I moved into a new apartment a few weeks ago, which means I got a cheap introductory offer on cable TV, which means I now spend approximately 90 percent of my free time watching “House Hunters International” on HGTV. Do you guys watch this show? Basically it follows “house hunters” (usually a young-ish couple) who are relocating to a different country as they tour three properties and decide which one to buy. Sounds pretty innocuous, right? Not so much. I end up yelling at the TV at least five times per episode because the home buyers are always so entitled and clueless. Here’s a conversation I imagine having with the couple in a typical episode:
House Hunters: We’re a twenty-something couple getting ready to move to Spain.
Me: Wow, that’s great! Living abroad is a dream of mine as well. Someday I hope I’ll be able to afford it.
HH: We work in an ambiguous profession and our home budget is $950,000.
Me: Wait, what?
HH: We’re looking for something simple: 3-5 bedrooms, natural light, large outdoor space, infinity pool, heated floors, and ocean views.
Me: Look, I don’t want to be rude, but are you guys heading up a drug cartel?
HH: The first property we’re looking at is new construction with unobstructed ocean views and separate servants’ quarters.
Me: Oh my god.
HH: It’s pretty nice, I guess, but the accent wall in the 4th bedroom isn’t quite the right shade of taupe.
Me: Is this a joke?
HH: We were looking for a classic taupe but that color is definitely more of an oatmeal. Not sure what we’re going to do about that. Could be a dealbreaker.
Me: You do know that paint color is not dictated by God, don’t you? Take 50 bucks out of your million dollar budget and paint the freakin’ wall. In fact, I will do it for you if you let me live in the servants’ quarters.
HH: Hopefully this next home will be a better option. It’s a traditional Spanish villa.
Me: Oh my gosh, it’s gorgeous!
Me: What now?!
HH: This house just feels very “Spanish.” We were hoping for something with more of an American feel.
Me: But you are moving to Spain. They have Spanish houses in Spain.
HH: Also the people in the neighborhood speak Spanish. Neither of us speaks Spanish, so that’s going to be difficult.
Me: But you are moving to Spain. They speak Spanish in Spain.
HH: (Sighing) This combined with the taupe debacle is honestly making me rethink the entire move.
Me: I am rethinking a lot of things right now.
HH: Luckily the third house sounds like a winner: it’s an American-style house in an American neighborhood.
Me: Oh sweet mercy.
[Three months later]
HH: We absolutely love our new home. We have great neighbors–a young couple from New Jersey–in fact they just came over for a barbecue yesterday! We’re right down the street from a Starbucks where the baristas speak English. As you can see, we are really enjoying immersing ourselves in the Spanish lifestyle.
Me: I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.