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    Suburban Diary

    Finding out there’s no place like home

    Who out there is in the market for a pink house? Not pink on the outside; only pink everywhere imaginable inside.

    That pretty much describes the first house we looked at with the intention of buying a first home.

    My wife left me alone with the nice couple who owned the pink house while she went from room to room, her face getting pinker and pinker as she went.


    We graciously took our leave of Mr. and Mrs. Pink with a few words of bologna none of us believed.

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    Outside in the car, my Amy put two fingers in her mouth, pretending as if she needed to induce vomiting after an overdose of pink.

    The next day we went through an open house event. I think it was when we found that the owners’ teenage son had — per the instructions of Mick Jagger, perhaps — painted his room completely black that we decided to look elsewhere.

    Amy grew up in nice roomy houses in New Jersey. I grew up in an apartment in a tenement building in Mattapan, complete with a fire escape outside my window. After that I lived in apartments in Cambridge for 10 years. Amy lived in an apartment in Brookline for quite a while.

    So in 1983, when we walked in to the ranch-style house in Burlington we are still living in and saw that it looked like a well-kept apartment, we fell in love with it.


    I fell hard, having been an apartment dweller all my life. I think it was when we met with the owner, who had a Christmas tree lit up and surrounded down at its base with gaily wrapped gifts while stockings hung from the mantel of the fireplace, that Amy fell in love with the house even harder than me.

    The original “Miracle on 34th Street” is Amy’s favorite Christmas movie. She can recite the part 8-year-old Natalie Wood played. But she cannot do anything relating to the scene where the little Dutch girl, isolated by her language while in New York, is spoken to in her native tongue by the department store Santa. Amy cannot even talk about it without tears streaming down from her eyes. (Santa Claus asks the girl in Dutch what she wants for Christmas, and the girl says, “Nothing,” telling Santa she got her gift by being adopted by her new mother.)

    In any case, we signed the papers and planned our move.

    We had heard horror stories about former owners leaving nothing in the vacated house when the new owners were due to arrive. This was not the case with the woman who sold us her house.

    However, she did tell us one untruth about the place. She said we would only need a small air conditioner in the bedroom window if we would leave the bedroom door open and let the machine cool off the entire house.


    As the sweat poured down our bodies, we agreed to just correct the situation and let the prior owner off with a “naughty, naughty” virtual wag of our fingers.

    When we . . . saw that it looked like a well-kept apartment, we fell in love.

    After all, we agreed with Dorothy, there is no place like home, especially when you own it.

    Burlington resident George Weinstein can be reached at