Dear Parade of Homes,
Let’s start by saying I’m not a big fan. People come to all different styles of houses that they can’t afford and gawk at the extravagance and excess. Or maybe they are looking for ideas to use in their own houses, but then leave discouraged because real people with real mortgages can not spend that much on amazing extra features. And why pay $15 and drive all around when you could just look at the pictures on the website? Ryan and I went to the parade of homes once. We were in the “get ideas” phase before we built a house. I think that was a mistake. Unrealistic expectations and disappointment is what I brought away from that experience. But maybe that’s just me. Maybe I’m the only one who looks at an amazingly beautiful, absolutely spotless house and compares it to my own house, and then feels inadequate.
Sometimes I get inspired by new houses. I visit teach a lady and we had heard about the house and watched it being built. I was so happy for them when they finally got to move in, and I was in awe of her organized pantry. I came home that day and started to organize my pantry. Not to the level of HER organized and brand new pantry, of course, but I was inspired to action instead of just depressed about the state of my pantry.
But mostly, I compare.
Can we be realistic, though? The houses that are being built near us are enormous. Who needs a house that big? My sister. My sister and her husband have 15 kids. And a mother-in-law living with them. They sold two houses to build one big house. It is very big. But it’s built for 18 people! I don’t see any families that big moving into these other houses. Two kids, maybe three? Excess. It’s embarrassing. When we host exchange students from other countries, they are amazed by the size of our house. Our house is quite large and we have a big yard. We do have 6 bedrooms in our house, now. Enough for 7 or 8 people, and there’s always room for guests, even if we have to kick someone out of their room for a guest to sleep in their bed. But when someone from Japan or China comes, they are always shocked at the size of our house. It’s Utah, folks, where there is a lot of land, so we can spread out a bit. But 8000? 10,000? 12,000 square feet of house? Who’s going to keep that clean? A housekeeper? Probably.
This is the house in our neighborhood. It is beautiful. I especially love the back yard, and I was glad to see this picture of the backyard on the parade of homes website, since I don’t know if the new homeowners will invite us over for a barbeque. Probably not, if they ever read this post.
My REAL complaint about the parade of homes, however, would be the DRIVERS. We have had trouble with that stop sign since it was put in. People don’t stop. And now, with 40+ cars coming to see the house on parade, do they stop at the stop sign? NO. Do I lay on my horn when they don’t stop and give me the right of way? Yes, I do. And I wish there were a police officer there to pull them over. I was SO happy on Saturday, when I was driving into our neighborhood, I saw a police officer with lights on pulling someone over RIGHT there. Just past the stop sign that they had ignored. Maybe these drivers don’t realize that PEOPLE live in these neighborhoods. People with kids. People with jobs and dogs and scooters and wagons and strollers. We are trying to go about our lives, going to work or scouts or the grocery store, and we really don’t want to be hit by Mr. and Mrs. Parade of Homes attendees who can’t bother to look up from their maps or their phones to see a stop sign and actually STOP for it. The stop sign requires you to stop, whether there is a car coming in the other direction or not. What? Yes, folks, that’s how a stop sign works. We are SO sick of the drivers. We thought the stop sign running was bad when it was just construction workers. We had a neighborhood meeting and talked to the city council about how to handle the problem. I feel especially bad for the people that live right by that stop sign. They have taken down license numbers, called the police, left notes, and done everything they can to help people notice the stop sign. One of those blinking stop signs would maybe work, but we don’t want something so obnoxious in our neighborhood.
A few more days is all we have to put up with this parade of homes traffic, and then hopefully the rest of the time it will be people who actually live here.
So, there you have it, Parade of homes. Sorry to be so blunt, but we don’t really want you here.