>> Wednesday, August 28, 2013 – Allegory, dreams, God, HGTV, home improvements, Maine, Property Virgins
Watching TV home improvement shows is my religion. Specifically a show called Property Virgins, which sounds slightly offensive. Like a couple of naïve teenagers have ventured out on a first date with a realtor who strips them of their cash and sweet talks them into buying a new home. The host will laugh when the virgins ask a silly question “Ha, Ha, Ha! You are such virgins” and I’ll cringe, because who wants to be reminded of their first awkward fumblings in the back seat of a car when they are attempting to purchase a new home?
At the beginning of the show these virgins will list what they must have and simply cannot live without: four bedrooms, two and half baths, walk in claw-sets (which I understand is southern speak for closets) stainless steel appliances, granite counter-tops a man cave for the TV and a big back yard for their little fluffy dander mop named Boo. Often, the final decision will hinge on whether they think Boo will have sufficient yard space to use as his toilet.
“I might could live without a three car garage,” the wife will offer begrudgingly and in the background you’ll see the husband mouthing the words “No way in hell.”
“Our budget is $157,000,” they’ll say. This is firm.
“Ha, Ha, Ha! You silly virgins,” the Realtor will laugh.
She will then take them to the most beautiful neighborhood and stroll beside them smugly asking if they like the area, knowing full well that they couldn't possibly afford it. These shows used to be based in Toronto, but apparently all of the Canadian property virgins’ cherries have been popped. Now they exist in Possum Snout, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta.
“I love it! I could see us living here forever!” The virgins will say in unison.
When the Realtor has them in the palm of her hand, she’ll bring down the other fist and squash their dreams.
“These homes cost 1.2 million dollars!”
The camera zooms in on the devastated faces of the couple. Clearly these virgins have never performed any Internet research on the area.
When all is said and done the virgins choose a home that is never what they expected in the first place and always just a tad over their budget, but they couldn't possibly see themselves living anywhere else. The final scene shows the couple, no longer virgins, sitting on their front porch smiling and entertaining friends with a nice cool glass of Riunite Lambrusco and watching little Boo pop a squat.
When I was young I prepared a list of many things I thought I couldn't possibly live without; a McMansion in the suburbs, this person’s love, that person’s friendship, the C-level job title, designer labels, bulging biceps and the list goes on. I thought I had them all too.
Then one day God appeared wearing a scarf thrown back over her shoulder walking along beside me and asked how I liked the neighborhood. I told her this was everything I thought I ever wanted.
“Ha, Ha, Ha! You silly life virgin,” she said and then Squash!
Pan the camera to a look of devastation on my face.
Of course you know the final scene. I am sitting on the deck of our tiny cottage in Maine with friends and family I never thought I’d have in a place I never would have considered, but can’t imagine any other way.
There are some lessons to be learned from these home improvement shows. One, Boo will end up pooping anywhere, two, your guests don’t care what you serve them (even Lambrusco) as long as you invite them into your home and three, you can plan all you want for the life ahead of you, but never forget that life has its own plan for you. And that plan is almost always better than anything you could ever have imagined.