Luxury Home Baggage

Luxury Home Baggage

I called my wife over to the computer, poking my finger at the screen to touch something and forgetting it wasn’t a tablet.

         ‘Dammit,’ I mumbled under my breath. ‘Look at this!’

         ‘What am I looking at?’ she frowned, drying her hands with a tea towel. ‘Houses? Honey, we have a great house already. Four walls and everything.’

         ‘No, no,’ I scowled. ‘These are new houses. Luxury houses.’

         ‘Oh,’ she nodded, clearly confused. ‘Wait, why do we care?’

         ‘Because these are being put up near us!’ I said. ‘Right down the peninsula a bit!’

         ‘Oh, that’ll be nice,’ she beamed, leaning on my shoulder as she peered down at the renders of prospective homes. ‘Think how good their Christmas lights will be!’

         ‘Their…’ I trailed off, brow furrowed. ‘What? No! They’re going to ruin our scenery!’

         She rolled her eyes and laughed at me, walking back to the sink and the pile of dishes. ‘I promise you’ll survive,’ she said. ‘Luxury architects in my area have never been a problem before.’

         ‘This has happened to you before?’ I asked, aghast. ‘Where?’

         ‘My place on the Mornington Peninsula,’ she said, plunging her hands back into the lukewarm water. ‘Before I met you and got swept away here.’

         ‘How did you deal with the new home builders on the Mornington Peninsula? Quote them out of town?’

         ‘What does that even mean?’

         ‘You know,’ I mumbled. ‘Like… scathingly quote them. In a paper, or something.’

         ‘Right,’ she frowned, turning back to a heavily-burnt pot – it had been my turn to make dinner last night. ‘No, I did not quote them out of town. They came in, did their work and then we went on with our lives. The neighbours were lovely. Gave us housewarming gifts, can you believe it?’

         ‘But, didn’t you feel inferior?!’ I almost choked out. ‘Surrounded by all those luxury homes?!’

         ‘Is there something we need to talk about?’ my wife asked me. ‘Some unresolved trauma from your past? Did a luxury home break up your parents’ marriage?’

         ‘No,’ I whispered, eyes glazing over somewhat. ‘But it tried… oh, how it tried.’