Point of View: A Conundrum

“It’s all how you look at it.”

‘If I ever get arrested,” I said to Tom McMorrow, who was about to leave us for The Independent, “please say, ‘A 78-year-old man from Springs. . . .’ ”

“Or, better yet,” I added, “ ‘A 78-year-old man from The Springs.’ That might cast me in a better light.”

As Henry Haney once said, “It’s all how you look at it.”

My mother, on looking at our house, described it as “a shack,” but she was from the Midwest, where brick and slate hold sway. Their house would have fetched millions here, but it was there, in a comfortable, God-fearing suburb of Pittsburgh, and so sold for $400,000, while, ironically, in Sodom-by-the-Sea, where cleanliness is next to godlessness, our home’s value, if the assessors are to be believed, has soared in recent years by about $20,000 per annum.

“You’re one of the lucky ones,” our eldest daughter, who lives in Ohio, reminds me every now and then. “You bought in in the ’60s, and lived to see your children priced out.”

Just dumb luck. I, a penurious scrivener buoyed by a real estate bubble, had never intended it to be that way. I had always planned, when the kids would cite the fact that the younger generation was not as well off as its parents, to say, “Don’t look at me! I am the exception to the rule. I have made it quite easy for you to maintain your sense of self-esteem. Nothing to envy here.”

Still, I’ve got this conundrum: Should I say, real estate-wise, that I live in Springs or The Springs? Which should it be? For the moment, content where I am, and inasmuch as I like to think of myself as an ordinary, everyday, average human being, Springs has a better ring to it. Scruffy Springs with its scraggly oaks and gypsy moths and pollen and ticks.

Yet, when it comes to one day selling, I might very well sing a different tune. “We live in The Springs,” I can hear myself saying to an inquirer. “The Springs is part of The Hamptons, you know. And The Hamptons is one of The World’s most fashionable resorts.” Yes, I could see myself resorting to that.

“EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT opportunity to purchase one of The Springs’s most adorable abodes,” our advertisement in The Star would begin. “An augmented hand-hewn, amenity-strewn Cape nestled within a canopy of soughing oaks on a well-appointed lane.”

But it’s Springs for now.