Things you do after you lose the house

by Jennifer on July 12, 2008

The author in no way endorses the following behaviors. As to whether she has indulged in any of them herself, she admits nothing.

Here are some things you might do in the days after you find out you’re not getting the house you really, really wanted. Don’t you think this calls for bullet points?

  • Play hours of board games with the kids, voluntarily. Without making them beg. And you let your son be the banker for the first time ever. Boy can’t believe you said yes. Boy, aged 9, wonders if this might be a good day to ask for a car or maybe a ski boat.
  • You remember that there’s a bottle of Disarrono in the cupboard, and oh oh oh! you have club soda in the house for once! (Mama needs a cocktail…) You mix the two, and ohmygawd it’s the best drink you’ve had in months. Let out long breath.
  • You watch hours of HGTV no matter how much it hurts. You just can’t look away. House Hunters makes you sad, very sad–those lucky people get to choose from three great houses?–and so you watch another episode. And maybe another. And then there’s What’s My House Worth? or Designed to Sell. Suddenly, the tissue box is empty and you just can’t cry any more. So…
  • You park your ass on for hours and hours, with regular breaks to see what’s new in old real estate on Historic Properties. Except you can’t figure out what you’d do for work if you bought that plantation in rural Virginia. So you toss out that idea, and decide instead that you’ll launch a strong campaign to convince your spouse to move all the way across the country to Connecticut. Because you’ve always wanted to live there again. And, dammit, they have so many pretty, pretty houses there.
  • Spouse calls and talks you down from the pretty, pretty Connecticut ledge and announces he’s ready to move ahead and look for other houses where you already live. You realize that this makes lots more sense, and it’s a much easier move. And you won’t have to pack the rest of your crap precious possessions quite so carefully. Plus, now you won’t have to buy a barn coat or pretend you went to Choate. Whew.
  • You park your ass back on, with a whole new purpose. And, sweetjesus, there are one or two other houses near the one you lost that maybe aren’t so bad. Look at you, you pretty house! Then something in the back of your head tells you to put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it every time you become the slightest bit emotionally attached to a house you see. After a while, you switch wrists, because Damn that hurts and is this bleeding?
  • You find a house that you know Spouse would like and you fill his email inbox with every link to the property you can find, including a bird’s eye view from MSN maps. (Did you know that if you Google the address of a property, you can often find out all sorts of things, like the pricing history of the house, how long it’s been on the market (sometimes), and what the last sale price was? Sure, your real estate agent can tell you all of that, but it’s fun to freak her/him out with all the knowledge you have about a property. Also, he/she might not want to talk to you at midnight, and the internet is open all night.)
  • Finally, you step away from the computer again and go off to fold the mound of laundry that you dumped on your bed in the morning so you’d have to fold it before going to sleep that night. You see the pile of laundry, which seems to have grown to the size of a mid-size car. And you consider sleeping on the sofa.
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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Akelamalu July 12, 2008 at 4:37 am

You were really disappointed weren’t you??

When things like that happen I just think they weren’t meant to be and the pain eases, a little!

Akelamalus last blog post..Saturday Wordzzle # 21

Madge July 12, 2008 at 5:59 am

the important thing is you didn’t lose your sense of humor.

actually, the important thing is that you found alcohol.

did you really fold your laundry? boy. things were bad.

Madges last blog post..Men I Love – Part 1

Madge July 12, 2008 at 6:00 am

oh. and everyone reading my sarcastic and cold comment above — jenn knows i know what she’s going through. so stop judging me readers. stop judging me.

Mary Alice July 12, 2008 at 6:23 am

God luck. House hunting is sort of exciting and fun and yet makes you feel a little bit sick all at the same time….kind of like riding the tilt-a-whirl.

Manic Mommy July 12, 2008 at 6:29 am

I know this feeling and it sucks. I can’t believe you didn’t include egging the house.

Have you heard of It shows you the sale history, comps in the area, how much the last person paid and when, and the cost per square foot. It is so invasive, it’s awesome!

Manic Mommys last blog post..Who Needs BlogHer?

D / Momma July 12, 2008 at 7:20 am

Hilarious! And yet a bit sad. I am so sorry for the screw-up that lost you the pretty, pretty house. There will be another. Just keep telling yourself that there were wiring problems in the house you lost. Or water problems! Works for me every time.

Peace – D
(formerly Momma)

D / Mommas last blog post..New Profile Name

Lisa Milton July 12, 2008 at 7:26 am

So there’s more pain after we sell the house? I’m stocking up on the booze today.

I’m with the first commenter – and I am ducking, because they are hateful words sometime – but I think somewhere else must be just the right place.

It’s coming, I know it.

SBelle July 12, 2008 at 7:29 am

Hang in there…same thing happened to us years ago so we bought the house across the street so that we could mock the people who bought the house we loved. Ended up that they were fabulous neighbors who would come over and cut our grass when we were out of town. You’ll find a BETTER house…I promise!

SBelles last blog post..Oh my GOSH, she DIDN’T say that!!!

