House Lust

This week I have skipped over posts in multiple blogs that I regularly read.

My eyes automatically switch into the not-really-seeing-but-waiting-for-change-in-order-to-start-focusing-again look as I scroll down the page. I resume reading only after the stream of pictures has ended and there is nothing like a house in sight.

You see, a lot of the bloggers I read have great taste in houses. And they post about their dream houses with a passion once reserved only for wedding dresses and baby shower games.

Don’t get me wrong, these posts are lovely. That is precisely the problem for me. Others can look at houses for motivation to save money, inspiration for updating their current home, and even simple enjoyment of their beauty.

But domestic luxury is just a little too much for me to handle, and the hangover comes right along with that first tipsy smile at that lovely front porch. I wouldn’t offer drinks after dinner if a certain aunt was at the table, and I don’t feed myself home and garden magazines.

Sometimes I think it is crazy that I act as if pretty pictures of houses were some addictive substance that I need to ignore. After all, there is nothing wrong with having a lovely home and a wonderfully beautiful yard with gorgeous flower beds and the perfect swing and… ehem… where was I?

Anyway, as I was saying, there is nothing wrong with having a nice house.

The problem is that not all of us can keep things in perspective. Sometimes after rolling my eyes at myself for my ridiculous skipping-over of yet another post I will find my eyes alighting on a different perspective. I read about how one couple works themselves sick because they would rather give up today with each other in order to have that house sooner rather than later. I read about an otherwise devout Christian woman who thinks nothing of skimping on charity because of the costs associated with her house. I read about another woman who hopes that she doesn’t get pregnant earlier than planned as it would delay her home renovations. I read about yet another woman who cries over the fact that she and her husband are settling on a house with only two bathrooms.

Seems like Josh and I will start with a little fixer upper

And then I remember our current economic crisis. What about all of those people who played into the whole house lust catastrophe? Oh, of course it is far more complicated than that. But I personally watched people who thought–no, wait, they did not think! that is precisely the problem!–that the nice house was something they needed.

And all the sudden skipping over a few posts doesn’t seem so silly. Sure, it is nice to get ideas for simple Christmas decorating in our apartment, and it is certainly wonderful to steal ideas from bloggers far craftier than I when it comes to making a small space home.

Wait. Did I just type “small?!” I clearly am not strong enough to read house-dream posts without falling for the lie that my apartment is small and I should be pining for the day that we can justify moving into a house. My apartment is not small.

Sure, I’d like to have a nice little house with extensive gardens (yes, that “gardens” is indeed plural)…

…But… I would rather be happy today.

So I skip a few blog posts here and there and instead fill my mind with, well, just about anything else.

How about you? Does house lust make you happier by inspiring you to work harder, or even just through the momentary pleasure of looking at what might someday be yours? Or are you confused about who would even post about random houses in the first place?

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24 thoughts on “House Lust

  1. Dakotapam

    I am pretty happy with our cozy house. It is the first house we have owned. We bought it after 13 years of marriage! It has peeling paint, carpets and windows that need replacing and by many’s standards is too small for the 8 of us (it is not). But it is our home. The home I brought our youngest two home from the hospital in. Where we eat meals together. Where we watch movies. It is what it is, and I don’t have the desire or energy to wish for anything else. I get it.

  2. Maggie

    I have house lust all. the. time. I also have house envy. Heck, I’d even say I have apartment envy. I live with my in-law’s and I’m lucky to have a roof over my head, yada, yada, yada, but oy… I would just love a place of my own. Far away from my in-law’s. :-)

  3. Michelle

    I don’t really have it anymore. I had a house. It lost all kinds of value and ended up being in a location far away from where we needed to spend all our time. We sold it…far short…and moved into a rental home. I mean, we needed a bigger home than we could afford to buy. And I have to say, there are some really great things about renting a home (like the fact that someone else comes and fixes/pays for the plumbing when something goes wrong or the trees that need trimming in the back yard).

    I hope we are homeowners again some day…but I’m not all that interested in jumping into a mortgage way over my head or anything. We have a nice home that we rent and we can walk to school/church and walk to the grocery store and walk just about anywhere. I’m 20 miles closer to downtown, so my drive in is about half the time, I’m on a bus route so I have that option as well.

    I think there’s something very wrong with our society that looks at a “nice house” as a house with 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms and a full, furnished basement decked out with “man cave”…as a necessity. Just my not-so-humble opinion. :)

  4. Fr. Christian Mathis

    I can’t recall ever writing a post on a house I was lusting over, but I must admit to having thought from time to time about purchasing a small, out of the way place, to relax. Perhaps us clergy have more lusting over particular parishes. That being said, I would be happy to stay at my current parish for a long time.

