EDMONTON – Eight-year-old Mason Wright and seven-year-old Olivia Glass have been busy playing house all afternoon by pretending to have their hearts set on a property, only for Mason’s imaginary friend Gerald to swoop in and take it from them.
“First we’ll tour the house, and then we’ll put an offer in,” Mason explained. “And even though it’s reaaaaally s’pensive we have to offer way above the asking price, because the market is competitive! But then Gerald will offer way more than we can afford and get the house anyway.”
“Hmm, the wallpaper is nice and there’s lots of room for our Spider-Man toy, but I wish it was closer to my job at the puppy playground,” Olivia said, as she pretended the Wright family’s small rental unit was an entire house. “Now, does the microwave work?”
“Yes, it works really good,” said Mason, who was also playing the real estate agent. “And it comes with a bathtub and a dog and nine flights of stairs and a computer!”
“Okay, great, we’ll take it!” Olivia said, as she offered Mason four half-melted chocolate loonies. “Will this money be enough?”
Mason said “Maybe!” before pretending to get a call on his phone that made him nod and say “uh-huh” several times. Mason then explained that the caller was his friend Gerald, who was offering seven “gajillion” dollars for the house because his dad owns a business.
“Yay! That was fun, let’s play again!” exclaimed Olivia. The two children then made-believe being outbid on a townhouse, a condo, and a houseboat, before giving up and pretending to move to a smaller town in another province.
“Oh no, Gerald is buying a house here too!” the children screamed. “He says he needs a vacation home he can flip for a profit once the locals are driven out!”
The playdate ended when Olivia’s father came to pick her up, although he briefly indulged in playing house himself by daydreaming his parents had died and left their property to him.