One of the side effects of my cancer treatment has been an obsession with looking at Zillow. Being brought face to face with the ethereal nature of life has made me want to plant roots and own things. Like it can ward off disease or something. Like I can say:
Me: Ah ah ah cancer, you can’t have me because I have a mortgage.
Death: What??! I thought you were still renting.
Death: Oh, well I’m sorry to waste your time.
Me: We’re still finishing this game of chess, right?
End of play.
While my love for Zillow runs deep, my hatred for shows on HGTV runs even deeper. And every single time I go to the hospital, in every single waiting single waiting room, in every single lobby of Emory, in every single branch of Emory, HGTV is on the television.
Right as I’m about to get chemotherapy I’m forced to watch, House Hunters, Flip or Flop, Your House is Ugly, You Can’t Afford This, You’ll Never be a Home Owner, Look at These Neighborhoods You’ll Never Live In, Should Have Been a Lawyer.
My biggest rage black out happened with a show called Love it or List it. The premise of this show is that they renovate the home someone already owns and they have to decide if they love it, or if they want to sell it and buy another house. In other words, list it.
That is some top of the food chain first world problems shit right there. If you had to list all the first world problems, this would be right behind having a facial rescheduled, or choosing a day care for your dog.
There was this one was particularly horrible episode.
These people lived in the most expensive neighborhood in Vancouver or some bougie town and their budget for a new house was 3.5 millions dollars. That’s right 3.5 million dollars. And their current house is amazing but they’re listing all the problems with it:
“The laundry room is upstairs.”
“Our kitchen doesn’t look out into the living room”
“My husband doesn’t satisfy me sexually”
“My wife has nagged away my will to live.”
“Our patio is too small.”
Meanwhile there are a room full of people sitting in the lobby, facing real questions of life and death, shooting daggers with their eyes at these spoiled people being shown amazing homes and afterwards saying they weren’t “wowed” by the house. And the drama of this particular show is that the one house they were wowed by, the one home they actually deemed worthy to picture themselves living in, is 30 minutes from their old house they just had no idea if their children could handle that kind of uprooting. 30 MINUTES AWAY!!! And I’m there screaming in my head like “have you heard of Syria???? You are buying a house for 3.5 million dollars! 30 minutes doesn’t mean shit because your kids are all going to be assholes!”
Meanwhile I’m renting an apartment that reeks of weed because the unit next to me is empty and that’s where the maintenance workers go to get high during the day and my neighbors to my left- their kids scream so loudly I want to call child services on them but wouldn’t be able to handle the awkward conversation that would surely entail. And I am in the middle, in my bed, combing Zillow for condos in my budget.
But then it hit me. The reason for the HGTV. As I’m in this lobby planning my “eat the rich’ manifesto…I’ve forgotten about the fact that I’m fighting stage four colon cancer. So forget marijuana or percocet or Zofran. Forget the steroids or any other side effect medicine they can give you. Get yourself some HGTV and a healthy dose of white privilege. All that other pain will slowly melt away…