Beach houses, the zenith of ignorance, and the utter futility of human existence.
My parents are trying to move.
They would like to go to a beach town, but since they are both (retired) public school teachers, their housing options in a nice seaside area are limited to living in a box behind a gas station, or a tiny old shack from 1860.
Any NORMAL person could get excited over ONE of those options… but it has been revealed to me that I was born to people who do not understand that comfort is secondary to visual appeal and historic detail.
Despite my VERY BEST EFFORTS, they are probably going to end up in some visual-atrocity from 1980 and I am embarrassed to publicly associate myself with such aesthetic barbarians.
They keep saying things like: but Victoria! The house you like has no roof! The house you like has no floor! The house you like has no heat!
How can I even be expected to TALK to people like that?
JUST WEAR A LOT OF LAYERS!
Nearly every weekend for an eternity, Paul and I have been driving to different shore towns to tour an endless parade of houses which everyone ELSE is considering, that I am NOT considering… interspersed with houses I have DEMANDED be considered, that NO ONE ACTUALLY CONSIDERS.
I can only imagine this is how Eratosthenes felt whilst trying to convince the Ancient Greeks that the world was not flat.
LISTEN TO ME! Imbeciles!
LOOK AT THAT SINK! The vintage cabinets! WHO DOES NOT SEE THE MAGNIFICENCE OF THIS? Why is my mother resisting the perfection? WHY???????
Incase you have not experienced house shopping with your parents, let me tell you that there is NOTHING like driving slowly up and down streets, trapped in a car with the people who are MOST LIKE YOURSELF and yet UTTERLY INTOLERABLE to make you consider the possibility that maybe it is not too late to put yourself up for adoption.
Every Saturday, I promise myself that I will not regress to irritable teenager who cannot believe the stupidity she is forced to endure… then as soon as we get in the car, I’m like– NOPE! Go right ahead.
Everyone immediately begins being their most perfect irritating selves… no reason to pretend otherwise for even five seconds.
After nine hours of looking at houses in their price range; covering the spectrum from hideous, to grotesque, to AMAZING-PERFECTION-LACKING-ONLY-PLUMBING-AND-ELECTRICITY… I am reliably foaming at the mouth with repressed childhood rage and the wish to inject myself with pure meth.
Last weekend was particularly bad, and Paul could see that I was on the edge of a psychotic break… he said— do you want me to shoot you with the dart gun?
Other than that though, we are all really enjoying ourselves!
My brothers have been missing out on all the car-party festivities, so I give them live-action updates.
I want to be sure that they understand that they are forever indebted to my selflessness in being the ONLY CHILD who cares enough to live nearby.
And also demonstrate to them the specifics of HOW MOM AND DAD ARE DRIVING ME INSANE.
Anyway, my point is that my parents have the WORST priorities of anyone I’ve ever met and it’s not gotten any better with this house-shopping because they keep spouting crazy nonsense about needing a bedroom for all of the children.
Who cares if my brothers have to sleep in the shed when they come to visit?
I mean, how do we even know that they wouldn’t PREFER it!?
LIKE A GUEST HOUSE!
A seamless transition to the futility of human existence.
The real problem with whatever house my parents buy, is that it’s where they will spend their last years.
I have been planning to fix this… through advancements in science? Magic? The mental-denial-olympics I have perfected?
Unfortunately, I’m starting to question the efficacy of any of these strategies.
The one person I am MOST TERRIFIED of losing is my mom. (Actually, she is tied with Paul, but that totally invalidates this thesis I am building here, and theoretically you CAN get a new husband, but you cannot get a replacement mom.)
My mother would quite literally move the pyramids, one stone at a time, (all alone, without complaint) if her children needed her to.
That’s not a metaphor. If it needed to happen, she would do it.
I love my father as much as I love my mom. But us kid’s relationship with him is different; he is not the person we depend on.
1. My father would bail us out of jail, but the disapproving silence on the drive home would be deafening.
2. My mother would help us hide the body, and then she would make us snacks.
OK! NOW THIS POST IS OVER!
