Opinion: Desperate house husband


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 isn’t what she meant. After 30 years in our house, Mary Ellen thinks we should move into a condo, a place where 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 on one level, that’s the end of my 30-second evening workout.

Last week, 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. The first condo we looked at, Brad got very emotional about the baseboards that accented the tall walls and high ceilings, the 1-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.

Mary Ellen and I have totally different sets of criteria regarding the ideal house, 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, a finished basement and an exercise bike. Also, I’d love to have a private back deck with a view of secluded woods.”

Brad called me the next day.

“Dick, I found the ideal place for you. Looks like it’s not up for sale 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.”