Ree July 12, 2008 at 8:12 am

Damn, that sucks. Y’know, there’s a really nice house for sale down the road here…

Oh, Michigan’s not on the list, eh?

Okay, well, I hope you did what I would have done and moved the pile to the top of the dresser.

Rees last blog post..Haiku Friday – To Do List

Jenn @ Juggling Life July 12, 2008 at 8:25 am

I’m sure you’ve heard many stories like this. On our first home purchase we lost the one we wanted sooooooo badly. Which turned out to be good because a couple of days later a better house came on the market and we got that one.

Still, it would seem the bank owes you something.

Jenn @ Juggling Lifes last blog post..Overheard

Slouching Mom July 12, 2008 at 8:43 am

i’m sorry about the house, love

Slouching Moms last blog post..This is Just to Say

Jules~ July 12, 2008 at 10:15 am

I am so sorry you didn’t get the house you originally wanted. Good golly you are having a good and fun sense of humor about it all. These bullet points are funny.

Jules~s last blog post..Over the River and Thru the Woods….

All Adither July 12, 2008 at 10:37 am

I completely understand getting emotionally attached to houses. It’s impossible to avoid. We’re human. Not ‘droids.

All Adithers last blog post..10 Reasons to stop reading Perez Hilton

ByJane July 12, 2008 at 10:50 am

Damn, you didn’t go to Choate? Why have I been bothering with you all this time….!

ByJanes last blog post..It’s Such An Honor…too much, too much

Crazycath July 12, 2008 at 10:53 am

OMG that is so me! I do that! Especially with the laundry thing. Best intentions and all that.
Am I normal? Are we twins?
Brilliant post. I soooo feel for you.

Crazycaths last blog post..More fun with wordles…

Asianmommy July 12, 2008 at 10:56 am

Wow–househunting is a nightmare, isn’t? Don’t worry–You’ll get through it and find what you’re looking for.

Kate July 12, 2008 at 11:19 am

I love HGTV! But yeah, I can see how it could hurt to watch – however, I think the cocktail would help?

Kates last blog post..No Post, Friday

Attila the Mom July 12, 2008 at 12:59 pm

LOL—I was waiting for the butt-kicking bullet point. You know the one where you go down and get all medieval on that committee.

So sorry you lost the house. Hang in there!

Attila the Moms last blog post..The Cosmic Joker

Daryl July 12, 2008 at 2:09 pm

Much as I wish you would move to CT … I also am happy you’re staying put so I can have a reason to get my ass out there … sigh … its HIGH on my list of places I really really REALLY want to visit.

Daryls last blog post..Creative Photography – Reflections

Lisa July 12, 2008 at 4:24 pm

You know what–you WILL find a house better than the one you lost. I know you WILL 🙂

Lisas last blog post..Feel Good Friday on a Saturday

rimarama July 12, 2008 at 5:04 pm

Oh, Jennifer! I hear you loud and clear on this! It was so hard for me NOT to get attached to houses I’d find on the internet, some of them even before we stepped inside to take a look. I can’t tell you how many times I already laid out in my mind exactly how I would decorate a place, only to find out we didn’t get it. But I am now a firm believer in things happening for good reason, even in real estate, because the house we ended up buying is absolutely perfect for us, and we almost didn’t find out about it because we were ready to bid on something else!

Good luck!

rimaramas last blog post..I’m Not Complaining

Louise July 12, 2008 at 5:09 pm

• You take a week-long vacation to a spa (san kids) with your VBF and come home to find out (because no one could contact you there) you have just a few days to finish pack the house and move across town to the almost-perfect house. Who knows? Maybe it is better than the one that got away.

FTLOG, don’t fold the laundry! And remind Boy that it was only temporary insanity that allowed his banker privileges. You know you aren’t ready to give that up permanently!

Louises last blog post..NOT the Motel 6

Suzanne July 12, 2008 at 6:27 pm

You have just described my day……simply substitute vodka for the D-drink. And minus little ones and board games….other than that……identical!

Suzannes last blog post..Voices I Love: MFK Fisher

Tina July 12, 2008 at 7:04 pm

Love your last bullet point! I do that all the time…it never works for me either. In fact, hubby knows that my saying “I’m going upstairs to fold laundry” is just my way of saying, “going upstairs to watch TV and fall asleep.”

Rhea July 12, 2008 at 7:15 pm

I like the comment above that at least you didn’t loose your sense of humor. I wholeheartedly agree!! Hang in there, girlfriend. It will happen.

I heard you’re supposed to pray to St. Joseph, the patron saint of house selling/buying. Something about burying a little figure of him by your front door…

Rheas last blog post..Seals – Camera Critters

flutter July 12, 2008 at 7:52 pm

call your friend flutter. She is good for a laugh 🙂

flutters last blog post..On the process

Tootsie Farklepants July 12, 2008 at 11:53 pm

I have a little something for you.

