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Cheating on Minneapolis with Edina

If you’ve had a single-family house on the market in the last year or two, you know the attendant joy that accompanies such an endeavor. If by joy, you mean ulcer.

If you’ve had a single-family house on the market in the last year or two, you know the attendant joy and lightheartedness that accompany such an endeavor. If by lighthearted you mean painful, and by joy, you mean ulcer.

As any Realtor worth their capital R will tell you, trying to sell a house these days is not easy.

When we decided to put our Minneapolis house on the market about a year ago, we sat the house down and tried to explain the situation.

“House, you’ve been just wonderful. It’s not you. It’s us. Only one child out of three still lives at home. Our needs have changed. It’s time to move on.”

The house creaked and groaned, as houses built in 1906 are prone to doing.

“No, don’t say that. It’s not about younger and better looking. It’s about being a better fit. Having more in common.”

We had to be honest
The house sprung a leak and the windows fogged up a bit. Then the house asked the question, and we had to be honest.

“Yes, yes it’s Edina. We thought we were being subtle. But Edina is so …  attractive. Edina makes us feel alive.”

Wrong tactic. The house gave us the cold shoulder as the radiators clanked in protest. We kept babbling.

“You don’t plan these things. They just happen. One day, you stop in at the Lunds at 50th and France instead of the one in Uptown. And the next thing you know, you’re running errands near the Galleria and buying buns at Breadsmith.”

The house was not amused. But we were firm. We had grown apart. We had changed while the house just sat there. We wanted to be carefree. Maybe have a new laundry room that didn’t look like multiple murders had taken place in it. Was that so much to ask?

We left that painful conversation with the clear understanding that the house would be up for sale.

Closets were cleaned, trim was painted, and open houses were held.

Seeing it through new eyes
No one actually put an offer on the house, but we began to see it through new eyes.

“The woodwork! You don’t see that kind of craftsmanship anymore,”  potential buyers would rave.

No. No you don’t, we had to admit.

“Such wonderful living spaces, and the neighborhood has everything,” we heard repeatedly.

We recognized that all of the things that had drawn us to the house in the first place were still true. The neighborhood was diverse and full of dining and shopping choices. And the house itself was charming and warm.

“Yeah, but it’s still not like Edina,” we thought defensively.

We began to act like visitors to the neighborhood
And then one day, we decided to act like visitors in our own neighborhood. We did errands on foot, then took a bike ride to the sculpture garden, and had a drink at a sidewalk café. When we came home at the end of the day, the house looked so welcoming and solid.

We knew right then that everything we needed was right here in this house and in this neighborhood.

Racing toward the house with open arms we embraced. Which was awkward because it’s well, an actual structure.

“Oh house, can you ever forgive us? We’re so sorry. We thought the grass was greener, but it’s not. We know that now.”

The house is very wise and so said nothing.

I told a friend about our decision, and she was pleased.

“I always knew you and the house would work things out.”

We’re meeting Edina for a drink later in the week. We’re sure it will understand.
Lucia Paul is a Minneapolis marketing professional, and a regular humor contributor to More magazine’s online edition.