Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hermit Crabs, Houses, and Happiness - A Parable

Once upon a time, there were two relentless children who nagged their mother and father for a pet. They wanted a dog, but since the mother and father had cleaned up as much poop as they intended to clean up in their lifetime, Mother and Father said "No." During a camping trip, the children, desperate for any pet, convinced their Mother and Father to let them buy hermit crabs, "With our own money." Sure, the children didn't really like the hermit crabs, in fact were a actually a little afraid of them, but a pet's a pet, right? So they settled. But the children weren't really happy.

When they got home from their trip, Mother had the bright idea to read about hermit crabs. Mother quickly realized the folly of an over-educated child. The list of necessary hermit crab paraphernalia was overwhelming, and hermit crabs lived in groups, so more hermit crabs were necessary. A $60 trip to PetSmart ensued. At PetSmart, the children saw some cats for adoption, and quickly started a new campaign for a cat, before the "crabitat" had even been set up. Sure, it was fun setting up the "crabitat," but the children really weren't happy.

So, here they sit, with animals that, while growing on the children, really aren't what they wanted. They're certainly not what Mother wanted - the things are pretty gross. Everyone should have waited until they were old enough to get a dog or cat. Everyone likes dogs and cats. But, no. Here they sit with hermit crabs, and nobody is happy.

Get what you really want. Don't get something sorta/kinda/almost what you want, invest a bunch of time and money into it, only to end up with something that still doesn't really make you happy.

If you've read my blog before, you know I love me a junker house, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about getting frustrated, getting impulsive, getting rushed. Really think about what you want and wait for it. Don't buy something that's almost what you want. Short of cosmetic fixes, the yard/location/size/function of the house isn't going to change. If you buy a house that backs to a busy road, you can invest $35,000 on landscaping, but you'll stick be backing up to a busy road.

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