The Rizzutos are in the market for a new house. I’m a city girl, born and bred in NYC (except for a couple of lost years in God-forsaken Baton Rouge, but we don’t have to talk about that). Mr. Rizzuto is from South Jersey, which is pretty rural. He doesn’t like the city very much and he doesn’t want to die here. As a compromise we have decided to relocate to a fabulously hip city in upstate New York.
We’ve had our eye out for the perfect property for quite a while. It’s a tossup, should we live downtown so we can be within walking distance to everything (and I can still sorta pretend I’m in NYC), or should we find a nice, out-of-the-way place with lots of land?
This weekend we went to look at a few places. The downtown houses were OK, but unless we spend top dollar we’ll have to put a lot of work into whatever we get. A few other places were huge and had a lot of property to go with it, but were too far away.
Finally, we found the perfect place. It was in our price range, had a few wooded acres, and was big enough for all of the Rizzutos. It even had a few outbuildings so Mr. Rizzuto could have a grow room for his mushrooms. We did a drive-by, but I had some reservations.
“I’m not sure about that house,” I said. “It looks kinda….”
“It’s a ranch,” said Mr. Rizzuto. “It’s just one level.”
Whatever. We got the realtor and had her show us around. Nice woods. Nice garage. Nice neighborhood. Then we went inside.
“Well,” said the realtor, “it’s got cathedral ceilings. It’s been beautifully maintained. It’s very spacious. See the laundry room?”
“Uh,” said Mr. Rizzuto, “is this a trailer?”
“It’s a manufactured home,” she said. “I’d call it a double-wide.”
“I love this house!” said Dante.
“Yay!” said Janey.
“It’s move-in condition,” said the realtor.
“I don’t know about this,” I said.
Later on in the car Mr. Rizzuto and I talked it over.
“It’s a trailer,” I said.
“It’s a manufactured home,” he said.
“We can’t live in a trailer! We’re upper-middles! What will people say?”
“It’s in our price range.”
“We’ll never hear the end of it from Jay.” Jay is our brother-in-law. He lives for this kind of comic material.
“What’ll Babs say?”
“That’s the only sticking point.”
Babs is my mother-in-law. I’m scared to death of falling out of favor with Babs, and I’ll tell you exactly what she’ll say. She’ll smile through her teeth and tell us how great it is. Then she’ll get on the phone to everyone in the family and talk about how she can’t believe we bought a trailer. We’ll never be able to show our faces at Christmas Eve again.
So I guess we’re still in the market. Maybe. I don’t know. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. You can’t really tell it’s a trailer from the curb. We can just never have anyone inside. And I’ve already got the cover story. We’re just going to tell everyone we bought it for the property, and we plan to tear the trailer down and build a real house. Any day now. After a few years maybe everyone will forget.
I’ll tell you one thing though, Mr. Rizzuto is lucky he married a girl with a sense of humor.