Grand Designs is not a show about architecture.

As a man you need to get two crucial elements of your life into line: women and money, and in that order. If you get your money into line but not how you interact with women then the women will take all of your money. One of the best modern examples of marital voyeurism of this type is the television show Grand Designs.  Ostensibly the show is about people building their dream homes. But the real theme of the program is the underlying relationship dynamics that are revealed when serious amounts of money are on the line.

For me the show is an interesting study of people making bad choices and the underlying motivations behind such behavior. One of the most common themes that pops up is the stereotypical blue pill beta who cannot keep his wife under control. I recently watched an excellent example of this. The build in question was on the Isle of Wight. The couple’s back story was that the husband had recently suffered some sort of brain clot that had sent him into a coma. He had made a complete recovery but the couple had reevaluated their life priorities and had decided that this was the perfect opportunity to do something that they really wanted which was to build their dream house.

In other words, they were doing something that the wife really wanted. If I were to be callous about it then I would posit that the wife in question had decided to get as much expected value from her still living husband as possible before he really did drop off the perch. To that end they purchased a piece of foreshore land for a million pounds and then proceeded to build a house which was roughly budgeted at £850,000. I say roughly because they didn’t really have a budget even though the husband was an accountant by trade.

As the dreary looking modernist eyesore took shape so too did the pile of bills, and the episode eventually morphed into being about the looming financial disaster as the show so often is. Egged on by their delusional pseudo-architect who evidently fancied himself as some sort of modern playboy, the wife constantly ordered the best of everything, from window panes to tap fittings to who knows what, and all under the convenient excuse of this being what her husband wanted.

It wasn’t what he wanted at all. He wanted to be able to recover from his illness in relative peace. Instead his life became enveloped by the enormous stress brought on by running over their budget to the tune of £2.2 million, a feat which required 11 different loans of various forms and amounts. An amount which he would have to work to pay off, not his wife. And for the rest of his life.

(Keep in mind that under the terms of most of those loans they would have had to take out life insurance policies as well, so the wife is golden if he does drop dead of a heart attack).

A more striking example of what happens when you cannot keep your wife under control would be hard to find. It is also an outstanding example of female solipsism and the resulting flippant justification for such wanton excess. Yes she was completely out of control, but the main reason for that was her quiet panic at the thought of losing her provider at an age where she would seriously struggle to find a replacement. Keep in mind that by all accounts previous to this experience they lived a relatively modest lifestyle.

Of course, another reason for her behavior was the fact that she was exposed to millions of viewers on television. She had to have the best of everything because she had to be seen as being able to afford the best of everything, even though they really couldn’t afford it at all. This is known as living for the outside world.

At no point did he stand up to her and say that she couldn’t have something. The feat was simply beyond him. I think it quite likely that before this adventure they lived a life of relative peace; a life of quite normalcy. This is a comfortable error that many men make. It is the classic attitude of “nothing has ever happened so nothing ever will.” The husband assumed that he and his wife had a balanced and healthy relationship because they had never before encountered a situation where he would need to pull her into line.

As I said the other week, you cannot fall into the trap of thinking that you are somehow above the rules of the game. This episode of Grand Designs should be a stark warning to all men to get their house in order before they find themselves in a similar predicament. Your wife doesn’t have to cheat on you or leave you in order to test you. The testing comes in many forms. Just like houses.

15 thoughts on “Grand Designs is not a show about architecture.

  1. BWV

    This reminds me of the giant diamond ring Kobe Bryant got for his wife after the cheating/rape scandal. It was valued in the millions – and was regarded more as a “bankroll in case things blow apart” instead of a romantic gesture. For all we know, she insisted on it.

    In any event, I think the wife in the Grand Design episode was working a similar angle. Realizing her provider might croak at any moment, she needed to secure an asset that she could sell if necessary to finance the remainder of her life. That’s why she doesn’t give a damn about the debt.

