The Fairytale House

How perfect, how lovely, does this little house look?

We had dinner with friends last night and got to talking about Hilary Clinton.  The woman across from me said she didn’t care for Hilary, didn’t believe she and Bill had a “real marriage.”  My neck hairs bristled, and I argued hard against this.  I respect Hilary, and I think she’s smart as hell, but it wasn’t until we got further into it that I realized this wasn’t the crux of my argument.  I wasn’t arguing for Hilary, I was arguing against the assumption.

I don’t know if Bill and Hilary have a “real marriage” — whatever the hell that is — and I wonder how any of us can ever think we know what goes on in someone else’s marriage, in someone else’s house.  And yet, we do.

The house in this picture looks like a fairytale, doesn’t it, what with its blue walls and pink roses and white picket fence?  When I was little, there was such a house in my neighborhood and I walked by it almost every day.  I thought perfection lived there.  I desperately wanted to be part of that family.  Twenty years later I learned I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Who lives in your fairy tale house?

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26 thoughts on “The Fairytale House

    1. Teri Post author

      That would be Jesus? It would be very hard to be Mrs. That. To say the very least. You done good.

  1. macdougalstreetbaby

    Any house with a wrap around porch does the trick. In this particular one I’m thinking about lives a little boy, tagged a “sociopath” by a fellow mom in the park yesterday.

  2. Bobbi

    Assumptions. Wars have been waged, countless lives altered and wrecked by assumptions. I think you were right to rail against that my dear. I live in my fairy tale house where I try my best not to assume anything. I’m still working on it.

    1. Teri Post author

      Bobbi, you live in my fairytale house too! 😉

      And I’m working on it too. I’m human, so I’m not immune, but I’m trying.

      1. Averil Dean

        I agree with Bobbi. You were right to object. No one has a clue what other people are about.

        (That house is mouthwatering. Seriously. The pink roses against the blue siding? What a happy view for the residents across the street.)

  3. Lyra

    Assumptions about marriages are so insane. As if anyone couldd know what’s going on when the blinds flip shut.

    My fairytale house is a small house painted using a 24-crayon box as it’s palette. This small house is surrounded by flowering trees and tall grasses, and wildflower gardens full of bees and butterflies.

    And its paid off. The way I know that is because I see me inside back to the window typing away after putting the kids on the bus to school.

    1. Teri Post author

      Assumptions about marriages fascinate me, and it’s probably one of my big flip-out trigger points. The storyteller in me likes to think stuff up (make stuff up) but I can’t imagine assuming I know anything for real.

  4. independentclause

    I’m always for the breaking down of easy assumptions. Long time ago, I had a friend whom other people called “asexual” and it used to piss me off. While she didn’t date any one we knew of, no one knew what her desires were.

    And I agree with Lyra about marriage assumptions.

    1. Teri Post author

      I had a friend like that when I was in my 20’s. He actually adored women the most but no one believed it. He was a love.

  5. erikamarks

    Such timing…I was just last night trying to explain to my daughters the expression “Never judge a book by its cover” which was apt because I had picked up a book from the pile with a cover that looked, in their assessment, boring.

    Teri, this such a can of worms. Why DO we care so much to delve into the “houses” of celebrities and politicians? Do we do it to confirm things about ourselves? I am as nosy as anyone (I am a writer, after all) but as I age, I see people and their worlds with a careful eye to refrain from assumptions about how it all appears. We don’t know the first thing about what goes on in the bedrooms/kitchens/etc of those around us. Yet we feel entitled to that information–and I fear we don’t that so we can become more sympathetic people, I fear we do it to make ourselves feel better about our shortcomings. I don’t blame social media–ours are the fingers that click the mouse. I think we all know what was the chicken and what was the egg.

    But on a much less cynical note–that is such a charming house. As I may have said before, surfing the web for architectural photos is my p*rn!

    1. Teri Post author

      One of the great things (among many) about being a writer, I think, is wanting to see a story somewhere, but also to challenge our assumptions so as not to write a cliche. Did that make any sense??

      I’m with you on the virtual house shopping —- give me a house with a wrap-around porch and a sidewalk running in front so I can chat with the neighbors walking by and offer them a glass of iced tea.

