Editor's Note

A Moment of Dream Home Envy

"I loved it. I wanted it. Alas, I didn’t have $17.5 million."

By Catherine Matusow March 25, 2019 Published in the April 2019 issue of Houstonia Magazine

The object of our desire.

Image: TK Images

I admit it: I was filled with longing, jealousy, lust.

On my way to visit one of the dream homes featured in our cover story, I’d turned from Kirby Drive onto Lazy Lane, per my phone’s directions. It was a street that, despite being a lifelong Houstonian who went to Lamar High School along with plenty of River Oaks kids, I’d never driven down. A lane, I should say, lined with thick, view-obscuring trees.

Having arrived five minutes early, I’d waited at the entrance in my trusty Hyundai, until the PR rep waved to me as she herself pulled in. I followed her through the gate, along the gravel drive as it snaked around a vast lawn dotted with beautiful oak trees, toward the entrance, which, all things considered, was unassuming—but confident in its unassuming-ness, if that makes sense. It had no need to impress anyone; it simply was impressive, from the minute I shook the other woman’s hand and walked inside, where we were greeted by a realtor.

The house, which is about 11,000 square feet and occupies five acres, was empty except for some beautiful rugs, a telephone or two, and some incongruous, ancient-looking TVs the current owners apparently had left behind when they decamped. The floors were supple wood, the ceilings soaring, the space well-proportioned and airy, but—just like, apparently, President Bill Clinton when he visited for a fundraiser, much to the chagrin of the Secret Service—I was immediately drawn to the vast windows held by their steel frame, overlooking Buffalo Bayou in a majestic scene, the home’s terraced gardens extending all the way down to the water’s banks. I loved it. I wanted it. Alas, I didn’t have $17.5 million.

When the tour ended, I headed home, still entranced by the awe-inducing structure I’d just visited. I walked inside the modest house my husband and I had bought in 2013 and, boy, did it look small. The walls seemed to be closing in on me; the ceiling, oppressively low; the backyard, tiny. I poured myself a glass of wine and walked outside, where I peered at our overgrown garden and thought about all the lucky bastards who have more than me, indulging in an entirely unattractive moment of envy.

It passed. I remembered the day we moved in, the joy I’d felt after years spent living in a one-bedroom apartment; how hard it had been to wrap my mind around the fact that the entire home, along with the trees and grass and pool and sidewalk, was actually ours; how many wonderful memories we had made there. It was vast. It is vast. It is more than I deserve, my own personal dream home.

I too am a lucky bastard.

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