Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanks, But No Thanks

So here's a thing. Why do people give guests tours of their house? As if to say, "Behold, my domain!" as they sweep their hands over the Corian countertops.

If you're reading this, ask yourself. Are YOU a tour giver?

Then ask yourself again, have you ever been TAKEN on a tour and wondered "Why the heck are these people showing me their closets?"

Brian and I were invited to Sunday dinner a few years back. A nice couple with young kids. He was a doctor, and their house was pretty. When we got there, he said to us, "Well, we'll have some dinner, and then afterwards, I'll give you a tour of the house!" Since it wasn't a question, we couldn't say no. And after dinner, on a tour we went, through each little closet, each little nook and cranny.

We even got to see the crawl space.

What was the point? Look how great my house is? Look at all my food storage?

I look with disdain upon home tours, and I have been unwittingly taken on them more times than I can count. But, if you MUST give me a tour, I would like to set some rules.

#1. Only give me a tour of your house if it's absolutely amazing. Read: if you have a water slide going through your kitchen, through the master bedroom, and then into a tank of sharks.

#2. A tour of your house is permissible if you have done a lot of the handiwork yourself. Brian would be interested in that, but forgive me if I yawn and look at my fingernails while you talk about your caulking job.

#3. Remodels/ redecorations ALWAYS warrant a tour.

#4. Tours are also okay if you are my close friend or family member, and if I have never seen your house before. And vice versa.

Brian thinks I am being mean right now. He frowns upon all negativity in the whole wide world.

So I will say this nicely.

I myself have given home tours. My good friend Mark was the most recent recipient, and I'm pretty sure he wanted a tour, because he was looking in my laundry room and pantry and stuff. Which is totally okay, because he is my good friend. Plus I would do it at his house. So. (He and Bridgette also offered their highly sought after input on the bedroom project, to the room's great benefit.)

I guess it all boils down to one basic thing: If I don't know you, you really don't need to give me a tour. Really. You're just moving too fast, and I'm not ready for that kind of commitment.


Kjersti said...

Your writing is amazing. You totally crack me up, and I think your topics are brilliant. I have been weary of many a home tour. And yet, when one isn't offered I can't help but wonder what I'm missing.

Kaylynn said...

I love home tours, but I love houses and floor plans. I am always thinking: this is what I would do here, how could they choose that color, what were they thinking. I like this, but I would change that. But perhaps I only go to my friends houses. I don't really like my house, so I never take people on a tour. Can I explain to them how badly my house is designed on the tour? I don't think that is appropriate. Housework is much more fun with your kids than by yourself, but there is also so much more of it!

Chris said...


heather said...

I hate the house tour of the overly exuberant. I'm not one to oh and ah over things. That's great people, you put a lot of worth on things, i could care less. Maybe that explains why I never saw where Steve lived. That always shocked people. I do however like to see old homes that have been re-done or the remodel that like you said was done by the owner. That interests me. Family and friends, I love to see how they've decorated if they choose to offer. As for any other, no thanks. Your ginormous house does nothing for me. In fact just a few weeks ago I was subjected to a home tour with some other friends and I wanted to slap them all for being so, "you're so lucky." and "wow, I wish I had that." that is a bunch of crap. I think be grateful for what you have. Now show me a wife whose husband is home all the time to do many fun things, i.e. boating, biking, snowboarding, etc. THEN I will say, "oh, you're so lucky."

Man, I think I went off a little bit. My apologies.

Moral of this story. I concur.

Brian said...

Chris, I'm with you....

Abby said...

Oh, you boys don't get it. Maybe it's a girl thing...

Laurie said...

I love Home Tours when they are gorgeous. But, I agree with you, if the house is less than stellar, I will pass.

There is a reason why HGTV and reality based home shows are successful. They fulfill a need we have to see how others live. When hidden cameras record the reaction, with shows like "Sell this House", it's a riot to watch people's truthful comments.

The truth is people do like to know how others live, how they keep their house, how they decorate. We love to criticize as much as praise. We are all look-i-loos at heart. Realtors see it all the time.

Mellanee said...

especially the committment part.

Tanya said...

i totally get what you are saying. i don't think we have actually given a home hour before. not that i remember anyway.

Lloyd said...

Then explain your mother!!! She asks people for tours. The last tour she took, she, after receiving permission, went by herself while our host was cooking dinner!!! I stayed in the kitchen. I was always taught that you needed a search warrant to just wander about someones home by yourself looking here and there. It if a fourth ammendment issue in my book. The supreme court has ruled it as a reasonable expectation of privacy, so forth and so on. At least she didnt come back into the kitchen wearing a different outfit.

Kimba said...

I so agree! Also, even when my family and friends come to visit, I feel ridiculous giving them a tour of our house. Each time I'm tempted to just be like, "Uh, you can pretty much see the entire house if you stand right here in the hallway. Enjoy."

Also? Love the broccoli garnish. :)