We were watching TV one evening last week when my wife asked, “Don’t you think it’s about time we moved?”
“Sure,” I said. “I’ll stretch out on the floor with a pillow; you take the couch.”
Apparently that is not what she meant. After 30 years in our house, Mary Ellen now thinks we should be living in a condo, a place where the owners don’t have to mow or water the lawn or shovel snow. My son will be disappointed if we move. He was making good money doing all that.
My wife is certain we have many good years in front of us, but she doesn’t believe in having anything above us. Like rooms. Mary Ellen wants everything on one floor. I like going upstairs to go to bed. That’s my 12-step program from Exercisers Anonymous. If we buy a home all on one level, that’s the end of my 30-second evening workout.
So last weekend, despite my misgivings, we started looking for a new place to live. We have this great real estate agent who is the most effusive and energetic person I have ever met. He’s excited about everything. The first condo we looked at, Brad got very emotional about the baseboards that accented the tall walls and high ceilings, the inch-thick granite countertops, and the stamped concrete patio (whatever that is). He was quick to point out that there was an electrical outlet on the kitchen island where we could make frozen margaritas. And those slow-closing drawers and cabinets? He was ecstatic.
Home shoppers often go into houses while people are still living there, but the homeowners must vacate their residence when the realtor is doing a showing. What’s incredible is how perfectly tidy and immaculate everything is. I hadn’t planned on relocating from Indy to Stepford.
My wife has fun speculating about the lives of the residents of the homes by just a casual observation of the furnishings. “This is probably a very nice older man,” she ventured at the last condo we toured, “who may recently have lost his wife and who has six young grandchildren. He loves modern art and reads science fiction.”
“And he makes his own lasagna from scratch,” I said.
“Wait, how did you know the lasagna was homemade?”
“Relax. I washed the fork and put it back in the drawer.”
(Note to Brad: I’m kidding.)
Mary Ellen and I have totally different sets of criteria regarding what we are searching for in our next home, so I took Brad aside and said, “Go into that cool realty app you have and see if you can find a four-bedroom home with a little alcove for an office, and a finished basement where I can put a TV and an exercise bike. Also, I’d love to have a private back deck with a view of secluded woods. And I prefer living on a cul de sac.”
Brad called me the next day. “Dick, I found the ideal place for you. Looks like it’s not up for sale quite yet, but you can still make an offer … Wait a second, this is your address. This is where you live now!”
“Great job, Brad. You are the best. You found the perfect house for me.”
Dick Wolfsie has been a reporter for WISH-TV in Indianapolis the past 30 years. His columns appear in 30 Indiana newspapers and he can be heard each weekend on public radio stations across the state. He is a resident of Indianapolis. Email: email@example.com.