May 23, 2004

Can't go home again

After work Friday night, and after calling the plumber, we all trooped off down the street to see a house that just came on the market. When we were looking to move out of the City, this was the first house we looked at and we had even made an offer that was accepted on it. Then the owners refused to go to contract since they could not find another house in town. So, it fell through and we bought our current house. We were always kind of bummed though. In our memories, house #1 was always bigger, with a mansion sized plot of land, an airplane hanger sized kitchen, and a bathroom around every corner.

Our memories were very strong, and like as not, probably distorted as memories always are. But they were hard to deny. So, when the agent called to tell me that the house was back on the market, I was happy to go and check it out, as was my wife.

I think, in part, that this house represented close to the iconic image of a house. For all Americans, the house plays an important role as something much greater than merely shelter. A house as a man's castle, and so on. Briefly, even if you don't aspire to own a house, you understand this because you have been inculcated with it and because it runs through all of our history. Some of our first bill of rights items concerns are ability to be free from government interference inside our homes --- no right to quarter troops. Then, we have always venerated great homes -- Monticello, for instance, was justly celebrated even at the time of its creation. It is a theme of many television programs and was the driving impulse behind our settlement of the West, which you may recall the great historian Turner viewed as the single greatest event that formed the special American character. But that impulse was really to get land and house.

By the way, one more digression, do you also hate it when a real estate agent talks about showing you or selling you a home? Bullshit. I have a home. You want to sell me a house where I can put the home. The home is my family and the house is the place that holds it.

So, in any event, we went and saw that first house. And it put memories to rest. Which is good because I think we were ready to put our house on the market to try and buy this first one. The rooms were smaller, the flow/plan of the house was less favorable, the garage was smaller, the street was not as nice, and, frankly, it would have required some real money in renovations. I walked out liking my house better than when I went off to see the first one again, plumbing problems included. So, we stay here for awhile longer, I think.

Posted by Random Penseur at May 23, 2004 07:22 AM
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