  6. Josephine

    how perfect is that entry way? it’s almost too inviting, like snow white’s wicked witch disguised to give her the poison apple (the entryway being the apple, not the witch).

    i think growing up, most everyone knew that there was something going on in our family–that things were askew. during that time, and even now, many always assumed it was my mother’s mental illness (severe depression–bordering on a whole slew of emotional disorders) that caused whatever was happening behind our closed doors. but that marriage was cracked on both sides—she wasn’t the only parent making unrepairable mistakes.

    (aren’t fairy tales horror stories told to keep children from misbehaving?)

    1. Josephine

      AND…I couldn’t care less about Hilary and Bill’s relationship. She’s the Secretary of State and one-time presidential candidate. Maybe a perfect marriage wasn’t her primary goal? (Because she knows there’s no such thing.)

      1. Teri Post author

        It’s fascinating to me when women talk about Hilary Clinton only as it relates to her marriage or her current hairstyle.

        And we wonder why girls/women have issues. You can be Secretary of State but people will still prefer to discuss whether you’re pretty enough or have a perfect family life. 😦

  7. girl in the hat

    “Real marriage.” What ugly smugness. The idea of “marriage” needs a renovation.

    I have a real dream house– I mean, a recurring dream of the same house I’ve been trying to exorcise/renovate/move into for about 20 years now. It’s so blatantly symbolic it’s like dreaming in cliche.

    I tell myself it’s a good thing my life isn’t perfect, because there wouldn’t be anything left to do.

    1. Teri Post author

      “like dreaming in cliche.” Love it, Anna. As I said to Josephine above, it’s no wonder girls/women have the issues we have. It seems it’s never enough to be smart and successful and engaging …. you have to be a supermodel and married to Tom Brady as well.

    2. Josephine

      When we were renovating the last house we lived in (which also happened to be my childhood home), I kept having different versions of the same dream: I would be in the basement and find a trap door, or my contractor would take me down to the basement to show me what he found when pulling away the wood paneling of the walls: there would be
      an entire other room, as big or bigger than the whole house, full of cool items–furniture, paintings, etc. it was like there was this whole storage space we’d always had an never knew about that contained all these great things.

      fast forward to us selling that house and looking for a new house, we were doing a walkthru of a home i loved from the minute i walked into the kitchen. the finished basement of the home had a room that i designated as my office as soon as i stepped into it. there were double doors on the far side of the room that our realtor said, “hmmm, this must be a closet.” when she opened the doors, there was a storage space almost as big as the rest of the basement.

      we got that house. you know me, i’m convinced i dreamed parts of where i live now into existence.

      1. girl in the hat

        Oooo. I like the idea of dreaming it true. A whole new take on “dream home.” And maaaan, what wouldn’t I give to find a little extra room around here.

  8. Princess Sisi

    I lived in my dream house once for three years. Then another dream house for 12. Neither one had central heating. They both ended up covered in piles of debris sort of like a Hoarders episode. They were both idyllic farmhouses 100 or so years old, and I lived in them with my stoner husband who was untethered and a pathological collector. He saw beauty in everything, and brought it home from the dump. Once, he rented a UHaul truck in a snow storm to rescue a stained glass church window broken beyond recognition. That splintery liability sat against our garage for a year-and-a-half. I could go on and on. And I did. My entire master’s thesis was titled: Dumpster Dive: an Assemblage of Treasure and Scrap.

    I live in a mid-century house now whose single previous owner was meticulous. My current husband is less of a collector, though he does like “a bargain.” But, I have to say, this place has become my fairy tale house. A split-level Brady Bunch ranch. Who knew?

    But regarding the Clinton’s marriage? It’s probably as real as anyone’s.

    1. Teri Post author

      You do know you’re living about 5 lives this time around, right Suzy? I LOVE it all !!!!

      I’m imagining you as Carol Brady. And then the Clintons — you’re right about that. Carol and Mike’s relationship was a real as anyone’s, too, that’s what I figure. And who didn’t want Mike Brady to be their dad? He was so very wise.

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