As you may or may not recall, we’ve had our house on the market for a while. It has been a horrible experience, if I’m being honest, and it’s turning me into an unpleasant person. The last five months of constant chasing around after two kids and two dogs, keeping an immaculate house for strangers to paw through at whim before dismissively walking away, has taken its toll. We’ve decided that this is the last week, and after that we’re taking a break and pulling the place off the market until after the new year.
The first couple of months were ok. I kept the place at high levels of show readiness. I’d whisk the dogs away to Grandma’s, the house would be swept bare of every hint of a pet, and I’d carefully scour the backyard, every last inch, for wayward dog piles. Now, though, I’m kind of over it. I leave the dogs at the house for the realtor to deal with if I have somewhere else to be, the counters may have some papers on it, and I stopped carefully rotating my Caldrea diffusers and setting the radio to just the right level of smooth jazz.
Now, no music for you! Smell my burnt toast from this morning! If the toilet seat isn’t down, oh well! And if someone isn’t watching themselves and tromps through the grass without paying attention, I can’t be held responsible for what they might find. I’m D-O-N-E.
I do have some reservations about leaving the dogs in the house, but after this many months, sometimes it just can’t be helped. I live in constant fear of the realtor walking in with an interested party to find a shredded bag of kale chips ground into the entryway, or a steaming pile of vomit on the area rug, or Koa standing on the couch with all the cushions on the floor, howling plaintively at the window as she tends to do when her separation anxiety gets bad. As far as I know, it hasn’t happened yet, but those things all did happen to ME, all approximately 10 minutes before people were scheduled to arrive, and it makes me stabby.
This weekend, as we announced that this was the last week we’d let the house be shown, I had to prepare once again for someone to stroll though and not have anything come of it, a perpetual Open House for people “just wondering what the market was like in our area but not actively looking right now.” I walked back in the house after they left, annoyed that the people didn’t share this tidbit until after they wasted my time doing things I hate, like vacuuming- only to be greeted by the horrible and unmistakable scent of anal glands in the front hallway. Now, if you don’t know this smell, consider yourself lucky. It’s kind of like putrescent broccoli mixed with a pork chop left out in the sun for two days, then soaked in yogurt and left to mold in a dungheap.
Ugh, I thought, looking around. The dogs were sitting there, looking happy as can be. Nothing was shredded. But someone, somewhere in the last 45 minutes, had let loose. I hoped against hope that perhaps this happened after the people left, a reaction of sadness to saying goodbye to the realtor they have gotten to know so very well this past 150 days of inertia. I knelt down to the floor and looked for telltale signs of the offending substance.
I saw a small smear of liquid on the floor, a tiny glistening streak of what might be drool, might be water, might be anal gland goo. I grabbed a paper towel and went to dab it up. Yup. Anal glands on the hardwood. Then, as Koa stood there wagging her tail proudly, I saw it- a smelly footprint, men’s size 10 or so, outlined on the floor in the same offensive substance. Perhaps it is unkind of me that I laughed a little when I saw it, but like I said, they didn’t even show up with any intention of making an offer, and I wasted 45 minutes of my day so they could come in and disrupt my life. Serves them right that they now have a long and inexorable reminder of our happy little abode.
The thought of them going back to the car and stepping onto their car mats with their fouled shoe on this, a 98 degree weekend, was enough to make the cleanup process in the aftermath totally worth it.