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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.



  1. *laughing*

    I live in a double wide. Truth is it was the most house we could get for our money at the time. If it’s like our’s, it has a real foundation and roof, so it’s not like the trailer park version that’s apt to blow away.

    It’s pretty easy to tell our’s is a trailer from the outside, because we haven’t worked a lot out there yet, but it’s easy to make the inside very nice.

    We did take some grief, from a few relatives, but hearing our house payment shut them right up. 😉

  2. My grandmother had a double wide, I thought it was nice. 😉

  3. Actually, I’m looking at mobile homes to buy.

  4. If it has acreage and woods and is out of the city, I’d live in a freakin’ yurt. Screw what your snobby relatives say. They will want to visit you often, just for the peace and quiet.

    A nice double-wide? Sturdier than a trailer and cheaper than a McMansion. Easier to deal with than a romantic but broken down Colonial saltbox or an old farmhouse, too. I live in a 140-year old farmhouse and there are times I’d like to see it replaced with a nice double-wide. (Not really. I’m just sayin’…)

    Do it! Get out of the city! Of course, if everyone leaves the city it’s going to start getting more crowded in the woods and no one will be happy. I will close the gate after you arrive.

  5. Actually Quill, I could live in a yurt. No, I just like saying yurt.

    Mr. Rizzuto asked if I would feel differently if the house had a wood frame and drywall. I said yes. Pretty silly, huh?

  6. Hey, I’d buy a trailer (oops! I mean manufactured house) in Napa Valley. I couldn’t afford a house there, but I could afford that.

    Get out of the city! You don’t want to die there, so leave. Go to where you’d really want to die.

    And don’t you think Orlando could locate you a bit easier without the noise of those other New Yorkers?

  7. Here’s what I wrote before reading the comments: The thing about trailers is that they have to be sturdy enough to have been moved to the place where they are. Compare that to a brand new house. It could melt and then fall over in the first rain.

    After the comments, I have this to say: I like saying yurt too.

  8. yurtyurtyurtyurtyurt!

    Yurts are cold, though. Even if you’re not able to show your face at Christmas Eve Dinners if you buy the yurt (I’ve decided to call it a yurt, it solves everything, imho), couldn’t that be a good thing?

    Woods are good. Houses you can actually afford that are sturdy enough to be moved without breaking are good. Combine the two you got wonderfulness.

  9. I think you might be onto something there LFC. It’s not a trailer, it’s a yurt!

    Pan, I’d love to die in NYC. It’s Mr. Rizzuto that doesn’t like it here. And another plus about this nameless city upstate is that it has a huge Bhuddist center. The Dalai Lama even came here on his last tour. Orlando is a….you guessed it…Bhuddist!

  10. I promise you won’t start going to NASCAR races, and wearing curlers to the store. 😉

  11. Man, I’d give my left thumb to see Wanda going to the store in curlers… heh heh heh… 🙂

    My first apartment was technically a doublewide broken into 4 EXTREMELY small apartments (but, oddly, with the biggest bathroom I’ve ever had in any home). John never let me live down that it was a doublewide. It was a lot easier and cheaper to heat than a 2-bedroom house, though!

  12. Wanda! I wonder if you’re moving closer to me? I’m in NY…in Suffern (Rockland County). We could unite as Bitches in the trailer park…I mean lovely wooded acreage. (wink)

  13. If it is out of the city, and the kids can actually get outside to play, who cares? There is nothing wrong with a double wide. There are thousands of them around here, all high quality homes. Besides, the politically correct term is pre-fab, manufactured housing, or modular homes.

  14. I think it sounds lovely. I would totally go for it because of the land and the price.

  15. One word. Landscaping.

    You landscape until that’s what everyone focuses on. No one will know you’re trailer trash if the gardens are lovely. I can help. I’ll be right over.

  16. What the hell is a yurt?

    Don’t do it, Wanda! Stay in da city. But if you HAVE to move to the woods at least live it up like a rock star… that means no trailers or their derivatives.

  17. * Nevermind.

    yurt [yurt]
    (plural yurts)
    Asian tent: a collapsible circular tent of skins stretched over a pole frame, originally used by Central Asian nomadic peoples and now used more widely

    [Late 18th century. Via Russian yurta from, ultimately, Turkic jurt .]
    Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

  18. Thanks for that Anners.

    For all of you who support the trailer idea, please go back and read the comments about NASCAR, rollers and trailer trash.

  19. Oh, Wenderina, I’ll be going farther north. Think wine country.

  20. Hey guys, try this, they are not far from me.

  21. Party at JoJo’s yurt!

  22. I have one word to say, “Happy.” If it make you or your husband or your children happy, what else matters? Happy is something most people never know, ever. Do whatever makes you the most happy. Die happy.

  23. Finger Lakes? Or Shawanguck Trail? If it’s Finger Lakes I can see it, the Trail…AND? a trailer. Oh my.

  24. Don’t make me keep guessing. Email me if you don’t want to disclose here.

  25. I’d live in a trailer with Orlando, tho, Wanda. Any day.

    Oh, and now I feel bad for telling you not to move even tho Mr. Rizzuto is keen on it. I was just bitter cuz you said he called us horny broads that one time because of our Orlando lust.

    You guys should just play MASH and see what happens.

  26. What is a double wide? I dunno just get a real house in the spacious cheap area. Give ur kiddies a decent backyard to play in.

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