The Stranger Who Exposed Me As The Cheater I Am

A stranger's knock on my front door exposed me for the cheater I am. I'm a house cheater, not appreciating the home I have.

The stranger’s knock on my front door exposed me.

For the cheater I am.

One unexpected visitor’s request making me realize I’ve gone down a path I never intended.

How I’d stopped appreciating what I have here at home.

My eye started wandering innocently enough.

By clicking around a few websites.

Checking out other people.

How they live.

What they have.

How much better than mine.

My name is Daryn and I’m a house cheater.

Yes, I’ve been unfaithful to this modest 1928 bungalow that has housed me,

Sheltered me since 1999.

What a joy it was to entertain back in the day in my darlingly decorated home.

A mix of country antiques and warmth.

My, how things have changed.

A husband, two kids, a 3-legged cat and 10 chickens later, we are busting at the seams.

The dining room doubles as the home office for Husband and me who both work from home.

We need a Zamboni ice machine to clear away the clutter each night just so we can sit down for dinner as a family.

The two small downstairs bedrooms and tiny bathroom?

I have one word: teenagers.

Maybe that’s why I didn’t see the harm in checking out websites.

Which of course is just the gateway drug to fixer upper shows on HGTV.

House Porn, if you will.

Convincing myself that the answer to complete happiness lies in shiplap walls and an open concept kitchen.

The house cheater in me fantasizes that Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV's "Fixer Upper" stop by to re-do our house in their fabulous Modern Farmhouse style.

The house cheater in me fantasizes that Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” stop by to re-do our house in their fabulous Modern Farmhouse style.

You know that day your house is such a mess that you pray no one stops by?

This was that day.

Back to the front door.

And the stranger.

Who had a simple request.

“I lived here 30 years ago,” she shared. “I was wondering if I could just look around?”

And with that she stepped into nostalgic love affair.

“Oh, the house looks as wonderful as it did when we were raising our son here!” she gushed, as she gazed lovingly from room to room.

Husband and I shot each other a look, “Is she seeing the same house we do?”

The answer was simply, “No.”

Each “ooh” and “ahh” highlighting a happy memory.

“This is the room where my son grew up. Oh, and we had a little table in this corner of the kitchen. The same grand poplar tree lords over the backyard. Simply wonderful.”

I wish you could’ve been here, Dear Reader.

You, who also has been thinking your home is not quite enough.

For this was like moving day.

Going from the oldest house on the block to a majestic, historic treasure.

What mighty bones and strength this home has to house our family and the ones that came before.

Imagine that.

A stranger reintroducing me to a dear old friend.

“Thank you for letting me drop by,” the woman said reluctantly making her way to the front door.

“No, thank you,” I replied. “You’ve given me the keys to a new house.”

There’s not another one like it on TV.

((Please catch my column each week in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Dayton Daily News and other Cox Newspapers across the country.)))

And if you enjoy this column you might enjoy my book,

“Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts On Losing Her Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog.”

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The Stranger Who Exposed Me As The Cheater I Am

by DarynKagan time to read: 2 min
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