House husband



We were sitting watching TV the other night and my wife said, “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 exactly what she meant. After 30 years in our house, Mary Ellen now thinks we should find a condo, which is kind of like deciding to move to Florida. Only colder in the winter.

My wife is certain we have a lot of 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 bed. That’s my 12-step program from Exercisers Anonymous. If we go to one floor, that’s the end of my 30-second evening workout.

So last week — despite my misgivings — we started looking for a new place to live. We have this great real estate guy who is the most effusive and energetic person I have ever met. About everything. The first condo we looked at, Brad got very emotional about the baseboards that accented the high ceiling, the inch thick granite countertops and the stamped concrete patio (whatever that is). He was head over heels about the fact that there was an electrical outlet on the center island so we could make margaritas. And those slow-close kitchen cabinets? He was in heaven.

When looking for a new place you often go into the people’s homes who are still living there. But they must vacate their residence when the Realtor is doing a showing. What’s incredible is how clean and immaculate everything is. I always expect to see THE STEPFORDS on the mailbox.

My wife has some fun speculating on who actually lives in the home by just a casual observation of the furnishings “This is probably a very nice older man,” she ventured, “who may recently have lost his wife and has six lovely grandchildren and loves modern art and science fiction.”

“And he makes his own lasagna.”

“Oh, my God. Did you actually peek in his fridge?”

“Relax. I washed the fork and put it back in drawer.”

(Note to Brad: I’m kidding)

We started to feel badly for Brad. Mary Ellen and I had a different set of criteria for what we were searching for. I understand why some older couples opt for separate bedrooms, but I suspected that if we got separate houses, it would raise a few eyebrows.

I took Brad aside and said, “Go into that cool app you have and see if you can find a four-bedroom that includes a little alcove for an office, a finished basement where I can put a TV and a computer. Also a nice back porch with a view of the woods. And I prefer living on a cul-de-sac on the Far Northside of Indy.

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.”


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