Tuesday, February 19, 2008

That 70's Show

My mother was a Realtor. [Note the capitalization. That's so I avoid getting any nasty letters from "trademarked" Realtors. Just because you have a real estate license does not mean you are a Realtor (with a capital "R"); you could merely be a lowly real estate agent. Am I not a wealth of useless information? It comes from my days at The Chronicle.]

I remember loving being able to go to homes for sale with her. I have carried on this bizarre fascination with how other people live. My two boys -- Eldest and Youngest -- and I often go out on Sundays to open homes in the area. Daughter is not that interested. Actually, I think she prefers having her own house to just herself and her father, so she'll cheerfully wave to us as we depart.

I do not have a Better Homes and Gardens house. It is a gorgeous house, don't get me wrong, but it's not properly decorated. We have more of a Sesame Street house: lots of stuff for the kids around and lots of kid-friendly furniture in place. I am amazed when I visit the homes for sale, especially those homes where kids seem to dwell. I get the fact that staging occurs, but, still, the way these people live.

At the other end of the spectrum is the house I've been staying in for a few days. It is the home of my brothers. [Hi, boys!] It is the home of two bachelors. [And, no, not "bachelor" in the Larry Craig sense of the word. Not that there's anything wrong with that.] My older brother has a daughter who is here once or twice a week. One bedroom is hers. One bedroom is his. And the third bedroom, the master bedroom, is where my "baby" brother dwells.

I walked into his room the other day and it is a fully efficiency apartment. He's got the bed, yes, but he also has two arm chairs in front of a television, with an end table in between. He's got a mini-refrigerator in his room. He's got two ottomans for the chairs. He's got two televisions. He's got his desk and computer. He's got the stereo. He's got his stash of food which he keeps in there so our older brother doesn't eat it.

In short, the man could easily live solely in his room. And he appears to do just that, with the 10-year-old Golden and, temporarily, his ex-wife. [My brother's ex, not the dog's.]

My younger brother will always be stuck in his late teens and early twenties in my mind. That perception of him will now only be reinforced by my picturing him in his room, reading the newspaper with his feet on the ottoman as the television throws mindless crap out at him.

Rides to Heaven on a Gyroscope

A couple of months ago, I saw a client I hadn't seen for a number of months. Like more than a dozen people have in the recent past, she ...