Yesterday, this woman shows up to go on a “tour,” as if she has one point eight million dollars to spend on a house. Ha! She was wearing wrinkled khaki shorts, a faded green t-shirt, a plastic Timex watch, and a baseball hat concealing wet hair; and she had her two out-of-control sons with her, screaming, “This one would be my room!” and “I call the pool table!” while they raced around in circles, playing hide and seek. The second time she saw the master bedroom, she actually lay down on the bed. I was afraid she might try to take a shower in my Calcutta marble steam shower, and use my fluffy pistachio Pottery Barn towels.
I had noticed her right when she first walked in. She went directly into the office to talk to the sales manager, Jeannette. The baseball hat lady signed the obligatory marketing forms, and then proceeded to nod-nod-nod when Jeannette asked her if she was planning to buy a new house in this area any time soon. Her older son kept tugging at her elbow, saying, “But I thought we just moved last year? And since when do you have $1.8 million?”
When she entered the living room and observed my high ceilings, crown moulding, and wood-burning double-sided fireplace, she got this weird sort of grin on her face, and repeated over and over, “This house is sooooooooooo nice,” like a mantra. The dining room wasn’t any better. When she thought no one was looking, she had the audacity to flip over one of the platinum-edged dinner plates to see which brand it was (Vera Wang for Wedgwood), and then she tripped and almost knocked over my giant potted fern. Amateur.
When she got to the open concept family room slash kitchen, she started hyperventilating, and I was worried she might pass out. She had to grab onto my eight-foot soapstone island to steady herself. She walked over to my Wolf range and, well—there’s no other word for it—petted it. Then she turned to her younger son and said, “Can’t you just see Mommy’s collection of All-Clad pans and Wusthof knives, and my new Nespresso machine in here?” as if she really owns any of those quality kitchen products! (Truthfully, I was surprised she even knew the proper names of high-end kitchen items; it was pretty obvious she doesn’t cook when she was eyeing the cookbook shelves, murmuring, “This would be a perfect spot to display my crystal martini glasses.”)
A few moments later, she walked up the stairs, pausing to admire all my artsy black and white photos the stager had purchased for me on etsy. She said out loud (I think she thought one of her sons was standing close by), “We could do that. We could get some cute frames from Target, and do the exact same thing.”
What happened next makes me shudder. She dug around her purse for her cell-phone, pressed about eight hundred buttons, then ultimately clicked a photo of my photo wall! If Jeannette even possibly thought for one second that baseball hat lady could buy this house, well, the cell-phone camera incident just proves my point.
She went into the upstairs laundry room. I think she was weeping. She gave my Miele washing machine a little kiss, and whispered, “You are upstairs! So smart! Upstairs right where the clothes are! I am going to marry your architect!”, and then she fumbled for the cell-phone camera again.
(Luckily, this time, she could not figure out how to use the camera feature. Maybe it was dumb luck that she got it to work on the stairs.)
She walked in the guest room, and gawked at my antique mahogany English dresser. Again, my concern was the paparazzi-like stalking/ photo-taking, but by now she had given up on the camera.
“MOM! MOM!” bellowed one of her sons, “Check this out!”
He ushered her into my nautical-themed kids’ room. “Mommy, I want a bed shaped like a boat, too! Can I have a boat-bed? Please?” The way he said please had about 16 syllables.
She laughed and said, “Sure,” but she didn’t look around for a manufacturer’s label. I think she only said this to shut him up.
The next three bedrooms, dressing room, his and hers walk-in closets, upstairs coffee bar, wood-paneled library, basement media room, game room, home gym, craft room, wood-burning sauna, full bar, and wine cellar, were more of the same. Wow, oh my God, love it, this is great, I am moving in tomorrow.
Finally, after about 45 minutes where time passed slower than a DMV line, she located her children and went to the sales office to say goodbye to Jeannette.
Jeannette asked her, “Could this house work for you and your family? What did you really think?”
Unbelievably, baseball hat lady scrunched her face up like she'd licked a tart lemon, and said, “I'm sorry, Jeannette, it's a little small.”
(“Model Of Value”)