Saturday, June 14, 2008

Realist Hate Obsession

Time for a confession: The real reason this blog has been so sporadic lately is not due to the Incorrigible Suckling Infant alone. It is due to my fervent obsession with real estate. Yes, as soon as the Infant is attached, I begin scanning the listings. Just suppose a beautiful 1895 Victorian charmer has popped up in the last 22 minutes, since his last feeding! Just suppose I missed it and someone else snapped it up!

Unfortunately, most of what I find are squat, dismal 1968 ranches. Although 1968 was a good year for spawning Party Ponies, it was a bad year for architecture. Such dwellings routinely tout the virtues of the neighborhood and the Corian countertops, but coming home to your shitbox every night is not assuaged by the wet bar in the basement. Honestly, when did architects look with pride upon a design that looks like a cheap shoebox with windows cut out of it? If I wanted to live in a child's diorama version of a house I'd drop some acid and start fashioning clothespin dolls and thread-bobbin furniture for company.

What's even scarier is the Incredibly Bad Taste of so many people who put their homes on the market. A giant, leering portrait of the family children, hovering above a glass-topped dining room table in a mirrored dining room, should be hidden in the attic, or burnt. One particular house that we are mighty fond of, despite some of the most godawful carpets made by disgruntled machines, is absolutely riddled from top to bottom with Easter Bunny paraphernalia. Eggs, stuffed rabbits, the lot. Why, of all things, would one choose the Easter Bunny as a design theme? The one consolation is that the Bunny + carpets + acoustic ceiling tile may have scared off any competitive buyers.

When we bought our own home, it had stucco ceilings. We paid someone to hoist himself up there on a ladder and scrape off all that miserable stucco. And every night when we lie in bed, we praise Jesus that we are not staring up at stalactites that were someone's good idea of a design theme in the 70s. "Who likes stucco ceilings?" I sneered, as the fellow was scraping away. "I like stucco," he said, rather sadly. Good god!

We like our own house an awful lot. At least the prior owners had the decency to leave the crown moldings intact. (Who decides to remove crown moldings? "Yeah, just tear that useless stuff off--we'll pay for the disposal fees.") So what if our location includes a certain individual named Shuffles? So what if people leave hanks of hair and pantyhose on the street? It's all good. But we're selling it anyway.

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