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    1. Take The Red Pill

      “It was valued in the millions…”

      Valued “in the millions” by who? The jeweler who sold him the ring? If so, I’m not surprised.
      Jewelry-grade/gem-quality diamonds are possibly the most over-valued items on earth. To find out how much such a diamond is really worth, try to sell it and see how much you’re offered for it.
      The supply of gem-quality diamonds is tightly controlled (not as much as it used to be, but it still exists) by the DeBeers Syndicate to keep the price of such diamonds at a higher level than if it were unregulated.
      Study the history of the DeBeers Syndicate. Like many crafty monopolistic businesses in the late 19th century, it created a market for its ‘product’ through advertising campaigns — for instance, it created the ‘custom’ of giving diamond engagement and wedding rings.
      Anyone who uses a diamond as an ‘investment’ is being sadly misled.

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  2. Bernd

    I see something like this happening to the people around me.

    A friend of mine recently moved in with his girlfriend. At the time he was saving to buy his dream car. They did not buy a house or something like that. They rented a flat. The girlfriend chose the new furniture, he had to pay. No new car for him….

    Another one just bought a house on the “recommendation” of his newlywed wife. At his salary he will need to pay 60% of his salary until retirement age to pay it off. Utilities, repairs, insurance and taxes not included. Wife makes next to nothing (<10k/year). I think this will be a peaceful marriage…

    I have a very simple rule: never voluntarily bring someone in a position, where he/she is able to fuck over my life. This makes the women part of life easily manageable: never marry, never cohabitate, no children. Obviously celibacy would be the simplest and safest approach to women, but where is the fun in that?

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    1. Phil B

      Remember the three “F”s – if it flies, floats or fucks, rent it!

      That, along with “Never stick your cock in crazy”, is sound advice.

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  3. Post Alley Crackpot

    The show’s title is a covert telling of the truth, a hidden intention …

    This is all about “grand designs”, in fact, just not the architectural kind.

    She’s already figured out how to “cash him out”.

    That’s the entire intent of her “grand design”, and showing this behaviour is in fact the “grand design” of the show.

    It involves a new kind of cynical in-your-face truth-in-advertising that you might not have been aware of.

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  4. She will probably be in for a rude surprise if she needs to sell that white elephant. A highly customized house is for the person who has it done only. Rarely does someone else want to buy a house of that nature. Unless of course she finds another woman buyer with a weak husband to buy it, gut it, and customize it for her.

    The secret to becoming wealthy in the building trades: Change orders and the wives with that dream house gleam in their eyes and one phrase to the weakling she married “happy wife, happy life.” I did a kitchen remodel recently for a young couple my wife knows. The woman had the look in her eye, but my wife talked her down. I could have sold him in about two seconds flat.

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  5. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 10.03.17 : The Other McCain

  6. MarkT

    If her main concern was simply creating an asset to trade in when he passed, she would have been better off not building the house (in addition to the house she’ would inherited a lot of debt). So it doesn’t guise fit the narrative your commenters in particular are concluding.

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    1. Mark, your assumption is that she was entirely rational during the process. Women are hardly rational at the very best of times, let alone when their provider almost carks it and then they go on a national television show.

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      1. MarkT

        I agree. Accepting at face value your description of events, the action they both decided to take was not rational and not in the self interest of either party. But It doesn’t imply a case of the woman deliberately screwing over the man as your commenters are implying. More likely it’s something they both saw as a legacy project to fulfill whilst he was still alive. I will grant that in these sort of situations the woman is more likely to behave irrationally, so if that’s your main point I agree.

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    2. BWV

      “(Keep in mind that under the terms of most of those loans they would have had to take out life insurance policies as well, so the wife is golden if he does drop dead of a heart attack).”

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  7. Cr

    I’ve seen snippets of a US channel HGTV that seems to be a home improvement show. Aside: Almost 80% of the couples seem to be homosexual male – enough so that my shorthand for the show is “Homo Gay TV”.

    If it’s a homosexual couple, I noticed that the man who plays the role of the “woman” in the relationship – you can tell because he has feminine features, a feminine “gay” voice, is better looking, has no real job, etc — acts exactly as our host describes — they want it all, no matter the cost. So the same mechanism seems to be happening here.

    My wife was watching an episode where a large house was renovated, and the builder specifically warned about removing a supporting wall. Even with a very expensive retrofit beam, he said to be safe, lets put in a support column, as he expected the beam would deflect under load. The feminine half said no, they needed that area to be wide open! I cringed when they showed the result – the beam deflected, and it looked like crap..

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