Loving My Realtor is Wrong
Does A Husband Come with the House?
upside of house hunting as a single woman is that at any moment
I could look in the mirror and say to myself -- Good for you!
All of those years of working hard and being frugal (i.e. driving
the same beat-up Ford truck and not picking up the check when I
went out to dinner with friends) have paid off! You did it all
on your own, and now you're able to buy a trophy honoring your accomplishments
in the form of a house. You rock, You! The downside is that
the tiny seed of loneliness that had been laying dormant inside
me grew into a full blown ficus and started competing with me for
know what you see a lot of when you're house hunting? Couples. Lots
of couples. Young couples, old couples, pregnant couples, couples
who say "we" a lot.
really want a fireplace.
need a lot of space.
love to cook.
who can ask one another -- Is it us? Couples who befriend
other couples -- We saw you guys at the last house. How long
have you been looking? And a minute later they're exchanging
e-mail addresses and inviting each other to a barbecue. I was growing
routinely jealous of these couples.
married friends tried to convince me that I was the lucky one because
I didn't have to compromise with a partner. I had no one to disagree
with. But I also had no one to turn to and say -- I don't know.
What do YOU think? No one to push me through my own ambivalence
or to remind me that I need a house that gets a lot of light because
of my seasonal affective disorder -- which I'm pretty sure I have.
a kinship with the other single house hunters I saw, especially
the guy in the gray t-shirt and blue ball cap with the iced coffee
in his hand. We bonded inside the mid-century hideaway in Franklin
Hills about the fact that both of our grandmothers had an antique
Victrola just like the one in the mid-century living room.
Perhaps we have the same grandmother.
hilarious! I was having fun.
commented on how much light the living room got and said it looked
neat bouncing off my hair. He said I looked like a painting. I closed
my eyes and quickly picked out my wedding dress -- something that
would suit his own casual but confident style. Then he said he had
to go back upstairs to see what was keeping his girlfriend so long.
Yep. Go ahead. I'll just look around and see what else they stole
from my grandma's house.
smile stayed frozen on my face until he disappeared up the stairs.
I ran out the front door, locked myself in my crappy truck and screamed
-- You mother fucker! I look like a fucking painting? A fucking
painting of what? Somebody who just got hung out to dry? Get out
of my fucking house you snatch tease! YOU DON'T NEED THIS HOUSE
TO MAKE YOU HAPPY! YOU'RE ALREADY HAPPY!
be told, I did have a significant other in my life at this time.
Daniel, my realtor, was tall and accessibly handsome. Walking up
staircases and down hallways, I felt small and safe beside him.
We spoke on the phone several times a day. I called him at odd hours
and he defined terms like turnkey, flip, and probate
sale. When I fell in love with the house on McCollum, he pointed
out that the floors were uneven which meant that the foundation
was probably cracked. He was trying to protect me. I love that.
Eventually, I quit hanging out with friends, quit returning e-mails,
phone calls. I was spending every minute with my realtor it seemed.
We were constantly stopping for coffee or lunch and fighting over
Me: No, I got it.
It's fine. I got it.
You got the last one.
What's your point?
months into house hunting I was nowhere closer to finding my dream
home. In fact, now I was more confused than ever about the dream
itself. Half a year in and I still couldn't get past people's stuff
-- the pictures on the refrigerator, the food in the pantry, the
toys in the baby's room. And believe me, there were lots of babies'
rooms and lots of toys. Turns out, a very popular reason to move
is because people actually grow out of their houses. I've always
cringed at the idea of being called Mommy by a high pitched
toddler with low blood sugar, or having to turn down a last minute
invitation to Happy Hour because I have to stay home and parent
and yet I suddenly found myself thinking -- Well, I guess I could
put a bassinet in the office for a while, but if I have twins I'm
screwed! Or, Hm
how am I going to get a stroller up
all those stairs? After all, houses are where families live.
Houses are where kids grow up. So why am I even looking for a house
now? Isn't that the wrong order? Maybe I should spend this energy
looking for my future baby's father.
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