I hate Open Houses.
I hate and resent that I have to pretend I don't really live in my home, have toys and books and bags scattered around, where we live, where we spend our time, where my children are growing up, and my husband and I are fighting growing old.
I have done these before: these Saturdays and Sundays with the curtains all opened and the ceiling fans whirring and the candles lit. Where everything is "just so" and you pretend you live in this house like this, make it seem that it can be someone else's, but hide everything that actually makes it look lived in, real.
We want to downsize. We want to sell this great big dream house we bought and gutted and made to exactly our specifications. We want something smaller. Simpler. A few years ago when we took every penny we had (and several more that we didn't), nothing but granite counters would do. Now, when we go house shopping all we care about is a big back yard with space for a pool and storage for a new RV. Formica counter tops? No problem. No garage? We'll buy a storage shed. I am well aware that, most likely, I will give up my walk in closet with the tiny chandelier and wall of shoes. (If you are anywhere near a size 6 1/2, you might want to be real nice to me over the coming weeks.)
We want less house and more life.
Our children do not need an entire room filled with toys (what we call a playroom is really just an excuse for excess).
My husband does not need 5 bikes, 10-year-old racing trophies, and rappelling gear he's used twice.
I do not need 7 giant boxes of Christmas tree collectible ornaments.
What we all do need, however, is money for college and retirement.
A newer RV that does not require prayer each time we turn on the generator.
The ability to plan a trip and go on it without having to constantly swat away that nagging sense of guilt.
So we are taking a leap of faith. We are selling a too-big house we love and seeing where we end up. We are gambling on the research we've done (okay, really, Hubby has done and I have sat by him on the sofa and blogged and occasionally nodded and agreed whenever he'd show me something that served as further evidence) that we will be able to end up somewhere cheaper and smaller and possibly closer to the beach (Bonus! Bonus!), with a yard big enough to have what we have here.
Every time someone loves the house, I am hopeful they will make an offer. We will be able to jump in the pool (the metaphorical one, this time) without this prolonged waiting and worrying that we are making the right decision. Let's go already! Let's sell! Let's get out of here! Let's live with my parents for a while until we get our bearings. No more time to debate.
Push me in the fucking pool already.
So I will continue to hide my pictures and my toothbrush. But each time, I will resent it. I will be pissed off at the people who come in and smile politely and nod. I will resist the urge to yell at them: "Don't you see? Don't you see how great this house is? Don't you see how much soul and heart it has in addition to the goddamned square footage?"
And then, I remember...oh yeah, it's not the house that has the soul and heart. It's the four of us. And we plan on packing that shit up and taking it with us...wherever we go.