Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hunting for dignity

I go to the gym four to five days a week. It's a nice gym where each cardio machine has its own little TV screen and cable hook-up so for my 15-minute warm-up, I usually turn to HGTV because it can be a delightful train wreck that does not entail me having to use my brain in any way plus I always leave my Kindle at home. (No one needs to see the trash that is the entire 'Sookie Stackhouse' series that I have loaded on there. Also, Eric is an ass. Anyway.) Because I'm on an alternate work schedule, my lunch break generally happens between 1 and 2 pm so not only is the gym empty but for the older set, the best shows are on. And by the best shows, I mean of course, "House Hunters."

If you've lived anywhere but under a rock for the past ten years, you know what House Hunters is about but just in case, a quick recap: clients search for the 'perfect' house, choosing between three possibilities, one of which is always WAAAAAAY over budget. Oddly enough, it's actually compelling viewing...but not for the houses. For the people. Why the people? Think of all that you hate about humanity and wrap it up in 30 minutes. That just about covers it.

What do they want? Well, open floor plan for 'entertaining.' Literally, that is on every. single. wish list. And a gourmet kitchen. And a huge bedroom. And an office. Oh, a backyard would be great. Naturally, a large master bathroom with soaking tub, perfect paint and tile, hardwood floors, double vanities, tons of storage space, in a great location with amazing views and a fantastic school system...all for around $250,000. I so very much want whatever it is that they are smoking...and so do their real estate agents.

Last week I did an extended cardio session so I got to view two (!) episodes. There has never been a more wretched hive of entitlement and delusion. The first couple was in Baltimore (holla! Wait, does anyone say that anymore? Curses, my lack of coolness is showing.) With a $250K budget (check), they wanted, well, everything. The guy was obsessed with what other people would think of their house, the woman wanted uniformity. Seriously, he wanted an amazing space and his own 'man cave' and pitched a hissy fit over anything that wasn't 'impressive' enough. He was clearly still working through some high school issues. She just wanted everything to look the same but with character. Oh, and a master oasis. Their agent looked like he wanted to drop-kick them into the Inner Harbor. I was definitely Team Agent. I wonder if they ever went through with the wedding as they weren't even on the same genre, let alone the same page.

The second episode featured two newlywed twentysomethings from Naples, Florida who had been living with his parents, doing the golf-course dream. He was a physical therapist for a retirement community, she was the jewelry manager for a department store so naturally they wanted to buy in Naples, live on a golf course, have a pool and a golf cart, huge house, gourmet kitchen blah blah blah all for $290K. I really thought that their agent was going to shake them both senseless. Thank goodness my time was up before they made it through the second house so I have no idea which one they chose. Nor do I actually care.

I tweeted about it and it turns out that the production company actually coaches the people to act like entitled assholes, for drama or something. Listen guys, looking for a house is hard enough without being portrayed as a wildly out of touch brat on national TV. Anything for their 30 minutes of fame I guess.

Though, if I'm being honest, I wouldn't turn down a gourmet kitchen. Hey, HGTV, call me!


Do or do not. There is no try.