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Coffee Break with Liz and Kate » Headline, mkt 421 individual marketing research paper » http://www.garypowell.com/

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Is there anything worse than getting very attached to your next door neighbors only to see a “for sale” sign go up in their yard? Ok, I guess there are worse fates… but in my opinion, this one is pretty bad.

For more than two years, my family has developed a great friendship with this family of five, and seeing them go, although their house is yet to be sold, will chalk up as one of the sadder moments I’ve experienced. And I dread it like the plague already.

Oh, sure. I’ve tried guilt. I’ve tried bribery. I’ve pulled out (almost) all the stops attempting to convince them that moving is in the best interest of no one. But they seem H-E-double hockey-sticks bent on moving. Something about needing more room, three teen-age boys, house is too small, blah, blah, blah.

I’ve envisioned placing “Road Closed” signs on both ends of our street to avoid those who may happen to drive by and see the house. I’ve thought about stopping any perspective buyers on their way in, warning them of the real   wackos in the neighborhood (they don’t need to know it’s me, heehee). So imagine where my demented little mind was yesterday – knowing that they’ve entrusted the kids and I to feed and water their animals while they’re out of town.

As you know, we’re coming off the Fourth of July holiday weekend, and the last thing they suspected was that someone would pull themselves away from the cook-outs and fireworks long enough to call a Realtor and request to see their house while they’re away. In what I would consider a lucky break, that is exactly what happened yesterday.

My first thought was to do a quick ransacking of the house. They’d never know. I could ransack, leave, then return in plenty of time to clean up the planned destruction before their return. I considered releasing a live squirrel and bird in the house, so both the dogs and cats would have something to chase through the house (think Christmas Vacation and the dog/squirrel scene). I could post signs all over the yard  – Signs like “Stay Out” or “Zombies Live Here” or “Beware of the Werewolves”.

Oh, the possibilities I imagined as I opened their front door to do an “inspection” prior to the prospective home-buyers visit. I checked every room for anything that may have looked out of place and re-folded the towel on the kitchen counter, just for good measure, and luckily happened to notice that the cats had apparently knocked over the vase of flowers on the kitchen table.

As I straightened up the flower arrangement and tablecloth, I threatened the cats (in a nice way) to please leave the table alone until the visitors had gone, then reminded the dogs to be good – company was coming. And regardless of how difficult it is to imagine my neighbors moving, I wanted everything to be perfect for them.

But it sure is tempting to scatter some marbles on the front porch. Just a few of them…

-Liz

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