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  Texas : Features : Columns : "The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything"

Home, Home In My Range

by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
I am done, and I mean it! No more house flipping, first time home, what can you get for your money television shows for me, and I am not joking! I cannot abide watching one more real estate agent who appears to be all hair-do and pelvis and no thighs or good sense describe in very glowing terms the sleek modernity of a contemporary, cozy condo which is a steal for only $200,000. All five hundred square feet of it. I know that you will understand that I am not bragging, especially since I have been whining to you about the sorry state of our siding for years, but our bedroom is five hundred square feet. And we do not have a big house. Five hundred square feet for $200,000. Yelp! Two hundred thousand American dollars. Thatís crazy.

And the marks, I mean the shoppers, are all gushy and impressed, "Oh yeah! I like that shelf over the toilet! And look, both my feet almost fit into the shower stall. Thereís room for a skillet in the kitchen. And ooo, honey, look! Great patio! I love it!" Okay, first off, that is not a patio, it is a front stoop. Not a step, it is not that dignified. It is nuthiní more nor less than a front stoop and you think it is a patio because you are hypnotized by The Hair and maybe because you are also a stoop.

I am not a TV watcher. But this summer I kind of got started on it and just like the Bridge Mix Candy and the cigs and Cheetos, I got hooked on it. It started off with "Bridezillas." What a hoot! Got tired of that and moved on to the crime shows. Donít know why and yes, I am a little ashamed of myself. Maybe itís the theme song Ė you canít beat it for catchy, "Bad boys, bad boys. . . ." Then somebody or the otherís "fab life," which I guess if fab means screeching evil banshee, it was quite fab. What I learned from that is that if Mattel is nice enough to make a Barbie of you, you should probably just say "thank you" and then SHUT UP!!!

Then I got started on the home shows. First it was the decorating shows. All of them. Every chance I got. They paid off for me in a small way. We fixed our bedroom up, and at the risk of gushing or possibly seeming like I am trying to sound "fab," it came out cute. And we were PDS about it too (pretty durned smart). We bought two reed table runners and three hammered aluminum plate chargers and voile! A gorgeous wall treatment, simple, contemporary, pleasing to the eye and we did not break through the double digits on our spending. We were justifiably proud of it, I think. Well. The down side is that the only possible choice for a comforter and pillows to polish things off cost considerably more than everything else put together. But itís warm. And by the way, we have more than one wall in the room. So there was the little matter of getting those fixed up. And there was no way we could keep the old curtains with the new comforter. Just no way. One thing, I soon learned, leads to another when you are decorating and eventually it dawned on me that I had better stop. I did learn though, that if you keep enough clothes piled on it, the Ab Lounger looks good with any style decor. In the words of my friend Dan, "Reel, reel good."

That might be why I got interested in the shows where people, some people anyway, made money rather than spent it. Not counting the stoops who think that 7x10 is a spacious livingroom and well worth paying a premium price to have.

Nope. Iím done. I have turned the TV off for the last time this summer and I am going back to watching the goldfish and reading. Did you think that if I turned off the TV I might get caught up on some chores? What is it they say, "that ainít the way I shimmy." Nope. It is going to take a lot more than watching couple after couple after couple pay vast amounts of money for little pasteboard closets to make me want to fold some laundry. I have my standards, doncha know.


© Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
"The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything"
September 3, 2007 Column
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