2017-09-13 / Editorials

Mike Reese

“I was just thinking”

We made our last stand against the return of school hours by taking a Labor Day weekend visit to our favorite beach island, St. Simons. No 98s and 100s, but on the comfortable side of hot with high 80s, low 90s, and bearable humidity.

I sometimes look at SSI real estate magazines when we’re there. The pictures of the homes for sale are something and totally out of the Reese’s household budget. There are many properties available (you call them properties when they’re beachside, with a pool, and priced upwards of a million). But there were a few shoe box sized homes, inland, that were maybe in our Millen budget. Woops! Not really. Only fixer-uppers, no pool, no beach, but the price was reduced, they said, to only $310,999! I kicked the magazine under the couch.

I began to think about HGTV. My wife has lured me to watch that network in the past. There’s Beach Front Bargains, Love It or List It, Rehab Addict, Property Brothers (the brothers make my skin crawl), Curb Appeal, and finally Fixer Upper which is every woman’s fantasy marriage, accompanied by expert decorating skills and a hunky, broad smiling, perfect husband. Again, based on my wife’s comments and other women’s comments, they are just “so likeable and perfect.” How could they not be perfect with names like Chip and JoJo? Aaww. But I hear there may be trouble in Fixer Upper land. My wife disagrees. Not Chip and JoJo.

Back to Beach Front Bargains. I’ve watched enough of this program to realize they’re fantasy land, too, like those SSI real estate magazines. The program always starts with a nice couple, say a fireman who works at Wal-Mart on his fireman’s days off and his wife who owns a “cute little embroidery and children’s clothes shop.” Their budget is $250,000, they say, and they’re looking for a beachside home with a pool, guest cottage, close to everything, four bedrooms “for our families when they come down to visit,” a four car garage, magnificent landscaping, a nice sized kitchen for entertaining (“We love to entertain”), an open floor plan, four full baths, and totally built with environmentally safe products, and of course, “loads of storage space.” Who could possibly get by without all these features?

And holy sea shells by the seashore, the hired-for-TV real estate agent tells them, “I think we can work within your budget.” What!! St. Simons doesn’t have a home like that for less than three million, let alone $250,000. But now they’re telling the nice couple and TV viewers that they can own that home on a Caribbean island!? I need to sign up to be a fireman who works part time stocking shelves at Wal-Mart, and Janice could open a “cute little children’s shop.” Those jobs must pay north of a surgeon’s pay.

Oh well, these programs provide us with an hour long fantasy, dreaming what if…….And what’s wrong with that? Nothing, I think. Besides, a Holiday Inn Express is OK, especially with that free breakfast buffet included. Now, that’s a Beach Front Bargain.

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