(Today marks 5 years of this blog's existence. Instead of reflecting on that, I wrote this.)
So I was watching House Hunters. That's a lie. I was mainlining House Hunters, taking it in 3, 4, 7 episodes at a time. International, Domestic, and Renovation editions. Compulsively watching couple after couple after couple find a home.
Why? Because I the inherent sadness in every single episode of it. It's a show stitched together with schadenfreude.
Every episode has a couple of well meaning people with a list of stuff they want it in a house. But we all know that they're not gonna that. Not at all. And they're going to visit 3 homes that they'll probably talk shit about. While the dramatic irony in all of it is that we know they're going to end up in one of these homes. Delicious, delicious irony.
House Hunters is all about people coming to terms with the fact that what we want isn't what we get. It is impossible to have everything on a wish list. The wish list is a fallacy that deceives us into thinking it's a reality. But, unless you want to be homeless, you need to buy a house.
And what I've come to realize is that this show is the perfect metaphor for life. Because in life, just like the show you want things. Great things. So you make a little wish list of goals, hopes and dreams.
And although a portion of those things happen, very rarely do they all. You succeed in business but got a bit fatter than you wanted. You ate at that famed restaurant but it gave you the runs. You took that great vacation but missed out on a huge opportunity at work that vaulted other people to a untold riches and fame. You bought Microsoft stock when you should have invested in Apple. Insert your own here.
The point of this is that life comes with tradeoffs. And that's never made more clear than on House Hunters, watching people choose from a group of houses that are all wrong in certain ways.
Now you probably think this is deterministic. Or depressing. Or disheartening. But that's because you haven't watched enough House Hunters.
You see at the end of every episode something magical happens. The show revisits the people in their home a couple of months later to see how they're doing.
How are they doing? Great, of course. After replacing the awful wallpaper, bringing in some art, and replacing the furniture they've made the house theirs. Which is a very nice takeaway. It's a lesson that despite things not going 100% their way they are still living. They have no choice. They bought their house. They live in it. They make it work.
Just like life.