Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Real (estate) Diet

Atkins. South Beach. The Abs Diet. They all did what they were supposed to--until I got bored, anyway. Not that I need to lose that much, but, really, is there a woman on the planet who is actually happy with her weight?

Now I'm trying the Real (estate) Diet, whether I like it or not. Want to give it a try? To get started, all you have to do is put your house on the market. Preferably right about the time the inventory goes through the roof--if you'll pardon the pun. Make sure you have an offer in on another house on the same day, just to keep life interesting.

In Stage One of the Real (estate) Diet, you could lose quite a bit. Mostly because you're too busy cleaning the museum that has become your home. When you start to feel hunger pangs and go to open the cabinets, you'll notice the fingerprints/spots/smears/drops, etc. And the ring of the phone will put you in overdrive, nicely ramping up your metabolism so that you can get everything in order and the kids and dog out of the house in the time you have before yet another agent arrives. All because you said "Sure, half an hour will be perfect."

Once the calls drop off, you'll start moving into Stage Two. You'll begin to feel like a teenager again--sadly not in the euphoric, I-am-invincible way. More like in the hang-around-the-house- waiting-for-the-phone-to-ring way. I have all agent calls sent to my cell phone, but still need to be close enough to the house to go home and get Argus out before the agent shows up. For some strange reason, a 150-pound Great Dane bounding at the front door tends to scare people off. But when the phone doesn't ring and the silence becomes deafening, you might find yourself reaching for snacks instead of the dust rag. So expect a little weight gain.

Stage Three begins when you drop the price and relist the house. Basically, you move back into Stage One, with the added incentive of knowing that you're moving closer to the closing date on a second house. And let's face it: Unless it's in the French Alps, I don't really need another house right now. (Ok, that's a want, not a need.)

So here I am in the midst of Stage Three, not sure I'm liking this diet any better than most of the others. (I'm excluding The Abs Diet here because the smoothie recipes alone are worth the price of the books.) But for for me there is a silver lining in all of this: If I get so exhausted from keeping the house spotless for three weeks, I can't really be obsessive compulsive, can I?

Now if you'll excuse me, there's a fingerprint on the back of the TV that's driving me nuts.

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