The Parade of Homes is going on now, and there are a few things novices should know.
It is not a parade in the sense you understand. The homes do not come down the street in a long row, and some second-string mascot like Rufus the Public Access Cable Dog is not sitting on the roof, waving to the kids.
If you define a “parade” as driving over to a marching band, walking around the band admiring their instruments, then walking six blocks to see an elephant, then driving somewhere else to watch clowns, yeah, it’s a parade.
The homes will be spectacular, with all the new innovations: Walk-in Microwave Oven. Flat-screen TVs on the inside of the door of every bathroom (of which there are 12, all self-cleaning). Breakfast kitchens off the main kitchen, with faucets that dispense orange juice and French toast batter. Home theaters? Of course, but now they’re Imax.
There also will be home automation systems that let you dim the lights just by saying, “Reduce brightness in Sector 7, Zone 3, lamp grouping Alpha through Foxtrot.” Home-wide delivery of beer via drone. The entire house can revolve if you want a different view. And so on.
There will be nooks, including a third-floor window in the main turret that looks out on the lawn. You will imagine your child sitting in the nook, reading classic children’s literature on a rainy day. This will never happen, of course, but that doesn’t mean you can’t imagine how you’d stencil it with Peter Cottontail illustrations and maybe adding a basket containing some things you got at Bed Bath Basket and Beyond.
There will be landings. Every staircase will lead up to an area the size of your first apartment, and it will have a sofa, chair and table with three thick books that indicate the person you know you are.
You imagine the party you will have, how you come across a few guests who are sitting in The Landing in Sector 3, flipping through the book; they look up and say, “We were just looking at this casual example of your good taste,” and then you all have a chat about the Helvetica font. It’s overused, perhaps, but still a classic.
In reality, no one will ever sit there, and the books could be glued shut for all it matters. If you do find one of the kids on the sofa, she will be looking at her phone, and you will be tempted to say, “Isn’t there a nook where you could be making a precious childhood memory?” But, hey, at least someone’s using the landing.
Then you go back to your place. To your home. The place where everything is where you want it to be, the place that reflects your tastes, your lifelong accumulation of meaningful objects: The heirloom piece that doesn’t quite fit but it was Grandma’s and she’d like to know it was here, the chair where you sit on Christmas morning as the kids rip open their gifts.
What a dump. Oh, how some people live! Seven months later you find your wife in the kitchen, and she says, ‘’I was just thinking, what if we ... ”
And you say, “I’m not drilling a hole in the counter for a French toast batter dispenser,” and she doesn’t talk to you for the rest of the day.