For Racing Drivers, The Home Struggle Is Real

Illustration for article titled For Racing Drivers, The Home Struggle Is Real

Haha, the two worlds of racing and guilty-pleasure HGTV shows have collided. Driver Michael Valiante appeared on an episode of Love It Or List It, Too, and proved one fact that my apartment reflects about eighty thousand times more: who has time for a stupid house?!

I love HGTV shows because it’s pure fantasy. I can ooh and aah at old houses getting the restorations they deserve and see all the cool houses that other people have, but all my dreams of a wackily period-faithful mid-century rambler restoration with hardwood floors, crazy retro tile bathrooms, and a six-car garage with lift space added on are about as likely to come true as those dreams of running a lilac bunny liveried Porsche 911 RSR at Le Mans.


Other shows I like are a bit more down-to-earth. Top Gear shows fun stuff that I might be able to drive some day. SpongeBob SquarePants tackles real-life topics such as friendship and cephalopods. HGTV anything, though, lives in some kind of magic-land surrounded by fences of unobtanium. As a #millenial, the only house I’ll be able to afford any time soon is a heavily depreciated Porsche down by the river (ahem, it must have the tow package), and my place is and always will be a pigsty. I’ve grown to accept this. It’s fine, aside from the general disgustingness of it all. Who spends time in an apartment, anyway? There are race cars to drive, or watch, or fly out to, or haul somewhere. Also, I need to put a muffler back on one so I can drive it again on the noise-limited track where it lives. Grooooooan.

This Love It Or List It, Too episode confirms many of the things I’m slowly finding out as the dishes pile up in my sink thousands of miles away (ew): race cars eat time. The Valiantes bought a cool older home with a great hillside view with every intention of updating it and reworking it to better suit their needs, but haven’t yet. He’s always traveling, and there’s no time.

Granted, their place isn’t anywhere near as disturbingly unkempt as mine is, showing that multiple time-stretched people do a much better job of keeping up a home than one person who’s always away. There’s no Porsche fan under the window, or a box of spares being used as a coffee table. I guess that’s the difference between the pros and the amateurs: pros have dedicated race car space that isn’t a living room.

Illustration for article titled For Racing Drivers, The Home Struggle Is Real

Oh, and let’s not forget one of the requirements that Michael and Nicola have for a home: space for a workout room. Generic Racer would be proud.


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What I realized a long time ago (before I finished high school) is everyone tries to have everything. So everything gets done half-assed, and though they sort of have it all, nothing is as good as they wanted. The compromise means everything sort of sucks.

So instead, I decided on the few things I’d do that would meet my (ridiculous) standards. I’m doing pretty well but compared to other people my life is ruthlessly simple, and I don’t own a lot of “stuff”, and I don’t do many “things”. Though it means everything I have is well cared for, and the few activities I choose to are awesome.

That includes home. It’s an apartment, and still a work in progress. I realized it takes 20 years for an awesome home to become awesome, not a weekend with a credit card. Yet everyone seems to love it, and not having tons of junk means it’s trivial to keep clean.

These photos are a few years old. It’s filled in with a few more details since.