Weird Showers and VIPs
How many of you would enjoy having a shower in the middle of your bedroom? The people who renovated the $1.895 million house I saw today think that many of you would. How else to explain why they stuck a large clear glass shower on the wall between the master bath and the master bedroom? The effect is as if someone dropped a 5-foot square, eight-foot high cube in one corner of the bedroom.
I can understand the thinking -- not only can you discuss the day's events with your spouse, you can also gaze out at the breathtaking view of San Francisco readily available out the floor-to-ceiling bedroom windows. If you are one who feels comfortable standing naked in front of floor-to-ceiling windows, this is for you.
Speaking only for myself, I don't shower for the enjoyment of others, no matter how intimate our relationship may be. I've never seen a video of me showering, but I can safely bet that most of what happens in there is not for public viewing.
And knowing my client, NY Steve, as well as I do, I'm tempted to bring him to the house just to enjoy his reaction to the shower. We once looked at a place that not only had a shower open to the bedroom, but had an entire wall of glass functioning to separate the bathroom from the bedroom. "Oh, great," said NY Steve, "now I can watch my wife take a dump in the morning."
I doubt the shower would elicit such a classically "quit wasting my time with this," comment, but I'm sure it would be worth the trip to Noe Valley.
We realtors spend lots of time in houses. Eventually, you stop saying "hey, I've been in that house," which makes your wife much happier. When we are not in houses, we are in our cars, lurching around the city, getting terrible gas mileage, listening to music or talk radio and assessing the skills of our fellow drivers.
And now, after almost a year of driving around, I offer up this: driving, like life, is a much simpler task if you just don't care about anyone around you. If you have no problem cutting people off, not waiting your turn at stop signs, tailgating and speeding, then you are sure to get to your destination more quickly than those of us caught in the morass of concern for our fellow drivers.
My dad's first driving lesson to the 16-year-old me was to "assume that everyone else on the road is a homocidal maniac." By that he meant everyone in addition to my mother and two sisters. I have always tried to remember his advice while behind the wheel, though I have been guilty, especially as a realtor trying desperately to see 15 properties in one hour, of being overly agressive.
But now I realize that this is what is slowing me down, on the road and in life. A few years ago I became obsessed with the idea that the only thing holding civilization together was this unspoken pact we all had, to basically do what is expected of us; we don't cut in line, we don't hit people, smash our cars into each other, say rude things to each other. In short, we try to fulfill our responsibilities as citizens. Mostly.
Everyone wants their little slice of the power pie, which is understandable. And much of what we see daily is a reminder that we deserve that power. It's ours for the taking. Turn on the TV sometimes, open a magazine, look at a billboard: our world is now filled with products that will show "the man" that we're not going to sit here quietly and accept the garbage that is dealt to us each day. We are going to get what we want, pamper ourselves in the way we deserve to be pampered, and rebel against whatever there is to rebel against. Bad cola, for example. Slow, boring vehicles. Unacceptable treatment from fast-food employees.
So now everyone is a VIP, and if you don't believe me, they've got special VIP rooms in bars, clubs and airports to hold up as proof. Fortunately, no one's figured out that this VIP status is based only on how much money you've spent in a certain place; they're just glad to finally be recognized as the VIPs they've always known themselves to be.
And if you think a VIP is going to worry about the rest of us non-VIPs, you're sadly misguided. VIPs understand that the key to getting what you want is to make yourself the other guy's problem, rather than giving him the chance to be yours, or just to dismiss him and his lowly needs entirely. Screw him, they think, I've got important things to do.
Ouch, this soapbox is making my feet hurt.
I know, I know, you've heard it all before and from people way more eloquent than me. Six years of watching young, able-bodied men shove past my child to get onto the BART, followed by the past year of watching how people act behind the wheel, pushed me over the edge. And yes, this means I've completed my transformation from angry, shouting driving guy to guy who gets tailgated and flipped off by angry, shouting driving guys.