Staged stemware.

By the Open House

Staged stemware.

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.

10 thoughts on “By the Open House

  1. I remember once going to the Open House of a place owned by a single professional woman. We liked it for the most part. She had great taste. But then we noticed all the many, many photos in her bedroom showing her in many, many bars with many, many different men. Our mind went a little haywire there as we imagined Our New Bedroom.

    And then there was the Open House at the place that had crosses hanging on every wall in the house. (“Not that there’s anything wrong with it.”) Which included crosses hung in each of their five children’s bedrooms. But no toys. Only Bibles and crosses. And probably torture.

    Good luck.


    • We were once shown a house with a bedroom that contained only a pillow, blanket, and an empty bag of crackers.

      I think we may be on to something with these open house horror stories…


  2. I would also propose small mountains of crispy tater tots be available, strategically placed throughout. Crispy tater tots are incomparable. But they have to be very crispy.


  3. “There are also about fifty other people milling around the house, which makes us feel like we are at the world’s creepiest barbecue.”

    Nail v. head: You’ve described perfectly the feeling I get at open houses. And the last thing in the world you want to do at this barbecue is talk to other people.



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