Last weekend we went on a house tour in our neighborhood, where a bunch of people get together and open up their homes so that nosey people like me can traipse around and judge them as human beings based on the houses in which they live. You buy the tickets and get a map of the neighborhood with about seven houses marked off so you can walk around at your leisure. Some of the people were even nice enough to provide snacks and drinks, to keep you energized so you can continue to come up with snarky remarks to whisper to your companions. Actually it was a little less mean-spirited than that. I do love nothing more than to see people’s houses, and this was a way to make it a little more legit than creeping around at night hoping for open blinds.
I was expecting to see these fabulous houses that would make me feel like my own house is a total dump. Amazingly enough, I came back home and felt pretty good about our place. All of the houses were nice in their own ways, some of them were still works in progress, which was part of the deal with the tour, that it was supposed to feature houses in all states of construction. It was amazing to see how, although I always thought rowhouses all had to be pretty similar to one another, they were all completely different. Some were ultramodern, some had ‘old world charm’, some were downright bland, some were cramped, and some were lofty and open. But overall, when we came home I felt pretty good about our house. Other people had slanty floors and crooked walls, and they didn’t seem to be bothered by it, so why should we? I was surprised to see that our style is very different than a lot of other people’s – I can definitely say there were no other sea captains anywhere on the tour. The biggest thing for me was that, with all the huge ultramodern custom kitchens we saw, I still liked ours the best by far.
So I think now that we know what to expect, by next year we’ll be ready to submit our house for the tour. Because as we’ve learned from the party, nothing gives you better incentive than a scary deadline.