By the Open House
by Will Bailey
The lights are on, but nobody’s home. That’s because Wife and I are at an Open House (Cat would have come, but he had made previous arrangements to meet Satan for lunch). I’m not sure if it’s the plastic booties we’re wearing over our shoes, or the framed pictures of clouds lining the mantel, but something about this whole experience is a little “off.” There are also about fifty other people milling around the house, which makes us feel like we are at the world’s creepiest barbecue: we were all invited by a real estate agent named Barbyra, and the only food is a platter of business cards. Sure, there is a set of martini glasses on a table on the back patio, but they’re empty. I get that it’s supposed to help you visualize having a cocktail in the backyard on a warm summer day, but really all it helps me visualize is an insane couple who leaves empty stemware all over the house to make their guests feel uncomfortable. Why can’t Open Houses be more…authentic? As a prospective home buyer, I should be able to to observe how a family behaves while they are in this home! What is the best room to argue in? Is the lack of sunlight affecting the kids’ grades? Where is the perfect vantage point for spying on the neighbors? Actually, you wouldn’t need live demonstrations for these things, just life-sized cardboard cutouts of family members in various poses placed throughout the house. “See, honey? This is where our kids will use permanent markers to destroy family heirlooms!” There should also be food. Preferably pizza bagels.