09 March 2012
The Open House Nightmare Story (or "How Did They Get Like This?")
It's already well-established that both Mike and I have gone down the open house rabbit hole regarding the preening of our house. But today I had a moment of clarity, a "stop the madness" moment.
After yesterday's showing, carefully scheduled for the day after the cleaning ladies were here, I went into our bathroom and spied the accessories shelf in our shower. Something was wrong. I opened the shower door and saw that one of the shampoo bottles was facing backwards! So that all you could see was the busy writing of the ingredients list and the consumer warnings! I SPECIFICALLY bought one bottle each of Aveda Rosemary Mint Shampoo and Rosemary Mint Body Wash for their uncluttered minimalist faces and I was furious with the cleaning lady for being so callous as to put the bottles back in such an ugly fashion when she KNEW we were showing the house!
And then an image of Faye Dunaway in "Mommie Dearest" flashed across my mind, her red lipstick screeching "NO MORE WIRE HANGERS!!!" Omigod, chillax dude.
Don't you wonder how we got like this? Here's a story that might help explain.......
The year is 2003 and Mike and I have just put our first house on the market, an adorable pink stucco Spanish style dollhouse that will surely fly off the shelf. We prep for our first open house (in a completely normal, un-neurotic way) and, given that it's 2003 and the height of the housing boom, we fully expect to see hordes of people lined up down the block like we're selling tickets to a Norah Jones concert (remember, it's 2003).
We pack up baby Liam and leave for the afternoon, planning a long, bumpy car ride so the baby will take his afternoon nap in the car. When you have a baby, it's daunting to leave the house for more than 90 minutes so we packed the whole kitchen and his whole bedroom for our 90+ minute journey. It's like setting out on the Oregon Trail not knowing if you'll starve or run out of water or run into a cougar or whatever. But it works and we have a great day! No cougars and plenty of snacks and naps and we are so confident in our little pink house that we're sure we'll come home and find an offer sitting on the table.
But instead, we return home and find something much worse. The sightlines from our front door reach through the living room, across the hall and straight into the bathroom at the back of the house. I stand in the doorway and something catches my eye.............is there something on the toilet?
I stand there and I don't walk toward it because I know what it looks like but my subconscious is saying "If you stay here, it won't be true!"
"Mike. What is that? On the side of the toilet?"
We stand there together and look from far away at the dark brown growth attached to the side of the toilet. We get closer (please, no).....and, yes, it is confirmed that a half-dollar sized piece of poo is hanging off the outside of our toilet and visible from our front door.
Rapid-fire yelling ensues:
Who did this? How does this happen? Was it us or was it them? Who would do that that? Who would take a dump in a stranger's house during an open house? Did the realtor drop a log on his way out the door? How many people saw this? It wasn't us, right? We would know if our poo flew out of the toilet, right? Don't be silly, we would never do a doodie in our house while it's on the market! I would sooner walk to the McDonald's and stink up their bathroom! WHO DID THIS???? And is anyone going to buy the poop house now?
That explains a lot, doesn't it?
You'll be happy to know that the adorable pink poop house sold after 14 days on the market. Perhaps the buyer just needed to mark his territory first.
But the experience left an indelible mark on these two home sellers. And now I must go......the McDonald's is a much further walk from here so I need to plan ahead.