Sunday, February 23, 2014

Open Houses Suck

As soon as he left to take down the Open House signs, I went into my bathroom, opened the cabinet under the sink, and took out the toothbrush holder that had been hiding under there. I went around our 4/2, 2-car garage, corner-lot-with-pool home and blew out all the candles that had been lit earlier in the day in an attempt to make the house look more Zen and appealing. I didn't really blow. I huffed and puffed violently with great indignation. Everything that we had put away when we "staged" the Open House came back out: the toys, the books, my contact lens solution.

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.


  1. Oh man, we're in the process of preparing our house to sell it. My husband is painting right NOW. Not looking forward to it. It took us over two years to sell our last place and that was only four years ago. We weren't anticipating my husband's job moving an hour away (without traffic). Good luck! Hope your house sells soon!

  2. Rats! I'm NOWHERE near a 6 1/2!! ;-)

    Crossing my fingers that your house sells quickly.

  3. A-men. We have a tiny house that is falling down around us and makes me batsh*t crazy. So in this way, we are not the same. (SHOCKING, actually!) But I applaud every word in your post and every reason behind every word. Good luck!

  4. UGH. I hate when comments get eaten.

    Anyhoo. BRAVO! Good luck to you. While I don't wish you a too-small house that's falling down and drives you batsh*t crazy (aHem), I hope it all works out and you have many many successful adventures together as a family!

  5. When we were in the process of selling our house, I hated this as well. I hope it works out quickly.

  6. When we moved last year, getting the house ready to "show" was my least favorite part of the process for all the reasons you stated. Real people use toothbrushes and kids have toys. I absolutely understand having the house tidy, but I couldn't figure out why it was so offensive to have those things visible.

    Crossing every finger that your house sells soon so that you don't have to go through this process many more times. xo


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