I had intended to have some kind of reassuring conclusion… but I am very busy and important and will have to finish tackling the human condition another time.
I have to go put the final touches on my GFP (Giant Fancy Presentation)… the flaming baton twirling is coming along nicely! It’s way easier than it looks! But the high kicks are still giving me some trouble with my impractical choice of footwear.
Can’t wait to meet some of you! BUT DO NOT TRY TO BUY ANYTHING I AM INTERESTED IN.
See you Sunday!
LET ME HELP YOU WASTE MORE TIME!
read my other favorite post: THE KINGDOM MIRROR.
Gay Van Beek
May 31, 2017 @ 10:52 am
You are SO entertaining~~! Always love your posts.
May 31, 2017 @ 12:33 pm
BEST POST EVER*!!! Oh my i can’t stop laughing………and nodding in total agreement about every point and emotion you experience! Goodbye cruel world………been there, while furiously texting the play by play to siblings. Hang in there, might be the biggest challenge of your life so far, but you can do this!!
Wish so much you would come do the Atlanta C.F.!!
*P.S. Just kidding, all your posts are the best and I love seeing each one in my mailbox……….:):)
May 31, 2017 @ 10:52 am
the sink!!! the sink is AWESOME!
Eliesa @ Pinterest Addict
May 31, 2017 @ 11:40 am
That was EXACTLY what I thought, the entire time I read the post… OMG. I would redo my entire kitchen – again – to have that sink.
June 22, 2017 @ 11:35 pm
Curious as to how it was refurbished. I have a 1908 sink languishing in my basement but it’s completely crazed.
May 31, 2017 @ 12:20 pm
VEB showed a photo of one of those sinks forever ago and it forced me to scrap my entire design and spend a (not) small fortune on finding one and having it refurbished.
May 31, 2017 @ 6:39 pm
Haaaaa! Just you wait till it’s a resthome you are trying to find for them … my mother and all her opinions has just shifted into one and truly, NOTHING is going to make her happy. And your heartstrings will cut you clean in half as, after all, this is your Mother/Father and therefore, also, your soul mates. Good luck with it all!
May 31, 2017 @ 10:52 am
PLEASE WRITE A BOOK.
February 3, 2018 @ 10:38 am
i second this motion.
May 31, 2017 @ 10:58 am
Best line for story of my life… “with the people who are MOST LIKE YOURSELF and yet UTTERLY INTOLERABLE “
June 2, 2017 @ 12:47 pm
… and there I was, thinking she was talking about Hero Husband and me…. LOL
May 31, 2017 @ 10:59 am
Move to Tybee Island, Ga a few cottage reno’s are still around~ it’s a beautiful little beach town~ why we even have a place there I just updated a bit~! Full of Great neighbors and fun historical stuff to do in Tybee and Savannah! And yes, while I can’t go much in the summer we do rent it out~! For a little slice of heaven~ check it out~ https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/12309023?preview_for_ml
And I have a WONDERFUL realtor~!
May 31, 2017 @ 11:01 am
Victoria, I feel your pain! Going through much of the same thing with my parents. I might need to borrow your dart gun.
May 31, 2017 @ 11:03 am
You are tres hilarious! When I told my husband that “the crazy blogger I love” is going to be at the Country Living show, he knew who I was talking about! I can’t make the June dates but working on seeing you in September.
May 31, 2017 @ 11:09 am
I love your writing. I JUST LOVE your writing!
May 31, 2017 @ 11:13 am
One of my all time favorite posts! 😀
” My mother would help us hide the body, and then she would make us snacks.”
May 31, 2017 @ 11:28 am
This was my Mom too. I used to say if I was an axe murder my Mom would come to my defense and say they must of deserved it! It’s nice to have that unconditional love. She died from cancer when I was just 29 , enjoy your Mom!
May 31, 2017 @ 11:14 am
You are going to kill me because I’m going to say something practical. I’m so sorry.
