The Big Daddy was all about scouting out a new homestead, and so we'd map out the Sunday open houses, pack up the kids and snoop in other people's lives.
We argued a lot in these open houses. The Big Daddy, enamored with the bells and whistles, and me not so much. I'm not hauling groceries up a flight of stairs to a kitchen that some idiot put on the second floor. Another time we were in a house with gold-flocked wallpaper on the entire first floor and when I said I'd seen enough he told me I was being too negative. When we got to the backyard with the above-ground swimming pool coated in algae, we both barfed a little in our mouth.
On the way home from one of our shopping trips we passed an Open House sign in a neighborhood we weren't familiar with. We stopped anyhow and oh, how we could see ourselves living in those digs with the wide open downstairs "great room" that the kids were already running around in.
We likeyed that place.
When we inquired about the price it was $450,000.00. Hmmmm.......that's several hundred thousand dollars more than we intended to spend.
The realtor nodded knowingly and wished us well as she pointed us and our sweaty kids to the proper exit.
She stood in the doorway and watched us pull away in our Oldsmobile Firenza, and I bet it was the faux wood paneling on the side of our station wagon that was a dead giveaway that we had stumbled into the wrong neighborhood.