Dear HGTV

I want you to know that I’ve read the reports that your House Hunters (and probably most of your other programs) are all staged, that you do not get into the picture until the hunters have found a house to purchase. I want you to know I really don’t care – in fact, that might make it better, because maybe that means some of those people are not really so unable to compromise, so exacting in their demands. I mean, they kind of do use the same terminology all the time; “it’s not granite”, “I want real wood not plastic wood”, “the appliances aren’t stainless steel”, “this would require a complete renovation”, “this could be a deal-breaker”. I do not expect from you complete and total honesty – I do expect that in relationships, but not with TV – just as I recognize that none of what is classified as “reality” TV is real. At least not real in terms of my world, or the world I’ve been exposed to.

If, however, some of the budgets of these hunters are real – $700,000+, heck even 500,000+ for first-time buyers, I have to tell you I think maybe there is another world out there. Either that, or these couples are strapping themselves into a situation that could well become untenable in the future if things do not go exactly as they have planned. I remember, in my days of being an escrow officer, buyers signing loan documents with payments of $5000 a month and thinking if ever either of you loses your job or is unable to work, you are going to be in a world of hurt. Life has this habit of throwing up stumbling blocks. If we are not prepared, we will indeed stumble. Or fall. Or crash and burn.

What your show does for (to) me, besides provide easy-to-watch entertainment, is make me think “redecorate”; “redo kitchen”. Oooooh, I like those floors, those colors, that style. Ooooh, I think I don’t ever want granite countertops. Oh my gosh, I could not live with that! In which case, now I sound like your hunters. Uncompromising, ungiving, demanding, sometimes very selfish. Life is give and take you know – he might have to give up his living on a golf course, she might have to give up living on oceanfront.

You make me realize if your hunters were looking at my house, they’d probably use all or many of those terms I listed before. We’ve been here for 13 years now, so yeah, my kitchen is dated. But it works for me. My carpet is beginning to need replacing, and I’d really rather have laminated wood (yeah, guys, plastic wood!) in the entire front part of the house, the main living areas. I dunno about you, but in my life you do not always get what you want. Sometimes you have to live with what you’re dealt. And you have to love it – you don’t have the option of listing it.

Speaking of loving it or listing it – how come these people, these homeowners, set the budgets for Hillary and David, and might be willing to raise the budget for David to find them a new house, but never ever for Hillary, who inevitably discovers water in the basement (maybe these homeowners should pay a bit more attention) and has to fix problems that would/could become larger problems as time goes on, but yet they never ever feel an urge or need to increase her budget? “I want it all, and I expect you to make magic, not me to accept responsibility”. The world obviously turns around those people. Silly me, I thought we were but dots (sometimes cogs) on the wheel.

So HGTV, while I think some of your hunters are just flat-out spoiled, expect too much, are unwilling to bend, to compromise and would be impossible to live with – that’s okay. Your world is my entertainment, not my reality. My reality is my home, my place of peace, my deck with birds and birdsong and loyal puppies that want to spend time with me, to play ball with me, to walk with me. My reality works just fine – it’s not perfect, but it works.

My reality is playing kickball with the Bailey girl.

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About Carol

I'm me - nothing unusual, just me. Widowed, 2 grown children who are my best friends, 2 dogs, 1 cat, retired, loving being retired. I am woman, I am strong.
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9 Responses to Dear HGTV

  1. “My reality works just fine – it’s not perfect, but it works.”

    Diddo that!

    Like

  2. Dawn says:

    EXACTLY! I love those shows too, and don’t care if they’re staged. Of course they are, you don’t think people only look at 3 houses before they choose do you? And I agree many of them have budgets I wouldn’t dream of, especially for first home for young couples. You and I were in the same boat when the mtg business was crazy. I was thinking the same thing, that the payments were too big and we weren’t doing anyone any favors putting them into those homes. But no one listened to us did they. And they’re not listening now. Ah well. I DO have granite and I love it and would do it again…but the stainless steel? No way, it’s a PAIN to keep looking good.

    I personally love to watch these shows so I can see the inside of a lot of houses without becoming a realtor or an appraiser. Works for me!

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    • Carol says:

      And I love my stainless steel stove and microwave and don’t find it difficult at all to keep clean. Should we talk about the textured handles that designers seem to think kitchen appliances need? I don’t get it – to me they seem to be designed primarily to collect dirt.

      Like

  3. Heather says:

    I love those shows too – or did until we canceled cable. We waited 10 years to buy our first house, and there’s no way I would strap myself to a payment that the bank says I can afford on my right-now-this-instant salary. But it is cool to dream, and think about ways to change your home (and then maybe not do because home is home as is).

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  4. Carol says:

    Dreaming is good, and then deciding what really works best for me, for my life, is what will inevitably win out. That’s a good thing.

    Like

  5. Lisa says:

    I’ve often thought it would be torture to be married to some of these whiny people! And if I hear “it’s not granite” one more time, I may scream. Heelloooooo, there’s other fabulous surfaces out there that are just as good. And don’t these people know you can’t put refrigerator magnets on stainless steel refrigerators? Where, exactly, is the kid’s artwork going to go? Or the restaurant coupons? Or the notes for the rest of the family? Hmmmmm?

    Like

  6. Joanne says:

    I haven’t watched the HGTV show you are talking about Carol, perhaps we don’t have it here in Australia, but I do love watching an English show called “Escape to the Country”. It gives me so many ideas of what I might like to do with my home ~ some day! But as you say, we live with what we have, and learn to love our reality, as the option is, well, not an option! I love your reality, and it is so similar to mine, my pets, the birds in the garden, enjoying my family and my hobbies. That’s my important reality. 🙂

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  7. Lynne Ayers says:

    I’m with you, Carol. Having it all up front, what is there to dream of, anticipate?

    Like

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