The author in no way endorses the following behaviors. As to whether she has indulged in any of them herself, she admits nothing.
Here are some things you might do in the days after you find out you’re not getting the house you really, really wanted. Don’t you think this calls for bullet points?
- Play hours of board games with the kids, voluntarily. Without making them beg. And you let your son be the banker for the first time ever. Boy can’t believe you said yes. Boy, aged 9, wonders if this might be a good day to ask for a car or maybe a ski boat.
- You remember that there’s a bottle of Disarrono in the cupboard, and oh oh oh! you have club soda in the house for once! (Mama needs a cocktail…) You mix the two, and ohmygawd it’s the best drink you’ve had in months. Let out long breath.
- You watch hours of HGTV no matter how much it hurts. You just can’t look away. House Hunters makes you sad, very sad–those lucky people get to choose from three great houses?–and so you watch another episode. And maybe another. And then there’s What’s My House Worth? or Designed to Sell. Suddenly, the tissue box is empty and you just can’t cry any more. So…
- You park your ass on Realtor.com for hours and hours, with regular breaks to see what’s new in old real estate on Historic Properties. Except you can’t figure out what you’d do for work if you bought that plantation in rural Virginia. So you toss out that idea, and decide instead that you’ll launch a strong campaign to convince your spouse to move all the way across the country to Connecticut. Because you’ve always wanted to live there again. And, dammit, they have so many pretty, pretty houses there.
- Spouse calls and talks you down from the pretty, pretty Connecticut ledge and announces he’s ready to move ahead and look for other houses where you already live. You realize that this makes lots more sense, and it’s a much easier move. And you won’t have to pack the rest of your crap precious possessions quite so carefully. Plus, now you won’t have to buy a barn coat or pretend you went to Choate. Whew.
- You park your ass back on Realtor.com, with a whole new purpose. And, sweetjesus, there are one or two other houses near the one you lost that maybe aren’t so bad. Look at you, you pretty house! Then something in the back of your head tells you to put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it every time you become the slightest bit emotionally attached to a house you see. After a while, you switch wrists, because Damn that hurts and is this bleeding?
- You find a house that you know Spouse would like and you fill his email inbox with every link to the property you can find, including a bird’s eye view from MSN maps. (Did you know that if you Google the address of a property, you can often find out all sorts of things, like the pricing history of the house, how long it’s been on the market (sometimes), and what the last sale price was? Sure, your real estate agent can tell you all of that, but it’s fun to freak her/him out with all the knowledge you have about a property. Also, he/she might not want to talk to you at midnight, and the internet is open all night.)
- Finally, you step away from the computer again and go off to fold the mound of laundry that you dumped on your bed in the morning so you’d have to fold it before going to sleep that night. You see the pile of laundry, which seems to have grown to the size of a mid-size car. And you consider sleeping on the sofa.