HGTV: The pretty little liar


We have been in our house a little over four years. Up until recently, I would say it has been our house, but not really our home.  For the better part of the past years it has been in an almost constant state of, should I call it, "progress."  Most of it was just needed. She is a little over 40 years old, and as I'm aware, there reaches a time in a girl's life where she starts thinking of getting "some work done."  Well, our house has had a lot of "work." 
On the upside, we don't need to buy toothpicks now

I have always loved HGTV, especially any of their shows having to do with remodeling. Maybe growing up the daughter of a Master Brick Mason, who knew how to fix anything, (like the timely addition of the second bathroom after all 5 kids moved out) or just the yielding to my creative side that is always looking at ways of reinventing stuff is the cause of my to gravitation towards projects. Who knows, but I'm always a sucker to see what they have to show on HGTV.  But slowly I have come to realize, like a scorned lover connecting the dots of subtle indiscretion, HGTV lies.  They make me love them, with their quick, hiccup-free flips and remodels, but oh they lie...

In HGTVland, the contractor says, "I can have a major kitchen overhaul and bathroom redo done in 4 weeks," and it is done. In my life, week one is delayed by the Polar Vortex or the Flood of the millennium, or impassible bridges or any other weather condition that Mother Nature decides to send in her emotionally unstable condition she is currently sustaining. Weeks three and four wait on the 2nd or 3rd delivery of still the same wrong vanity from an unnamed big box store, and any remaining days are put on hold while you quarantine the house due to a lice infestation, influenza or stomach bug outbreak that has me infusing Lysol into the Scentsy pot.

In HGTVland, the obviously talented, and even more obviously childless decorator, decks out the fabulous family room in white linen couches, glass tabletops with glass bowls holding stylish glass orbs, oversized vases with perfectly placed sticks, shelving units with ceramic birds, abstract glass fixtures, antique porcelain vases and bookcases holding limited edition Hemingway novels and a Bible blessed by the Pope.  It is shiny and pretty and gorgeous.  In my life, I can guarantee that there is a 102% chance my three year old would use a white linen couch as a napkin after polishing off a Kit Kat.  The glass tabletop would succumb to a zealous game of Wii tennis.  The perfectly placed sticks would become pool cues or bats to the glass orbs, and all "pretties," as we call them in our house would end up in a dusty stack upon the highest shelf.  The remaining shelves being converted to Hot Wheels garages, Barbie bedrooms or plane hangers.

I don't blame HGTV. After all, you can only know, what you know.  And what I know is that I can not be the only mother that sometimes wishes her entire house was made of PVC so that about every 3 months I could just fire up a pressure washer and hose 'er down.  I know that all homes with small children only really need two shelves, one at about 5 feet, and the other 5.5 feet.  All important and destructible things will end up on these shelves, and will stay there for about 6 months to 9 years.  The kitchen table need to be as large as possible given the size of the room, because every night its contents will be shoved to one end, thus the larger the table, the larger the actual available dining space.  I know three kids do not need three bedrooms, because one will be an obsessive clean freak, not wanting to muss up her bed with the triviality of sleep, one doesn't like to be alone, and one wants to be a "big kid."  I know now one of those bedrooms could have been a mom-cave.  I know that so many people on HGTV need ginormous homes for "entertaining."  First off, hello, that is why we had kids! Kids = entertainment, for free. Second, those who come to my house for food and drink and "entertaining" love me enough to step over the Thomas Trains, push the cat off their lap, thank the dog for the shoe she has been carrying just for them, since their arrival, and could really care less what wood my cabinets were made from.

But now after four years, the house we bought is almost our home.  It’s our first owned home.  It is not a home that would ever make HGTV, there are far too many crumbs and animal hairs for that.


 It is a home that is constantly in motion, except for late at night when it is quiet but for the click of the cat's nails against the kitchen floor and the loud tick of the kitchen clock.  It is a home filled with many things, most of them having a story that does not start out as "I got it at Target."  And I hope a home, like a few known sacred to me, that people feel like they can walk in and grab a blanket, push aside a gold fish cracker, and curl up in the corner of the couch as they watch the flames lap against the glass in the fireplace.  And I'll join them, just after I find the remote on top of the refrigerator.