In Blink, Malcolm Gladwell writes about an experiment where people were given fifteen minutes to examine a student’s college dormitory to gather information about him. Afterwards, they were interviewed, and it turned out that they could describe the subject’s personality more accurately than his or her own friends.
I’ve thought about that a lot, given that we’ve been house hunting for the past six, seven months or so. I find myself smiling at skates and hockey sticks I see, hmming the books I see, and huh’ing at how many families have three or more computers.
Obviously, that’s completely irrelevant to the task at hand, which is to see the house and try to envision our family living in it, with our books and our two computers.
But of course, I always leave the house with an image of the hockey-loving, soccer-playing, thriller-reading and pasta-eating happy family, and I wonder how little I really know about them, having just spent 15 minutes in their house.
Of course, I’m not really thinking about them as much as I am thinking about how much people will know about us after they’ve been to our open house. We were instructed to remove photos and other personal items, but our books, our DVDs, my espresso machine, our clothes, were still there.
I suppose they’ll know what a smart and cool family we are, they just don’t know how beautiful we are.
But then again, our friends already know that.