Sunday, January 23, 2011

the house as mirror of self

We're on the house search wagon again... Although it's easy to conjure up a list of pros and cons for a house - price, location, size, age etc - the most powerful factor is self-image. Who will I be in this house? Who will my family be in this house? How will we be perceived by outsiders? by friends? What life path will this house take us down? These are questions that only the rich get to answer. The poor only get practical questions.

Advertisers know it.

Detergent A takes out stains better than Detergent B.

Compact A gets better fuel economy than Compact B.

These aren't image-maker, story-teller bilines. They're get-through-the-day sellers.

For the rich like us, Advertisers know what to do. We get life-style sellers; extensions-of-personality sellers. Luxury items.

This is who you will be if you wear this watch.

This is how you will feel if you drive this SUV.

Our house search often descends to these depths. Its a sign that we're too rich. We can afford to make choices based on our desired life story, not simply safety, shelter, economy and possibly comfort.

These story-making mental rabbit trails have the ability to distort reality. I will actually be an athlete if I wear those shoes - even though I never work-out or play sports. I will become more Canadiana if I live in the country, chop wood and have a veggie garden. This acreage is a dream come true! How easily reality is ignored...

I hate long commutes. I hate spending big $ on a house. I have never had time for a veggie garden. I barely have time to mow the lawn (and that's my puny City lawn).

The romance is dead.