I pay a little more attention to these shows, which usual begin with the title “Buying.” We’ve sat through “Buying Alaska” without doing it because, though Alaska is very beautiful, it is winter ten months out of the year. Also, “Buying Alaska” featured many properties which were very expensive but nonetheless lacked indoor plumbing.
Not doing it. In the winter, freezing oneself to the seat is a real hazard and in the summer you have to share the outhouse with your neighbor, who is a bear.
A show called “Buying Mexico” recently started playing, and we were immediately locked to the screen, because we often talk about buying a home in Mexico, even if Trump loses the election. I suggested that when we were ready to do so, we could apply to the show and be on TV while we did it, and get paid for it or at least get free drinks or DVR it and replay it constantly for our friends, until they quit being our friends. Or reap whatever other rewards they give to people who appear on reality TV.
“They would never take us,” my girl said instantly. I started to protest, but she shut me down. “Really. Watch a few episodes and you’ll see what I mean.”
So I did, and she was right. We only qualified by being a couple. We aren’t even married, which all the other people who are Buying Mexico are. There are no single people Buying Mexico, even interesting single people, from depressed writers looking for a dramatic cliff they can fling themselves off after they finish writing a novel about suicide, to middle-aged divorcees with a thing for cartel kingpins, to guys who want to buy a house close to the border so they can dig a drug tunnel from it.
No, they are all couples, bright, chirpy couples who never use sarcastic innuendos to communicate with each other. So totally unlike real couples, especially us. The show always begins with them meeting a local real estate agent, who is Mexican but speaks perfect unaccented English, probably from selling real estate in the US for years before being deported. He always shows them exactly three properties, one of which is always a little more than what they want to spend. They spend the whole show mouthing gushy little real estate phrases like “Ooooh, it has a garbage disposal!” They never follow it up by saying “But there’s a lizard in it!”
Which can happen in Mexico.
Sometimes the comments are critical— “There’s not a lot of closet space,” to which no one replies “Good--you need to throw out half the crap in your closet anyway,” which might happen if me and my S.O. were having that conversation.
Everyone loves Mexican tiled floors, so someone always says “I love these tile floors.” Nobody ever replies, “Yes, a tile floor is so cool on your face if you happen to wake up on it in the morning.”
Sometimes there are projects before the couple considers the house livable. ‘We need to put in a pool,” “These cabinets are way too awful for me to cram my booze bottles in them,” or “We need a bathroom with an actual door on it.”
Nobody ever assigns the other member of the couple an immediate task, which is what would happen with us, a task like “You’re getting that lizard out of the sink.”
Then the couple goes on some tame local adventure, like zip-lining or jousting on burros. Then they sit in a pool with colorful drinks while they decide which property to buy. This would never happen with me and my girl, because we both obey the First Law of Serious Drinking—if it’s not clear or some shade of brown or amber, we don’t let our lips touch it. Then the chirpy couple compromise on a property, which we also would never do—she would decide, and I would go along if I knew what was good for me, which I do.
So this is the only picture you’re likely to get of us. Paste it on your TV if you want to see us there.