Category Archives: Neighbors

15 Tips to Help Moms Survive Life in Suburbia

15 Rules to Survive Life in the Suburbs #humor #mom #funny #suburbia #suburbsNearly a decade ago, I moved to the suburbs from NYC (it’s the sole reason I started my blog).  In that time I’ve learned some pretty important things to ensure my survival, nay, my sanity.

If my ‘burb sent out a handbook it would look something like this. Feel free to use it as a mini-survival guide. Good luck and in the words of that guy on Hill Street Blues, ‘Hey, let’s be careful out there.’

  1. All children must be signed up for multiple sports and extracurricular activities, to ensure that no family can plan anything on a Saturday until their kids are too old to want to spend Saturday’s with their family.
  2. Do NOT be alarmed if you try to enter the wrong minivan or SUV, this is common. Try to lessen the confusion by putting fun stickers on your back windshield representing each of your children performing their favorite activity.
  3. You can paint your house one of 477 shades of tan.  Other colors will be categorically denied, so don’t even try it!
  4. If your child has strep or hand foot and mouth, be aware that the entire town will know about it before you get his/her prescription filled. PS this same urgency in passing news applies to affairs as well!
  5. As a suburban mom you are expected to start some kind of craft business immediately. Your choices are: hair accessories, jewelry, embellished clothing, or things you can print on card stock — anything else must be cleared through the Chamber of Commerce.
  6. If you already have a job, you are expected to purchase these crafted goods, in bulk, at the myriad of local holiday boutiques that celebrate everything from Ramadan to Flag Day.  Like PTA meetings, being absent is frowned upon.
  7. If you do not find a grocery store or Starbucks within one mile of your current position, you’re lost and have entered an inferior neighborhood! Please stay calm and return to your suburb immediately.
  8. You are required to join a gym.  There, you must take spin classes with disco lighting, pretzel yourself into a reformer, and learn the art-form that is Zumba.
  9. You will be expected to pressure clean anything and everything from your sidewalk to your dog. Be prepared.
  10. Make sure your dog is cute, as neighbors will constantly stop to pet it. Be warned, the same neighbors will turn you in to the association the first time Rufus barks after 9PM. (Don’t name your dog Rufus)
  11. Make an immediate trip to lululemon/Athetica/GapBody/Target … and pick up workout/athletic/golf/tennis gear that’s trendier than simply wearing sweatpants.  Wear these goods at least 50 -100% of the time; in the winter, simply wear your athletic gear with Uggs.
  12. You will need to attend a mind-numbing amount of birthday lunches/dinners for ladies turning anywhere from 30-50.  Get there early, as who you sit next to (or don’t sit next to) can make or break your day.
  13. Cut back on sex ASAP, as you will find yourself in conversations where moms discuss their infrequent, and unsatisfying sex life regularly — at lunches, parties, dinners, play-dates.
  14. And stop giving blow-jobs! People in the ‘burbs are only expected to give them on birthdays and anniversaries (it’s one of the perks).
  15. Living in the ‘burbs is a little like reading Us Weekly: Everything is sensationalized. It’s fun to discuss “who wore it best,” but not as much fun as playing Fashion Police. You will find yourself looking for cellulite/wrinkles on young skinny moms. And gossip is treated as gospel.

I hope this helps you fit into the suburban life you’ve chosen.  Maybe I’ll see you at the next boutique sale — I’ll be selling picture frames with random findings glued on to them!




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The True Bane of Suburbia

The bane of suburbia… the teenage wannabe gangsta.  Beware their 8 Mile lingo, tee-shirts with moderately offensive sayings, and fro-yo addiction.  They’re hoodlums alright. Well, they wear hoodies and they live in the hood, well, the middle class suburban neighbor’hood.  

So the last two days I’ve taken my son to the skate park at the Kirshberg YMCA in middle/upper class USA.  Be careful with the bigger kids, I warned my son, I don’t know if they’re so good.

“What, those kids are bad?  How do you know?”

