multi-level, type of neighborhood...

Oh, no.

One couple refused to look at a house unless it had a gas stove. Even if there was gas running to the house, if the stove was go.

Last night one couple walked into a very nice place that had all the things on their list. It all looked like a green light UNTIL they saw...(insert dramatic music)the wallpaper border. In one room. A pretty small room.

"Oh, no! I HATE wallpaper borders! I don't need to see anything more- this house is OFF the list!"

Honestly, I had my 'absolute non-starters' too, when we were looking at land. It had to have a natural source of water, trees, a minimum of collected trash piled in weird places (there was still the front of a pickup truck buried at the old place when we left) and not next door to a toxic waste dump (we passed on a beauty place that was actually next to a toxic waste dump).

But I gotta say, even if we WERE looking at houses instead of raw land, wallpaper borders would not have given me hives.

On accounta that shit peels right off.

The border, not the hives- those take about a week to go away.

Another thing the House Hunters can't abide is popcorn ceilings and carpeting. Actually I'm with 'em on those two.

A big deal is 'space'.

"What a great space!"

"I just can't get over how big this space is!"

"This is a workable space..."

What they are talking about is ROOMS, for cryin' out loud. Space is the thing between typed words and that big void holding stars and crap.

Houses have rooms.

Call them rooms.

Calling them 'spaces' is faux trendy and sophisticated. It's stupid.

Another thing I can never get over is that people seem to think bathrooms and closets need to be the size of garages. Why the hell does anyone need a bathroom that fits half a dozen people comfortably? Or a closet that's bigger than a guest bedroom? How much quality time are they spending on the toilet or in the shower and how much clothing/shoes do they need???

So our poor realtors schlep these couples around to a billion three houses.

And then they must choose one.


How can you see THREE houses and then choose? Even if you're not ruling out houses because of wallpaper border or stove hookups it takes looking at many places before you realize

a) unless you build your own, no house will have everything on your wish list and
b) at some point you need to compromise and get on with life.

And yet, this show takes outrageously immature and bizarre-thinking couples, shows them three houses and then says, "OK- pick one house that you will then sign your life away for- and do it by the end of the show".

No pressure there.

By the time they've seen all three houses, I've gotten a feel for what they're looking for and they've even given subtle hints like, "I don't think I could live with this tiny bathroom" or "We really wanted three bedrooms and this house has only one" or "I absolutely LOVE this kitchen" or "This yard is AWESOME! I've always wanted a big covered deck!" that make me know which house would be the best fit for them.

Their first step is eliminating one house.

Invariably, they choose the house that I thought suited them best to eliminate.

That's when the screaming starts. From me. The dogs hate that part. They need their beauty sleep.

The end of the show has our happy couple settling into the house that they both hated in the beginning, while the house they both loved waits for a different owner to come along.

I spit out my mental chewing gum and turn out the lights.

If the windows are open, the sound of the crickets and frogs wafts into the house and I take a deep breath.

We go through the last of the day's routine- Smidgeon gets evicted from the pillow between my head and Ward's, I snuggle in right next to Ward and Fizzgig leans tightly against my tummy while Smigeon curls into the bend of Ward's legs.

Sissy snores on her blanket.

And I say fuzzily as I drift off to sleep, "If the worst thing that happens to that chick on House Hunters is that there's fucking wallpaper border to peel off of a wall, god bless her".

"No shit", says Ward.

And we inch even closer to each other, knowing from experience after awful life-threatening experience what really matters.

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