December 1, 2009

Open Houses

I really struggle with forms, especially those that ask me to list my interests and hobbies. I have learned the hard way that in some cases, this one included, honesty isn't always the best policy.

Potential Employer: "You enjoy reading wedding announcements of people you don't know in the newspaper and going to open houses?"

The woman asked me this like it was some kind of mistake.

The miracles of the Internet allow me to peruse the Lifestyle section of the newspaper at my leisure, but there is one insurmountable obstacle that prevents me from attending as many open houses as I would like: namely, CHURCH. Mine is scheduled from 1-4pm on Sundays, which is the exact same day and time that most home sellers in my area open their doors to total strangers.

I think about switching religions every time I drive to church and see a balloon-laden arrow at a busy street corner.

My sacrifices are great.

Two Sundays ago, my one-year-old son came down with a nasty cold. When my husband and I flipped a coin to see who would stay home with him from church, I had an extra reason to hope that fate would fall in my favor: a new listing in our neighborhood. The house has been vacant since September and was recently fitted with new carpeting, something my neighbor Tina and I noticed when we peeked through the home's windows earlier in the week.

I couldn't push my family out the door fast enough.

Tina was inspecting the contents of the kitchen cabinets when Cameron and I made our entrance.

Before I could greet my friend, I was startled from behind. "Welcome!" shouted a woman in a red suit and heels.

Experience has taught me that where there is an open house, there is also a realtor.

"Can you fill this out for me?" the woman asked, as she handed me a piece of paper and a pen.

The form didn't inquire about my hobbies, but it did want to know my name, phone number, and when I planned to move.

I intended to do the polite thing and leave all the fields blank, but Tina told me that the free house tour obliged me to write something.

Believing, falsely, that the realtor might be the only person who shares my passion for other people's property, I professed my love for open houses in the "comments" section of the form.

Sensing a serious customer in her midst, the realtor refused to make eye contact with me for the duration of my visit.


Kimi@SoManyKidsSoLittleTime said...

Oh my goodness. That is hilarious. You should have just filled it out in one of your neighbors names. Maybe the guy who never mows his lawn.

Working Mommy said...

LOL!! I love your brutal honesty about your love of open houses because - you see - I share that love!! My hubs thinks I am on CRACK because every time we pass one of those balloon laden signs, I must (MUST) walk through the doors to see what the house holds.

~Working Mommy
Come on by, stay for a while and leave a comment or two!!

Emz said...

I hope you ate all the cookies. ;) Mrs. Red suit DID provide cookies, right?!?

Rebekah V. said...

I have oft consecrated my open house addiction to the Lord on Sunday. (Darn you correlation program.) And although I will never know what kind of countertops that house one street over has I know my reward in heaven will be great. Maybe even a mansion of my own with some granite in the kitchen.

ps. You are pitch perfect.

janaemadsen said...

I love open houses too.

Meredith said...

Only 4 more Sundays until the new year. Do you get to rotate to the 9-12 schedule? Then you can hit those open houses on the way home.

Emmy said...

I love open houses too! I also love at Christmas when the have a Tour of Houses, though then they are usually the so big and fancy houses that I could never actually have, but it sure is fun to look.

Lauren said...

Totally with you on the Open houses!

Anonymous said...

Ha I love open houses too & touring model homes. SO glad to know there are others like me out there :).

ohwendyis said...

There was a new, almost completed home with an unlocked door. However, the front porch was not yet built. So my girlfriend and I climbed up. Our then elderly neighbor saw us and came over. Well, of course she wanted to see it too. We started pulling cement blocks over to build steps for the elderly women. Just has she's getting to the top (on her butt) the cops pull up. heheh. We stick to official open houses now.

likeschocolate said...

You crack me up! I never get to stay home because my husband the professor is burnt out with publications, teaching, and all duties that come at being at a top tear school. So he stays home from chruch when the children are sick.

Amy The Mom said...

awesome...hilarious...i used to be you! but my husband is a realtor, so now i twist his arm every date night to take me to vacant houses to look around. i love it. love it, love it, love it! and i have a few friends who share the passion...sometimes we trade she'll bring me dinner on wednesday if she and her husband can accompany us on our "home tour" friday night. :)
and i should point out: we only go to vacant homes, i don't want to abuse my husband's "power" and put people out who think we are serious lookers. :)

Anonymous said...

My husband and I never miss the open houses either! We love them. Here's what you do. Do what I do. I tell the realtor that my sister might be moving to my city and I am checking out the place for her. :-) Works every time!

Cathryn said...

You took your sick child to an OPEN HOUSE??!! You ARE the meanest mom!! :-)

Katie said...

This is so funny. My mom popped into an open house one time with myself and one of my sisters. We were probably 11 and 12 at the time. My sister and I were quite confused because we only lived a couple of blocks away. My mom toured the house in about 3 minutes flat not speaking to anyone (including my sister and me) backing out the door nodding her head and waving her hand (like I'll be in touch) Thanks for bringing this up, I got a chuckle.

Jo's girl said...

i was curious to check out these new, very cool, and waaaaaay out of my wildest dreams of a budget, 3 store condos downtown. but my friend was the brave one and actually got her realtor to tour them, and they both had a great time. (the condos had an elevator, and pool on a balcony) so very cool!