Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hunting Houses

I am pretty positive that everyone is a snob about something.
There are food and wine snobs, fashion snobs, and car snobs. Myself? I will proudly proclaim to be a travel snob. That's no secret. However, today, I am announcing something else I am a snob about... houses.
Now, don't go getting your "I live in a subdivision with no trees where all the houses look exactly the same" panties in a wad. If that is your preference or what you can afford, and you're happy, then so be it. I'm not saying "house snob" in that I think everyone should live in cool old mansions. Um... how easily you forget that The Bungalow is maybe 1300 square feet of one toilet goodness. What I really mean is that I don't get all warm and fuzzy over a white-walled beige-carpeted box. Therefore, I don't watch House Hunters. (C'mon... you know every McMansion they visit looks just like the next one!)
However... I am totally on board with the wide-spread phenomenon of the national guilty pleasure that is House Hunters International.
At one point we had so many episodes on our DVR that I had to start being a bit more selective of the episodes I taped. I'll now skip Paris or back-to-back episodes of Cairns, Australia. I love the show because I love seeing the different types of properties that are out there in the world. Puff loves the show because he loves how violent it makes me. Yes, there is running commentary through almost every episode. Why? I'll tell you why...
First, why would you move to another country and not do any research ahead of time about how they live? Are you serious that you thought you'd get a Texas-sized kitchen in an apartment in downtown Amsterdam? Quit your bitching about the small refrigerator and the lack of walk-in closets. And please stop pointing out the bidet and asking if the bathroom has "his and her toilets." If you are going to be living abroad for a short amount of time, doesn't getting a place in the midst of the action make infinitely more sense than moving to an Americanized suburb way outside of town where your husband has to triple his commute just so you can have a giant yard that you forget must be maintained?
Second, if one more person mentions they need a spare bedroom for "guests" or a large open living space for "entertaining," I might just throw the remote through the screen. In 95% of the cases, these requests seem utterly stupid to me. If you are moving to Istanbul from San Francisco, how often are you really going to have guests coming to visit? You're willing to spend $30,000 over your budget for a spare bedroom in that ugly golf-course condo on the off chance that someone might come to visit from the other side of the world? Now, I'm even friends with Rowdy, who likes to entertain and be entertained more than any person in this world, I'm certain. But she doesn't need a dining room to fit 30 people at a sit down meal. Especially not in a brand new town where she doesn't know anyone and can't even speak the language! (Ever notice how the realtor usually ends up at the staged soirees they have at the end of the show sometimes? Here, let me prove to you I needed the most impractical house I could find so I could force this douche-bag realtor to hang out with me!)
Third, this gripe is more for HGTV than for the people on the show. I get that you have a ratings juggernaut on your hands right now and want to capitalize with 5 new episodes a week. But it's not helpful to me at all for you to tease me with Greg and Tina's adventures in Colombia, tell me they picked this ramshackle house that needs to be totally gutted, and then visit them only TWO MONTHS later for the recap. You know full well they haven't done shit in two months. So then I'm stuck feeling defeated and used as I watch them walk through the empty house with Gonzalo in his hard hat talking about what they want to do the place. There should be a minimum 6 month gap before they go back to visit. That way, renovations can at least be started. And they can have time to put in all the ugly furniture they want. (Have you noticed how lots of them are so stuck on a big gorgeous house, but their furniture looks like it came straight out of a frat house?)
All of this makes me about as violent as when the Travel Channel only played shows about poker and Las Vegas. Wait... did I ever tell you that Puff wrote them a letter demanding better programming? Even though he was stealing his cable? Yeah... we are a match made in heaven. A match that would never go on House Hunters because we'd be the only practical people they ever featured. We just would not make good television.

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