July 21, 2018

"I often choose My Childhood Home for my stay when I am in town because of its affordability, but more and more, I am wondering if it is worth it."

"Now, whenever I visit, one of the hosts will dump a pile of my old trinkets and report cards on the bed, and tell me to go through it and take anything I want, because otherwise she’s throwing it out. If the hosts didn’t want their home to exist forever as a Museum to My 6-Year-Old Self, then why did they even have kids in the first place?? I rarely give one-star reviews, but ever since the hosts remodeled the kitchen last year, none of my cereal bowls are where they used to be."

Great comic essay, "Airbnb Reviews of My Childhood Home" by Riane Konc. It's in the NYT, so many of you will probably decline to read it, but I hope you get the idea! It's not just funny.

28 comments:

rhhardin said...

Open Link if Private Window gets you infinite views. They can't see cookies.

Ann Althouse said...

"It's not just funny" is very different from "It's just not funny."

I'm glad I don't have to learn English as a second language.

Big Mike said...

My childhood being sixty-something years in the rear view mirror, this is not an issue for me. The home has gone through numerous changes of ownership since I grew up and moved away but I did have a chance to drive through the town I grew up in just last spring and externally at least the old homestead still looks great. But I’m sure my old bedroom, carved out of what was once an unfinished, unheated, never air conditioned attic, would seem much less than salubrious to me today.

rhhardin said...

Not just and just not make sense, as to what "not" modifies.

A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, Quirk Greenbaum Leech and Svartvik, give you about 2000 pages of examples or rules you know as a native speaker but don't know you know.

The text and a few rules is not enough for a machine to grasp what's going on, is what I got out of it.

Josephbleau said...

Viegets es innen

Expat(ish) said...

That was lovely.

My wife stays a week with her parents every month when she travels to HQ because they live 5 miles from her company and it's (generally) much nicer than staying in a hotel.

But it's also weird because they expect her home around 6:30pm for dinner every night, which is kind of odd of a biz trip.

I enjoy watching the (loving) tension.

-XC

Eleanor said...

Only I only love only you.

Ann Althouse said...

"But it's also weird because they expect her home around 6:30pm for dinner every night, which is kind of odd of a biz trip."

The question is are you visiting them or using them as a free hotel? Showing up for dinner is a way to answer the question properly, even if you're mainly hiding the truth.

Henry said...

Now it is I and my brother who open the boxes and ask my parents if there is anything they want because otherwise we will throw it away or take it to Goodwill. Yesterday they had 5 air mattresses, including one that won't hold air. Today they have 2.

My mom has enough linens to outfit a hotel, but that's another trip.

Ralph L said...

The Step-Monster forced my father from a chock-filled five bedroom house to a cramped condo behind a security guard precisely to keep us away. She didn't realize her own personality did the trick.

No bed would ever be put into their second bedroom. But no stuff would ever be thrown away either, it's all in my late grandmother's 4 stories and the 24x40 former chicken house. I'd like to leave it for my niece to deal with, but there's rot and sagging. Found some home-made Halloween costumes last weekend.

Ralph L said...

My mom has enough linens to outfit a hotel, but that's another trip

My grandmother grew up in her mother's hotel. She single-handedly made North Carolina the textile powerhouse it once was.

EDH said...

Each morning, around 10:30, the hosts started doing chores so loudly it almost seemed on purpose. I tried to sleep through it, but one of the hosts burst into my bedroom with a vacuum, claiming she needed to “get under the bed.”

A vacuum cleaner in the hands of a mother has a unique propensity to become a weapon of passive aggression.

whitney said...

Hee-larious

Ryan said...

I can't read without paying nytimes.

jack hoysted said...

nice piece but i felt so sorry when i read the footer,

Riane Konc is a humor writer and essayist.

Fernandistein said...

Some of us are orphans whose childhood home was paved over and put up a parking lot thanks to Russian meddling
Shooo bop bop bop bop.

Brian said...

I found it very funny. Thanks for sharing Professor!

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

It assumes all his stuff is still there. I call BS. His parents threw that stuff out a long time ago.

reader said...

This made me smile. My son is at the age where he moves in and out for school. One evening last fall I was out attending a class and my husband was working late. Just prior to the class starting I checked my phone and saw a missed call from my son. I texted back letting him know I was at a class, it was about to start, and asking if he needed me. His response:

Yeah everythings fine but what the hell, its dinner time you should both be in the living room

Loren W Laurent said...

I assume from Althouse saying "It's not just funny" that the essay is rather Sedaris-like.

--LWL

Big Mike said...

@reader, now that is funny.

Loren W Laurent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loren W Laurent said...

Now, whenever I visit, one of the hosts will move from their alcoholic stupor and dump a pile of my old trinkets and crayon drawings on the stained mattress in the corner where I used to sleep...

The crayon drawings were always done in yellow-green, because that was the only crayon my step-father didn't crush in his hands in a drug-fueled rage in front of six-year-old me...

Anyway, they said if I wanted them that I better take them, because otherwise they're throwing that stupid shit out. Sometimes I wonder why they even had kids in the first place? My mother asks that question, too, except she phrases it in regret for not having had that abortion that time, too...

I will generously give it a one-star review, but only because they finally replaced the carpet in the living room: every time I would see those urine stains and cigarette burns in the carpet I couldn't help but remember my chain-smoking Uncle who smelled of ammonia and how he used to make me watch him masturbate before I could watch cartoons...

-LWL

Yancey Ward said...

Unfortunately, my childhood home burned to the ground when I was in graduate school 30 years ago. Where it stood is now an open field. I drive by the location every now and again when I visit the area, which I haven't done since my grandfather died 3 years ago. It always feels me with sadness when I do, though- I miss that house and wish I could walk through it again.

tcrosse said...

My childhood home recently went on the market in what they call a Leafy Suburb in New Jersey. I hadn't been inside for 50 years, so I looked it up on Zillow to get a look. Somebody had put a lot of money into making the place look like a magazine, and they had staged the hell out of it. Although the outside dimensions of the place remained the same, by some camera trick the rooms inside looked much bigger than I remember. The asking price was ridiculous, the taxes even more so. No wonder Dad moved when he did.

Joan said...

This read like something from McSweeney's. I liked it.

My mom left her Cape Cod house to all seven of her children. Since it is a big house and on Cape Cod, three of my Boston-area siblings bought out the rest of us and have been remodeling it ever since. They've done a beautiful job on the reno, but I kept thinking either, "Mom would love this," or "Mom would hate this." Some part of me felt like she should still have veto-power over what the house looked like, which the rest of me recognized as absurd. I mean, she never would've agreed to paint the house trim anything other than yellow, but the white looked fantastic. The best thing they did was get rid of all the stuff that was hanging around simply because it was there and Mom rarely got rid of anything. If I had to name her interior design style, I'd call it Inertia.

On that same trip we spent some time with my husband's parents, who would rate five stars as AirBnB hosts. My husband isn't burdened with "get your old stuff out of here" requests because his parents moved out of the house he grew up in decades ago, and wisely made him deal with his stuff back then.

Expat(ish) said...

@Ann - it’s a little of both. She plans one dinner at home and takes them out for dinner someplace nice once. Plus she helps them with chores they can’t do.

-XC

tim in vermont said...

My childhood home was for sale last summer for $19K. Almost worthy buying it just to bulldoze it.