“Well, for one, none of them are wearing helmets or pads.”


“Plus, none of them is lucky enough to have his mom cheer him on from the sidelines.”

“Come on.”

“Oh, aaaaand I saw one of them smoking!”

“No way.  No one was smoking” my little innocent said, aghast.  (Kids are really anti-smoking these days.  If only they knew what chimneys their grandparents were.)

“Yo G, I got 4S” one of the older kids yelled to the others.

“No way, Seri is my bitch, yo.” Another yelled back… through his braces.

Wow, you know who thinks these kids are baaad? They do.  I mean, really?  Is this what happens when you’re so bored of suburbia?  Can their parents stop laughing long enough to tell them how ridiculous they sound?

“WHAT’S UP WITH ALL THE LITTLE KIDS?” inquired one of the white suburbanites, who got dropped off in his momma’s Beamer.

“I know, yo.  Is that one on a rip stick?” The one wearing the unfortunate fashion statement of a tee-shirt, which said, “Smell my Bag,” asked…  referring to MY little kid.

My ears perked up, ready to jump in with something like, “You got a problem with my son biatch???”  Oh, I can do “thug wannabe” just as good as these pishers.  Plus, I’ve actually lived in a city, that’s street cred, G… Props.

“Shit, that kid is bad ass, that’s hard to do.” One marveled.

Phew, he’s lucky he called my kid “bad ass,” ‘cause homie was about to get a beat down.  Plus, he  IS bad ass.  I wonder if he knows it?

“Mom, mom watch me do this… mooooooooommmm watch!  Are you watching???” Jake yelled, unaware.

Well, that answered that question.  

Frankly, Jake had no problem with these boys.  He climbed up to the highest ramp and chilled at the top, as all the suburban gangsta’s tried to decide where to go next.  (Hollister, Starbucks, Jamba Juice?)  I know, you wouldn’t want to run into them in a dark alley. It would look like this (insert squiggly dream sequence lines here.)~~~~

“Yo bro, where do you think you’re going, BIATCH?”

“Umm, I was going to Abercrombie, but take what you want…”

“F@ck that, we were going there too!  I got a sick coupon, G.”

As I contemplated the irony of this scene a new playa‘ walked up to me and asked, “Are my eyes ridiculously dilated?”

Oh, this one’s the real deal, huh? Doing drugs at the park and flippant enough to ask an adult about his “tells”?

“Um. yep, kinda.” I answered, “Why do you wanna know?” I followed.  Look, if he’s insolent enough to ask, I get to ask back.

Oh, because, I just went to Dr. Rothberg, you know the ophthalmologist?  He did those drops and I don’t know if I should skate in the sun before they wear off.” He replied like a kid debating whether to wait the full half hour after eating, to go into the pool.

“Well, sure sure not a great idea.” I said, trying to squelch my laughter.

“Ok then,” he said as if I had given him sound parental advice.  Then he walked into the ramped- up hockey rink and yelled to his boyz, “F@ck this shit, I’m gonna get a f@cking smoothie, yo.”

“Yeah f@ck this, let’s get smoothies,” Smell my bag, concurred.

“No way, bro, I want fro yo, yo.” piped another…

And they were gone, those crazy hooligans arguing off into the sunset about toppings and calorie counts, and spoiling their appetites.

f@ckin’ thugs.

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A Trip To The Zoo, Day 2

This was the first round of tests, an echo cardiogram and a heart rate monitor to wear for 24 hrs.  I was supposed to have a stress test but, I had rolled my ankle the day before while tripping over my puppy and trying not to crash into Jake on our afternoon walk/sprint.  Being that I was too frail for the stress test I did the others and rescheduled for Thursday, at this point what’s one more visit?  I am already getting hellos from the staff.

As I left the office in my workout clothes with the wires and electrodes hanging from me, I was keenly aware of the stares.  I know they weren’t thinking this is some girl who runs marathons and needs to be monitored to remain in tip-top shape, no they were thinking, “Oh, so young, so sad.“  I really wanted to announce to the office that I was 97 when I walked in and that they took me back and ’Cocooned’ me.  “Seriously, ask the nurses to peel there faces off.”

