The Office and the Home

Last night, with Rob crashed out on the living room floor and “So You Think You Can Dance” concluded, I browsed some of the selections TiVo recorded with my interests in mind.

One of these was The Office, an episode in which Steve Carrell became a homeowner. He excitedly left work for the final walk-through on his condo and signing of the closing papers. As he is about to sign, he learns that his mortgage is not a 10-year, but a 30-year. (Clearly he has misunderstood.) He starts to panic. The ceiling seems lower than it did when he was there a week earlier. Is this even the same unit they showed him? Is he going to have to rent the extra bedroom to his weird employee?

Oh, how I related. I realized with our first house-elect that when you initially fall for a house, everything seems perfect. Once you think you’re committed to buying it, you realize that there are a few stains on the carpet, holes in the wall and the guest bedroom smells like Guinea pig.

We decided against that house, for a few reasons. One being that the lovely gravel driveway leading to the lovely shop was not on that property, but belonged to an elderly neighbor woman who was happy to let people use it right now, but someday, she might want to put up a fence and sell her property–although she has no plans to now, and doesn’t even have the money to put up said fence.

My break-up process was: first, a willingness to do whatever was necessary to make it work, followed by feeling so completely over the house that even if it came crawling back I didn’t want it anymore. Rob felt that the house owed us an explanation…but has since moved on.

Now we’re planning to buy a house two doors down from the Bad House. Yippee. Its kitchen doesn’t need remodeling and it has four, count ’em, four bedrooms.

And the address is my brother’s birthday: 1021.

The other plot on The Office also hit home. Many times, I’ve noted that most people don’t actually do work for the full eight hours they are at work. The joke on The Office is that the workers don’t do any work. My problem is that I feel guilty when there isn’t any work to do, because I think surely there is work somewhere that needs doing and if I could just figure out what it is, I could do it. Instead, I should be pleased with myself (and so should my employers) that I do all the work there is to be done until there is no more work, and while I’m blogging and reading celebrity gossip*, I’m actually poised and ready to jump on any work that comes my way.

*This blogging and reading of gossip is different than the e-mailing and house-shopping that I do while simultaneously doing work. Those tasks are necessary, because the work needs to marinates on my desk and in my computer before it can be completed.