    1. Rae Post author

      I want to read all the secret priest blogs where you all talk about your dream parishes and how well the vibrant young families will respond to your pastoral care.

  5. Christine

    Sometimes I get house envy/lust as all those pictures and inspirations are just so pretty! I look around my house and think that it will never get to be that pretty – one because I’m cheap and two because I suck at decorating. But I look around again and I’m thankful that we have a lovely little condo to live in where we can live together with a roof over our heads and I’m mostly happy. (The mostly is because of the large amount of clutter both of us seem to accumulate – sometimes I want to go to IKEA, but I think it would be easier just to get rid of things. Any tips for that? haha.)

  6. Michelle

    I ‘m with Christine, cheap and suck at decorating. I get overwhelmed by even the thought of making something beautiful because it’s daunting and expensive being that detailed. We have a five bedroom house, 4 bathrooms, and it’s plenty big. But there are things I don’t like about it (not an open floor plan, front room not furnished, nothing but the bare minimum of decor, random curtains on boring poles, family photos in white frames on white walls, hodge podge pictures my mom gave me from her basement, etc).

    I don’t seek out pictures of other glorious homes because I know I can’t afford to hire someone to make mine look like that or buy one even close. And even if I could, the kids would destroy it in less than two hours. So I’ve conditioned myself to be content with what I have, although sometimes I get restless and want to makes changes (and I do, like the time I woke up and put all my dining room furniture on the curb…).

    I know I have a decorating gene buried deep in my DNA though and I wonder if it will come out someday, when it’s deemed safe (more money? less destructive kids? more time to deal with projects?). My mom is huge into decorating, loves it with a passion, and my sister has a real eye for it too. Amazing homes make me go WOW and Ohhhhhhhhh! But I don’t tend to dwell on it for too long afterwards.

  7. Pingback: House Lust | The Expanded Kingdom |

  8. Molly W.

    Eek… I hope I’m not part of these examples, but since you commented on my recent house related post I’ll assume you didn’t skip it over and I think you know how much we thought about ours! =D

    But ditto to a lot of this, when first staying with relatives I had to delete blogs off my roll for many of the same reasons and it was so easy (for me) to feel a little inadequate next to all the perfect homes I saw

    1. Rae Post author

      Ha, no! I’m think it is great when people write about their houses that they have worked for and appreciate. I’ll let you know as soon as I see a post on your blog that seems to be focusing on pointless coveting. ;-)

  9. tiphaine

    I think you should live in Europe. You would probably not have as much to write about though..

    I really enjoy reading your blog.. but sometimes it makes me wonder why you would worry/care about certains topics..
    like your recent post about the pill, I was wondering why on earth anyone would criticise about whether you take a pill or which kind..
    Or about the NFP doctor who wanted to do an STD screening on you, I would just assume it’s routine exam and he didn’t think twice before asking..
    or this house lust because it sounds so incredible.
    But I’ll admit I knew about the crazy house lust. I watch house hunters on the web.
    I think it’s hilarious “oh no there is only 3,5 bathrooms.. we couldn’t possibly live here” “oh no the commute would be an hour each way..”

    sometimes I have to remind myself this is a different reality. Tha american way of life.
    I went to Arkansas recently. I had lived only in big cities before and it was such a shock!

    anyway. Thanks for your posts. Keep it up :)

  10. Nomad Librarian

    So! I recently visited friends. Housewife friends. ie, friends who have had time to decorate their homes in a truly inspired, characteristic styles. And then I came home to my (too big, ridiculous for a still childless couple) house and feel…wildly inadequate. Stay away! You know your limits, nothing wrong with that!

  11. Mrs Green @ littlegr

    What an interesting post. Yes I’d love a big kitchen with a huge farmhouse table where friends could sit around the AGA and feel loved by me feeding them cake. Equally I LOVE my home with it’s tiny kitchen – where my husband and I cannot pass one another without touching (what’s not to love about that!).
    I would downshift in a heartbeat to pay off the mortgage, alas I’m married to a hoarder who loves his space so this isn’t going to happen. But in all honesty, as long as I’m with my daughter and husband, I probably don’t mind where I’m living…A belly of food, a cuddle with those I love, a warm feather duvet and I’m home…

    1. Rae Post author

      Oh no, I want stability! I don’t know about the actual origins of “may you live in interesting times,” but it sounds like a curse to me.

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