Who remembers the Fairy Tale story of Goldilocks & the Three Bears? A strange story of 3 bears who live in a house (not a cave), who eat porridge, but don’t gulp it while it’s hot – sophisticated bears, aren’t they? And these same bears seem to take on the attributes of a “Nuclear Family” – Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear.
Yes, often a Fairy Tale tells a story within a story – an allegory, perhaps, where characters in the story represent ideas or concepts.
Toastmasters and guests – in a strange twist of fate, I recently found a house in the middle of the woods and a fairy tale began for me and my son, Goldilocks. Er, I mean my son! I think every hair on his head is golden!
Goldilocks and I were driving by his high school – CMR – one sunny afternoon. We drove past a lot of trees that day. You could almost say it was a forest of trees, when we spotted a house! There was a sign out front that I knew was a “sign” – “For Sale by Owner”. I pulled the truck over and told Tayte to go look in the window to see if anyone was there. He reported back that the house was empty. We decided to go in!
That’s a metaphor, too, for the entire process of making an offer, signing a Buy-Sell, getting a mortgage – my, has THAT gotten to be a bit of a novel in itself! – and closing the deal and getting the keys….
Any way you look at it, we decided to go in….
The first thing we saw was that there was no table of food, no chairs to try out, and no beds to sleep in!
This is obviously where the story changes….
My son’s Mom – yes, we are divorced – she is the Princess who lives in the castle on the hill – but that’s another fairy tale – one which she tells as involving kissing a frog – The Princess suggested that we go to “The Land of Craig’s List” to find furniture. How many have been to “The Land of Craig’s List?” It’s an amazing place where people offer their junk for sale, and buyers can make offers almost as ridiculous as at a yard sale – you know what I mean – and perhaps find “hidden treasures” – which may or may not be a metaphor, too.
The first place we went had a twin bed for sale for $20. That’s affordable. Especially after writing a check for 20% down on a house! The bed wasn’t a lot to look at – it was just a twin, after all, but it came with a wood frame that had drawers under it! Bonus situation! That would come in handy since we didn’t have any dressers, either! Although we didn’t know it at the time, we had found the bed that was “just right.” We later found a bed for Papa Bear AND for some future Mama Bear!
We were hooked! This Craig’s List stuff was great! No reason to ever pay retail again!
But there still wasn’t anything to eat on. I started going to the Land of Craig’s List first thing when I got up in the morning and the last thing before I went to bed. Like an addiction, it had become MY LIFE!
When I found the series of ads for a kitchen table and chairs, a bookcase, a desk, recliners – and everything was listed at $5 to $20 – I called on the way to work – I used a “hands-free” device – I woke the lady up. I told her I would meet her there and go in late to work! She said – “No you won’t.” She had just been awakened by a strange caller AND WASN’T ABOUT TO BE FRIENDLY.
Fast forward – I made it to the lady’s house and found a dining table and 6 chairs for $20 – this was “just right,” too! I also bought the recliners – La-Z-Boy matching ones – for $20 each! And a desk for $20, and an entertainment center for – you guessed it – $20! I spent a little more than $100 and filled most of the house! I had found this porridge to be “just right.”
The story of my new house has a happy beginning and I hope it has a happy ending, too, like a good fairy tale should. But what I have come to realize is that filling a house with furniture – no matter how “just right” it seems – doesn’t make a house a “home.”
And it doesn’t become a “home” by tapping your heels together three times, either!
BUT! There is something to the whole idea of a story in which the heroes live “happily ever after.” So what IS the moral of this story?
When my son first walked into the house, he decided that he was taking the big bedroom downstairs. He asked if he could paint it and pick out his own colors. He told me that the room in the back of the basement was going to be his “Legos Room” where he could finally spread out the pieces and not have to pick them back up. The family room area downstairs was going to be his “Gaming Room.” I just grinned and said “OK” – except for the part about painting the walls of his bedroom black. The cave is part of a different allegory, too.
What makes this house a “home?” Creating a dream together and then living it. Looking through the window at a different life and then going in to try it out. Finding out which parts might be just a little “too hot” or a bit “Too cold”. Discovering what feels “just right.”
So if you are ever in our neighborhood of the woods and come knocking on the door – we might just let you in, but not by the hair on my chinny chin, chin.