Tuesday, February 13, 2007
I watch way too much HGTV (Home & Garden Television) for my own good in between the painting marathon I’ve been on the last few days. I fault HGTV for creating this false sense that all things are possible when it comes to home improvement.
Dare I invent a new catchy turn of words with the “syndrome?” If you may recall, I’m on a flurry of home fix up in anticipation of putting the lovely old house I call home on the market soon. As I go from room to room, I think, “What can I do to make her prettier, more apt to turn a potential buyer’s eye?” And I think back to all those episodes on HGTV where a SWAT team swoops down on homeowners transforming their unappealing homes into crown jewels. Only this SWAT team is composed of carpenters, handymen and women, contractors, real estate gurus and designers.
The show Designed to Sell budgets $2,000 to transform an ugly duckling into a prince of a house. But, and here’s the big but, they provide a carpenter, handyman and a Brit named Clive and his designer co-host. Clive starts each show by bringing in a nasty critic who proceeds to pick the poor house apart like a hungry family of eight with a three-piece chicken dinner. After Miss Picky lays down the law, good Fairy Godmother Lisa comes in to say, “That’s all right. We will fix everything and you will sell this house for a great price.” And they do!
This isn’t real. Nothing on television is I’ve told myself. But it seems so possible. And that’s the HGTV Syndrome. Only, it’s just me and a couple cans of paint and this old house.