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Do Open Houses Open Minds?

Dec 29, 2007
How many people go to open houses as potential buyers and how many go because they're curious? I go to buy - into new ideas for my own home.

There may be a for sale sign in the front yard; but inside the message is that dust never falls, mildew never grows and dishes never pile up in the sink. Right. That's why Cinderella's castle is in Fantasyland.

Another open house phenomenon is that trash doesn't exist. Because I find this fascinating, I look for trash receptacles - what people want to use to get rid of what they don't want. A clay pot by a barbeque, a woven basket in a bathroom, an antique fire bucket in an office - but no one has wastebaskets in their living rooms. Does this mean having my feet on the coffee table while watching Oprah or Dr. Phil isn't a waste of time?

Every time I go in a garage I look in vain for engine oil on the floor. I've seen paneled walls. I've seen tools displayed with operating room precision. I've seen works of art on garage walls obviously created by twenty-first century cave painters, but I've never seen oil on a garage floor. It's as if the cars have been paper trained or garage broken.

As a fundraiser for our art museum three homes were opened to show their art collections. I, however, focused on the art of living. In the first fresh produce was used to create a fabulous centerpiece for the dining table. A pyramid of persimmons, a cascade of cherry tomatoes, feathery tops of carrots tied with a gold bow - it was a production produced by produce. In the second questions were answered by a house manager. Hmmm, in my home I have a husband who man-ages. In the last the art collection had its own curator. Obviously, I've got to get out more. I didn't know art could get sick.

For me, unfortunately, opening my house is like opening a wound. The pets can't stay, which means dust kitties under beds have to go too - and then there's the closets. New hiding places have to be found for everything that's been stuffed in closets and it's not easy hiding family skeletons. Nevertheless, I've learned something. The places I don't want prospective buyers to see are the places I want to see when I go to open houses.
About the Author
KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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