Tootsie Farklepantss last blog post..She’s Done a Great Deal of Linking but I Think the Finger can be Saved

Shelby July 13, 2008 at 7:38 am

A friend of mine at work did the St. Joseph thing.. something about burying his little statue upside down and facing (which direction?) a particulary way. .. in the yard.. I don’t think it worked for her yet tho.. She laughs when she tells the story of burying it.. her and her husband were praying to ‘bless’ it while burying it.. Meanwhile, some neighbor kids were being loud and unruly and came into her yard to retrieve a ball or something.. so mid-prayer, she stopped at screamed at the kids to ‘stop!’ and ‘leave promptely’…. not sure what the exact words were that she used, but I’m thinking they were a little more dramatic.. then she returned to the prayer. Afterward, he husband said, ‘honey, I don’t think it works that way.’

Anyway, been there done that with the house thing. We finally got what we wanted. Now, years later, I want something else… but I’ll wait a year or so I guess.

Keep us posted on your how it’s going.. good luck.

Sports Mama July 13, 2008 at 12:32 pm

The thing to remember when dumping laundry on the bed in an effort to ensure it gets folded before the end of the day? Be sure NOT to leave the laundry basket conveniently at hand, giving your subconscious mind an option to actually folding it. After all, its still clean as long as its in the basket and not on the floor, right?

Sports Mamas last blog post..The Cool New Holiday

San Diego Momma July 13, 2008 at 3:02 pm

I would have slept on the sofa.

And you WILL find a house. But get one with a bigger bed, so you can simply move the laundry pile to the edge and still have enough room for you and your husband to sleep.

San Diego Mommas last blog post..My Home “Office”

dysfunctional mom July 13, 2008 at 7:02 pm

This is probably going to sound corny and trite, but I do believe it…..that house was not meant to be yours. You may never know why, but maybe the pipes are bad, maybe it’s haunted, or maybe there’s just a much better house coming your way.
Best of luck to you!
Visting from AllMediocre,

dysfunctional moms last blog post..This Weekend’s Adventure

jen July 13, 2008 at 7:41 pm

Well, that stinks. We’ve never bought an existing house, we’ve only ever built. Not that we HAD to have a new house, just at the time (five years ago), it was a heck of a lot cheaper to build than buy. And now…we’re not leaving. Good luck on house-hunting!

jens last blog post..Which one??-updated

the mama bird diaries July 13, 2008 at 8:22 pm

I’m so sorry about the house. You were planning to move to Connecticut? A better house will come along. God, don’t you hate when people freakin’ say that. So annoying.

the mama bird diariess last blog post..the san francisco stress

Quart July 14, 2008 at 4:43 am

Do you get as annoyed as I do when House Hunters does not disclose the city they’re in or the prices of the houses? And they never show people NOT getting the house. Stupid HGTV.


HRH July 14, 2008 at 6:26 am

I find curling up ON TOP of the clean laundry is even better then a down mattress pad…

I love house hunters and spent yesterday afternoon house shopping for no reason at all.

HRHs last blog post..Monday Potluck: Where’s the fruit?

Allen July 15, 2008 at 10:26 am


Truly sorry to hear you didn’t get the house you were hoping to get. Like everybody else said, and in the spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi: “That is not the house you want”.

But hey, you can have OUR house just west of Portland, OR. Here’s the scoop . . . 12 years ago the missus and I were looking to move out of Portland, closer to where I work. Missus has been an Antiques Dealer for many, many years. We heard about the “Money Pit” through a co-worker of mine who’d been trying to but it for 2 years but, in his exact words, “the old bitch won’t sell it to me! So yeah, give it a try. She’ll probably sell it to you.” Right then and there I should’ve paid attention to the gnawing pain I started feeling creep throughout my body.

We drove by the house, I gasped in horror and my wife was licking her chops: an 1888 Queen Anne/Colonial 3-story mansion complete with turret. Much to my chagrin, we scheduled an appt. w/the owner (not on the market). Following week we walked in with our 3 small boys in tow, to which the owner stated, “I think it’s so nice a family is going to live here again.” It was at this same time I started shaking w/uncontrollable fear whilst the lovely missus was shaking with uncontrollable excitement looking at the 10 bedroom, 10 fireplace house that immediately made me think of the popular Tom Hanks/Shelley Long movie “Money Pit” and the less-known, more obscure “Mr. Blandings Dream House” movie starring Cary Grant. And then my most lovely missus stated, “Oh honey, I’ll help you fix it up!” At least that’s what I *THOUGHT* I heard. But I think she thinks what she really said was, “Oh honey, I’ll help you fill it up!” . . . like w/antiques.

Fast forward to today . . . tens of thousands of dollars spent (thank GOD the stock market was doing well for awhile) . . . lots of home-made wine and beer having been drunk . . . truckloads of 100+ year old horsehair-filled plaster dust having been sucked up my nostrils . . . lots of home-made wine and beer having been drunk . . . calluses over blister calluses riddling my hands . . . lots of home-made wine and beer having been drunk . . . all the local hardware and lumber yard personnel knowing me by name . . . lots of home-made wine and beer having been drunk (starting to see a trend here?) . . . and did I mention I built a wine cellar in one corner of the brick-foundation cellar for the wine I make?

So Jennifer, interested in an old home on the National Historic Register that still needs interior restoration to be completed?

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