I am laying on the floor of my family room right now, hovering between Stage 1 and Stage 2 of influenza.
Stage 1: I want to die. Please let me die.
Stage 2: I guess I’m going to live, but I’m not that thrilled about it.
Stage 3: Jimmy Stewart on the Bridge – I want to live again, Clarence. I want to live.
Over the last week, as I have dipped in and out of Stage 1, I have done more of one thing than ever before. I’ve watched HGTV. I live in the same house I’ve lived in for 5 years and have no plans to move or to sell any time soon. But I have gotten engrossed in “House Hunters,” “House Hunters International,” “Property Virgins,” “Income Property,” and “Sell This House.”
I would make the following observations:
- My wife wants me to stop, because watching these shows is giving me the desire to try to be a handyman and do some “projects” around the house – which has often not worked out that well in the past.
- I want a vacation home in the Caribbean. I can’t afford it.
- I’m trying something new – that whole “positive confession” thing. I’m planning to win the HGTV Dream Home contest and get a ski resort home in Vermont – which I will find a way to use in ministry. Let’s see if this whole name-it, claim-it thing works! I’d give a link, but you might be tempted to enter the contest and I’ve already claimed the house!
- Many young Americans (and Canadians) are annoying, spoiled brats.
Here’s how the House Hunter shows work. The potential home buyers are shown three homes in their price range (most often, well above mine). They tour the house and judge the home and its decor.
- These colors are so ugly.
- This bathroom is disgusting.
- The kitchen is hopelessly outdated.
Then they choose one and buy it.
I’ve often wondered how the people who own the homes feel when some young couple wanders through their family home and mercilessly ridicules their fashion choices. Must feel pretty bad to be on the receiving end of all that criticism.
But as I watched (granted, I’m in a bad mood so maybe I’m over-generalizing), I had a thought. There are a lot of spoiled brats out there. They believe they are entitled to upgraded kitchens, luxurious bathrooms with his and hers sinks and a separate tub and shower, all in modern tile with a rainfall shower head. Anything less is unthinkable!
A woman looks at a kitchen with perfectly functional cabinets that show a little wear and tear – people have lived in the home. The countertop is a laminate – horror of horrors. The paint on the wall is a little garish. The floors are not engineered wood or travertine tile. The appliances are functional but older. She takes one look and says,
“There’s no way I can do this. We will have to gut the kitchen and update it and fill it with stainless steel appliances.”
Though this will bust their budget completely, the man nods knowingly. There is no way that anyone could be expected to live in a house in which the kitchen is decorated in 80’s style, after all. Unthinkable!
Here’s the thing. A kitchen has a purpose. It is for storing dishes and food, and for the preparation of meals. If you can afford the most expensive finishes – go for it. But you can in fact survive in a house with an old-fashioned kitchen. Everything does not have new, shiny and stainless steel. You don’t have to have an updated kitchen or a fancy bathroom to have a meaningful and happy life.
Is anyone else as annoyed with the bratty kid in the Toyota Highlander commercials? That kid makes Bart Simpson look like a gentleman. I want to drive over to that kid’s house and show his parents some verses about the dangers of sparing the rod. Contrary to this little monster’s pronouncements, you can have a happy home and a happy life while driving high-mileage rust-buckets. I can give personal testimony to this.
Again, if you can afford a new Lincoln Navigator, you don’t have to justify it to me. But the idea that you have to have a new car and a completely updated house to be happy is just another display of our cultural greed and mammon-worship. And shows like I’ve been watching seem to feed that nonsense.
Maybe I’m just being grumpy. I get that way in Stage 1.