Instead, I walked out with my little 24hr card, a log for episodes or stressors. Funnily enough, my father in law called the minute I walked in the door.  He wanted to know if I could pick up and store his bed in our garage storage because my husband told him, “no problem.”  This is the room which is now an office, which had so little space, we had to give away our own extra bed to fit in the desk.  Now, I am set up to be the unwavering, nay saying bad guy.  “Can you excuse me a second, I want to write something down.“

Father in law:  “What”

“I’m wearing this heart monitor and I’m wondering if this phone call is affecting it.“

This went on throughout the day as I kept a mini diary of my moment to moment stuff.

1PM:  Have a great idea for an article.

1:45PM:  First round of carpool, pick up 3 wound-up 1st graders and listen to them argue over which seat they get and who gets to play the Nintendo DS.

2:15PM:  Puppy drags me and Jake around neighborhood despite our best efforts to drag him.

2:45PM:  Second round of carpool to pick up Ryan.

3PM:  Have a playdate for both kids, but realize Jake has a fever, so I had to bring him home.

3:15PM:  Still listening to Jake crying and telling me I’m the…oh, what did he call me?  That’s right, “the worst Mommy ever.”

3:30PM:  Confess to being the ‘worst Mommy ever,’ just to make it stop.  Then I make a list of all the other mommies he could go live with.  This is followed by a quick “You’re not the worst mommy.  You’re the best mommy.”  To which I respond, “and don’t you forget it.”  How quickly the threat of giving him away works.

4PM:  Double shot of espresso.

4:20PM:  Poop.

5PM:  Clean puppy poop and pee out of my new carpet.

5:30PM:  Try to walk dog with Ryan on her bike, crying that her chin strap, which is barely touching her neck, is too tight.  Jake on his Ripstick, a mile ahead where I can’t see him, won’t answer my incessant screaming down the street.

6:15PM:  Ask kids 37 times what they want for dinner, while listing available menu items…  To no response.

6:30PM:  My children are melting down, hitting each other and then taking turns telling on each other in indescribably high pitched whines that are making my ears revolt and my puppy try to hang himself.

7PM:  Call them in to have the turkey and cheese sandwiches I have made for them only to hear,  “Turkey I didn’t ask for Turkey.”  “Yea, we don’t want turkey.  This turkey is yuck!”

7:10PM Mark walks in the door and goes to our room to change.

7:15PM Put out peanut butter and jelly for Jake and a grilled cheese cut in the shape of a heart for Ryan.

7:30PM:  Put out just peanut butter for Jake and a waffle cut in the shape of a heart for Ryan.  “Kitchen’s closed.”

7:31PM:  Check gage to see if I’m having a heart attack.

7:32PM:  Mark reenters and starts bugging me about calling Verizon and about insurance.

7:37PM:  Manage to escape conversation to give Ryan her bath and get Jake in the shower.

7:40-8:10PM:  Play naked Barbie’s with Ryan in the bath.  Ryan is all the pretty girls and I have the choice of being the boy, the homely faux Barbie with cut hair, or the queer fluorescent green sea horse.  Thanks Ryan.

8:11PM:  Beg pruney Ryan to get out of the bath and end up threatening to take a star from her star chart, which I actually only pretend to keep.

8:15PM:  Kids are in pj’s and have managed to sneak into my room for some late night cartoon network.

8:20-8:30PM:  The time it takes to bribe, threaten, yell, and beat them into submission.

8:31PM:  Family race into bedrooms.

8:32PM:  Ryan is crying, because someone did something she either did not like or does not allow, during the family race.

8:33PM:  Do-over of the family race, adhering to Ryan’s strict guidelines and allowing her to win.

