Remember that scene in American Beauty where realt*r Annette Bening is preparing to show a property and she's scrubbing the counters and cleaning the windows in her slip and repeating "I will sell this house today. I will sell this house today"? And she throws the curtains open and the room is flooded with sunlight and she's so full of hope?
Then she shows a few disinterested couples around.
And then it's dusk.
And you see her dejected form closing up the house and taking down the signs.
And after she carefully closes the blinds, do you remember what she does? She starts to scream and sob and slap herself. And you think "wow, what a hot mess she is".
My how we laughed back in 1999!
When we were renting.
A realt*r called yesterday. At 6:00 on a Sunday evening. The house was a disaster, I had my feet propped up and a glass of wine in my hand, and we were in the last 15 minutes of a fabulous movie. (U-571. Oh, Matthew, how glisteny you are.)
Hi, we're out IN FRONT OF YOUR HOUSE. CAN WE COME IN?
Being the desperate sellers we are, we asked for five minutes.
Let's just say that you've never seen so many dirty dishes fit inside an oven.
After we raced around, we flew out of the house all sweaty and half-drunk and drove to Starbucks. Where we sat dazed, like a cat just plucked from his warm nap on your bed and dropped on the cold porch.
We hadn't even ordered our coffees yet when our realt*r rings informing us that "she wants a bigger yard - room for a pool and a spa and still have lawn. But, she thought it was cute".
Still panting, Chris and I just looked at each other. And I swear I thought Chris was going to dig a pool right then with his hand shovel and go throw her in it.
We returned home and angrily discussed our back yard.
"It's lovely! It's big enough! What is her f*cking problem?"Of course, she, like all the others, is not obligated to buy our house just because she displaces us to look at it. And intellectually we know this. It's just that this whole process feels slightly demoralizing. Deflating.
"It's just an excuse."
"She interrupts our Sunday at a moment's notice and then pulls this sh*t!"
It's like this perpetual interview process. Except you're not allowed to be there. They just want to see your resume. And when they reject you, you don't really know why. And you're not allowed to respond. Or discuss it further.
We've gotten to the point of feeling so helpless in this process that we've taken to spying on prospective buyers from down the street.
This is what it has come to. We sit on our own street like undercover police officers and amuse ourselves with pointless observations.
"She looks like she enjoys her food. She'll be all over the kitchen."
"Foreign car. Way too pretentious for our floorplan."
"Did you see those heels? There go the loose tiles."
"Look at that hair! She needs a roomy bathroom for all that blow-drying."
And we've lowered our price for a twelvteenth time, so now our asking price is "four apples and a squirrel...or best offer".
I want your honest opinion. (Go look at my house.) Do you think the downstairs paint is too dark? Do you think the white painted cabinets clash with the less-white tile? Do you think we should have a mirror over the fireplace?
Do you think if I purchase 300 cans of kerosene, they'll catch me on video tape?