My Mom already lives in a little beach-side town and is very happy. However, when you are talking about their retirement years, the home they want to live the rest of their life in, it needs to be someplace where there is great geriatric medicine available. A good hospital and good docs. It might be a lot different on the East Coast, but on the West Coast, the good medical care is an hour away over a mountain pass. This means my Mom who is already “living the dream” has to find a condo in town and give up the beach living in a few years.
Just wanted to throw that out there while you all are still looking. Get the place close to the hospitals. It will also be easier to bring in daily nursing care when needed.
May 31, 2017 @ 11:17 am
This was exactly what I needed this morning. I laughed out loud I can SO relate. My heart goes out to you for being there to support your parents. Best if luck in finding the right place. I also like the vintage sink with orange cabinets. Too bad it’s squeezed in between beach Mc mansions.
May 31, 2017 @ 11:18 am
Cats are much easier to live with!
May 31, 2017 @ 11:18 am
My father keeps stopping over at the house you visited (sans work apparel) and picking out finished rooms for my m0ther. My husband is ok with her coming there, I am not! Since she has no useful skills, I keep chiding (badgering) her to learn things now while my father is living because after he’s gone, I will be too impatient to help. IE: Mom: “Do you know what to do with Bok Choy? ” Me: “Mom, that is what the internet is for, you google Bok Choy, all the recipes appear right before your eyes.” Mom: “I think you put it in broth. I don’t go on that facebook.” Me: #%*#*& WTX?
May 31, 2017 @ 11:20 am
That last little yellow cottage is calling my name! LOUDLY!
As one who is at least as old as your parents, and having had various sets of in-laws and out-laws over the years, I can attest that these family visits with ALL the sibs and significant others are vastly overrated and probably should be avoided at all costs. It will also save your parents money to have just one guest room. That way only one couple at a time can visit. Things are far more enjoyable that way, trust me.
May 31, 2017 @ 11:44 am
Oh yes, Ellen, I think you are onto something and have hit the nail on the head! Of course, I am an introvert who is slowly moving into my hermitage phase. No children or husband of my own but visiting with other family members can degenerate into childhood patterns quickly.
May 31, 2017 @ 11:22 am
I have always wondered about something. Is Victoria Elizabeth actually your name or a nom de plume? It suits you almost too perfectly. Did you, as a neonate, somehow bend your parents to your already impressive will to give you the only conceivable name that would do you justice? Enquiring minds, etc. . .
Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
May 31, 2017 @ 11:36 am
It’s real… my father named me after the queens of England.
Paul would say it explains a lot.
May 31, 2017 @ 11:49 am
You have a most impressive name. We named our daughter Catherine Anne Bradford, after multiple queens of England, plus Catherine the Great, of course.
May 31, 2017 @ 11:23 am
The right beach town might be in Panama. Only a plane ride away. Dollar currency, very friendly to American retirees, good healthcare. Maybe rent to get a feel for locations. Hmm beach? or cloud forest?
May 31, 2017 @ 11:25 am
The last little yellow house IS. TO. DIE. FOR.
May 31, 2017 @ 11:26 am
This entire post is a masterpiece. Does your family appreciate your genius?
May 31, 2017 @ 11:30 am
Hmm… For the right treasure I think I might wrestle you for it. LOL. Looking forward to this weekend!
May 31, 2017 @ 11:46 am
HAHAHA!! My hubs and I just spent 7 MONTHS trying to help his dad and step-mom find a new home near to us in NC. (They alternate between PA and FL, but wanted something in between). OH THE HORROR!!!! So. Many. Houses. They finally bid on two houses (after 7 months, remember), one of which the seller (miraculously) accepted their (lowball) offer, but after the inspection revealed the flooring needed to be replaced in ONE ROOM, they withdrew their offer, lost a ton of money, and decided to keep looking for a house that needed ZERO repairs. Their second (lowball) offer on a different house was immediately rejected and someone else bought it. Then they decided not to move here. So my work is done for now. But I get it. You are in that place of awfulness. I hope they find something they love soon!!