I just got cable again for the first time in a long time and I’ve already decided that I need to get rid of it.
TV makes me angry.
I always used to question why my husband would get so angry at the TV while watching a football game. There’s no point! You’re yelling at the TV! The players and coaches aren’t going to hear you!
That’s until I started watching HGTV– a network that should be called FWPN (First World Problems Network).
Here’s what the majority of the couples sound like:
“Waaaaahhh, we NEED something move-in ready!”
“Waaaaahhh, we can’t have exactly what we want with our $800,000 budget!”
“Waaaaahhh, we can’t live here. It’s not in our snotty little neighborhood!”
“Waaaaahhh, we need 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms because I don’t want to share a bathroom with my kids when they get older!”
“Waaaaahhh, I don’t want a fixer-upper even though my house budget is only $280,000 because I deserve better!”
“Waaaaahhh, I need extra space for my children because I was too stupid to plan for their needs before they were born!”
Well, at least that’s how they sound to me.
Why are you so hateful, Lisa?
I grew up blue collar. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that I grew up poor, because my family and I always had food on the table and clothes to wear. I always hate when people claim to have grown up “poor” when they weren’t actually homeless. It’s insulting. Whatever. That’s beside the point.
I grew up in a family with limited means. We didn’t “need” any of the stuff these people on HGTV claim they need because we couldn’t freaking afford it. And my parents were smart enough to recognize that and not waste their money idiotically on things they felt they “needed” when they had kids to feed and clothe first. They made sacrifices. But it didn’t seem like sacrifices to them, because they felt they were doing what was best for their family.
And we were never broke. My parents have never been in debt. Ever! Think about that. They didn’t even have car payments when I was growing up, because they bought beat-up used cars they could afford with cash and drove them until they died. Dave Ramsey, the financial guru who is a proponent of debt-free living, would approve.
My parents also never owned a home. I’m not sure if they couldn’t afford the down payment, mortgage, and/or upkeep- but for whatever reason, they couldn’t afford owning a home. The house they rented was a two-family duplex with 4 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. The last two bedrooms were in the attic and didn’t have heating- so they weren’t technically bedrooms- but that’s where my brothers slept. My parents would be embarrassed if they knew that I shared that, but it’s the truth. We didn’t have air conditioning until my Mom bought a single window unit for the living room when I was in high school.
We were a family of five. Yeah, it sucked sharing a bathroom with four other people. Sometimes I wanted to run to the gas station down the street to pee, but we never “needed” an additional bathroom because we never knew what it was like to have two bathrooms. I know it sucked for my brothers to sleep in rooms that had no heat. That is a need, but they coped with thermal underwear, blankets and space heaters. It sucked to not have AC in the summer- but again, it wasn’t a need.
Also, our house wasn’t in the best shape. It was an old fixer-upper. I’ll quote my new favorite show New Girl: “I wasn’t raised with money, so when something broke we pretended it worked. ” If duct tape didn’t fix it, that’s essentially how we dealt with broken things in the house.
So, long story short, it makes me angry when these people on HGTV complain about “needing” things they can’t afford. These people are the reason the housing bubble happened in the first place.
So I yell at them. Through the TV. Where they can’t hear me. Because I hate their stupid, spoiled, entitled faces.
But in all honesty, I wish these couples would realize how their attitudes can lead to disaster for their families. The majority of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce because of financial issues. Buying a home you really can’t afford can lead to foreclosure and homelessness. These people lie to themselves, saying that they’re putting their kids first, but they’re not. If you’re really putting your kids first, you should think about how your financial irresponsibility will affect their lives. Just because you “needed” some things you couldn’t really afford.
It makes me thankful for my parents and the sacrifices they made. Not being able to afford nice things totally sucks. I know my parents wanted nice things like their own house, new cars, fancy vacations, and the like. But they didn’t pretend they could afford that stuff and end up in financial ruin. And here’s the happy ending: now they’re enjoying retirement instead of having to keep working to pay off debt. I was able to go to college without getting into a ridiculous amount of debt because my parents made my education a financial priority. It’s hard for a lot of people to see the long-term payoff of financial responsibility. Those are the stories that don’t end up on TV.
Which is why I need to stop watching TV.
I have to put in a good word for The Property Brothers. At the beginning of each episode, the brothers (Drew and Jonathan) show the couple a home that has everything the couple says they “need.” The couple is overjoyed until the brothers reveal the price tag. What is absolutely ridiculous is that most of the time, the couple says they “need” something that ends up being priced in the millions. MILLIONS! I just can’t believe how unrealistic and over-entitled people are.
The Property Brothers then show the couple a few houses that are fixer-uppers with potential. Real Estate Agent Drew does a wonderful job negotiating a price that’s within the couple’s budget, and Contractor/Designer Jonathan does a fantastic job renovating the house and making it perfect for the couple and their family. I really appreciate that the brothers give people a reality check and then show them the potential of a fixer-upper. In the end, the couple is always happy with the results. My husband is a graphic designer and says that Jonathan’s vision and design is awesome. If we could be on HGTV, we would be on that show.