It’s Possible to Force Yourself To Be Something You’re Not (Especially Short Term), But It’s Painful

an empty room
Image by Ian Burt / CC BY

As I write this post, my house is finally on the market. When the realtor stepped back into the house, he was bowled over by all the renovations that we made since the last time he visited.

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into that meeting with him. Didn’t know if he’d recommend more improvements. If he’d deliver sour news.

I didn’t expect he’d be sinking a For Sale sign into my lawn at the end of our meeting.

But that’s exactly what happened.

It’s a strange existence. Still stressful. But at least it’s a different kind of stress.

Within two minutes of our house being formally listed, I received a request for a showing… in 23 minutes.

So much for at least an hour’s notice (what everyone had prepared me to expect).

It was short notice to bug out, but I sprinted around my house and made it work. Drove the long way to a restaurant that’s about a half hour away. Since the appointment was for an hour, the drive to and from would take at least that long. And besides, I was starving.

On the way to the restaurant, I got a second showing appointment request. As I waited to be seated, I got a third.

I also noted as I sat down and the waitress took my order that my shirt was on backward because I had to leave so quickly for the first showing and wasn’t paying attention. Guess that’s how you know the housing market is hot. When you can’t dress yourself properly anymore.

Over the four hours that I was staying out of the house that first night, a steady stream of requests came in. Apparently lots of people want to see my house.

Trying not to get my hopes up too high. I read online that it takes an average of 10 showings per offer to buy. So we’ll see.

My friends keep saying it’ll be soon. But I figure it’s better to have modest hopes and be thrilled than high hopes and to be disappointed.

Anyway, the listing being popular has its challenges.

I’m straight out today with appointments. The early morning involves letting and instructing a deep cleaning crew. Then there are errands to run in town. And this afternoon I’m supposed to greet and work with the photographer who is taking updated photos for our listing.

About the time he’s done, people are coming over again to see the house for about four hours.

So it’ll be time to bug out again and try to kill time without looking like a creeper or shoplifter.

An Unnatural and Inconvenient Way to Live

It’s a big challenge living in an empty house. I’m a strong independent woman and all that — but I don’t think I’m really cut out for living alone. Especially not without pets. I don’t like it.

Especially because when you turn your house into a model home, removing all the “clutter” and personal touches, the walls echo when you speak.

An empty house is basically just a box that’s ready for someone else to put their home into it.

And when you’re showing your house, you can’t be comfortable, really. Because you can’t leave any trace. When you get out of your bed, you make it immediately. When you take a shower, you spray it down right after.

I’m only cooking using the microwave. Taking trash out immediately.

It’s like I don’t live here anymore. I’m just staying here for a bit.

I don’t like the way it feels. It’s hard to enjoy anything. Everything’s inconvenient.

Forcing Yourself Into the Box of “Ideal Partner”

In some ways, living in this empty house reminds me of past relationships I had. Where someone told me there was something wrong with me, and I believed them. Instead of thinking that maybe it was the combination of us that perhaps I was flawed. In need of renovation and change.

And so I’d force myself into some box of “ideal partner” that they’d define. Even if it were inconvenient, painful, empty.

Everyone keeps assuring me that this won’t last long. That I’ll have an offer (or maybe a couple) before I know it. That the market is hot and that my house is great. That someone — and probably multiple someones — will fall in love with it.

But until then, I’m doing my best to make it through each day. Even if I feel like this entire process forces me into a shape that isn’t natural for me.

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Books by Page Turner:

Dealing with Difficult Metamours

A Geek’s Guide to Unicorn Ranching

Poly Land: My Brutally Honest Adventures in Polyamory 

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