Hungover, Horrified and Humbled

Our prospective Realtor came today to look at the house to tell us what she thought we should ask for it. I loved her. So I did NOT hurl on her shoes.

We went to dinner at some friends' house last night and I felt the need to drink all of the wine in the world. Haven't done THAT in a while and now I remember why it's such a bad, bad idea. My hair hurt this morning.

The thing that's so sad is that it doesn't take that much wine to make me (and my hair) feel terrible the next day. I really hate this getting old thing.

Anyway, the Realtor came and we walked all over our incredibly cluttered house. She was hilarious and managed to tell me that my house was cluttered and that we really need to do some work on our front entry and power wash the outside of the house and mortar the cracks that have appeared because the house has settled, etc., all without hurting my feelings. I mean, I KNEW a lot of those things anyway and it's her JOB to tell me those things without hurting my feelings but I appreciate that she did it so well, especially given my --ahem-- fragile state. She didn't even seem to mind Scout.

And then we had the impromptu showing of the house to the people who called us as soon as they heard we were moving. I'm thinking they were simply stunned by the sheer amount of crap we have everywhere --I know *I* am. But they were so nice and he even played ball with Scout, which, just so you know, always involves picking up a saliva-soaked tennis ball. He was not even grossed out about it, but he did laugh when I told him I felt like I should offer him my shirt to wipe his hands on.

So, they were very nice and maybe they will buy my house and then I won't have to do everything in the world to it before we leave.

This process is so weird, though, because it gives you an entirely new perspective on the place where you live. Like, there are all these things that I just don't even see anymore--like the shutters with those godawful hearts cut into them that STILL need replacing. And that the front porch needs painting and why have we lived so long with that popcorn ceiling everywhere? And why do have three different shades of white paint in the kitchen? And that I haven't noticed the squeaky floorboards upstairs in five or six years... It's just the strangest thing.

My husband feels exactly the same way. He was helping carry some stuff to the garage this weekend and he said, "Man, this place is kind of a dump." I guess maybe we just don't have the objective eyes to see all the scars we've inflicted on this house until we start thinking about other people living here and we start looking at this house like we're looking at new houses in New York. Because everywhere we look is our life, you know? I don't see the scuffed paint or the fraying carpet because I see the shadows of my kids growing taller and the hours we've spent playing dominoes on that carpet and peek-a-boo over that peeling banister.

Nevertheless, if you're looking for me the rest of the afternoon, I'll be painting. Some other family deserves a clean slate to make their own memories.


MadMad said…
You know what's even worse? (I'm helpful that way, always pointing out how things will get worse...) That you now go through all the painting, and fixing and then your house looks great - and you' And you think, why didn't I do this when I was living here? It looks so much better!

Just thought I'd point that out.
hokgardner said…
Good for you for receiving your Realtor's comments so gracefully. You wouldn't believe the things some people have said to B when he's talked to them about getting their house ready to show.
Sarahviz said…
I, too, hate it when my hair hurts the next morning.
I really, truly feel your pain. And MadMad is right, unfortunately - our old house looked so good when we left, that I cried. Because I moved into a (bigger) fixer-upper, where (because the houses are almost identical) we get to do all the same things that we did to the other house. Again! And if it takes 10 years again this time, well, I don't know if I can survive that.

Probably the only thing worse than showing your house to a realtor (no matter how nice) would be to strip naked at a Weight Watcher's meeting and have everyone point out to you where you need to work on things a bit. With your weight flashing in big red neon numbers on a sign overhead. Not that I have nightmares about that, or anything.

I mean, seriously, I was literally cringing the whole time I showed her the house. Dying, slowly, inside with every room we entered and every closet we opened. Very awful. Words fail me. (And that's something.)
Barb Matijevich said…
Man, that's EXACTLY how I felt. I kept up this fast patter--like I was on a job interview and was trying to distract the interviewer from noticing that half of my resume was stolen from Bill Gates.

(I have no idea where that simile came from. I am overwrought, I tell you.)

It's just really a demeaning event, to see your house through not only another family's eyes but also the eyes of someone whose job it is to rip the place apart and tell you what has to be fixed. She was great, though. Even if she did actually say, "I need to reconfigure my projections of what we can get per square foot because I based them on thinking that your house was more fixed up than it is."

Oh, the glamour.
Anonymous said…
DH and I are going to have to downsize, probably within a year. 12 acres is getting too much to take care of. And the thing that makes me weep, aside from leaving this incredible view, is that we've lived here for so long and are fixing the place up for someone else! WHY WHY WHY haven't we painted over the hideous wallpaper in our bedroom before now! It's just NOT FAIR!!!

Even though it's my own fault.
Kellan said…
A home is a home - even with all the blemishes - right? I'm Kellan - nice to meet you. Take care.
That's why I love Sell This House and Designed to Sell - I get to look at other people's houses that are way, way worse than mine and they manage to pull it off (with a major crew of helpers, but still)