8:34PM:  Mark walks back to our room thinking the night is done, and turns on sports.  If there is no new sports he actually rewatches some game on ESPN classic that he already knows the outcome of.  WTF?

8:35PM:  Ryan begs me to read 3 stories which I shrewdly negotiate down to 2.  Once I’m halfway into 1, Jake slinks in trying to be unnoticed and slyly gets in bed with us.

8:40PM:  I finish the first story and then tell Jake to read the next one as I slink, trying to be unnoticed, out to the laundry room.  I like this trick, it gets him to read and gives me a one book reprieve.

8:50PM:  I tell Jake he must go and he then begs me to come into his room after I leave Ryan’s.  Why not?  I require no personal time.  Nope all need it an hour to plug myself in to a wall socket and I’m recharged for the morning.

9PM:  I now find myself singing 2 songs of Ryan’s choosing, doing a tickle monster, and two kiss attacks.  What can I say, she’s really cute and she does a great quivering lip.

9:10PM:  Bring Ryan a milk in a sippy cup, as requested.

9:11PM:  Give her one more big kiss, as requested.

9:12PM:  Take the toys that are scaring her out of her room.

9:13PM:  Fix her pillow.

9:14PM:  Threaten to take more imaginary stars away.

9:20PM:  Inform Ryan that this is “the absolute last time I am coming in.”  That’s right, even if you give me the eyes and the lip, I know how to put my foot down!

9:25PM:  Go into to see Jake who is passed out.

9:30PM:  Allow puppy to drag me around the block, despite my best efforts to drag him.  Watch him relentlessly bark at a black trash bag that someone has left in the swail.  I then threaten to take away stars from his imaginary star chart.

9:45PM:  Run in to tell Mark, we should have sex just to fuck with the Doctor, but he is fast asleep.  Yea well, I’ll be fast asleep soon.  Right after I do the dishes and straighten up, and check on my kids, and wash-up, and brush my teeth, and floss, and take my vitamins, and play some kind of word game on FB with people I haven’t spoken to  in 18years to remind me I have a brain.

Day 2 in the bag, stay tuned… day 3’s a doozie.

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Are We All Pathetic Or Is It Just Me?

Example 1)  This morning’s alternating AOL headlines went something like this:  Car Dealers are desperate, month’s best deals. ‘Dancing’ reveals star replacement, see who it is. Part-time job market picking up, there may be hope. Obama to reverse stem cell policy.  Are you kidding me?  There is a replacement on dancing with the stars?  All of these crazy things are going on in politics the economy and world events and I’m pissed cause I have to wait for them to rotate around so I can find out who it is.

Example 2)  Last week I got in a blow out fight with Mark.  The kind that is so frustrating you want to throw a remote at your husbands head.  I was holding a bag of oyster crackers at the time, my favorite salty low blood pressure fix, so I threw those instead.  The bag whacked him in the chest and they exploded out like fireworks.

“I have to go get Jake,”  I yelled as I turned back to see him angrily picking them up off the floor.

I jumped in my car, having left the conversation unfinished.  I was seething.  All I could think was, ‘I bet he is mixing the oyster crackers tainted by our overly puppy peed on carpet with the good ones that are still in the bag.  He sucks.  This is why I can’t stand him, he would never take the extra second to throw the contaminated ones in the trash, with consideration for the joy that those little salty devils give me in my time of sodium deprivation.  No, why would he show such thoughtfulness?

When I got back he had picked up my daughter from our neighbors and helped her draw a picture for me.  He called me in to see it.  I went, but only after checking the pantry to find an almost full bag of ruined oyster crackers.  “Fucker.”

Well, you be the judge.  Is it just me or all we all pathetic?

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Intro Column in Think Weston

Being a new column to Think Weston, I would like to take this opportunity to make an introduction. Column…People, People…Column. Now that the formalities are out of the way, I’ll tell you a bit about life in the Suburban Jungle.

I am a neurotic mother of two amazing, wonderful, brilliant, perfect children which is saying a lot because I am a harsh critic and an uncompromising disciplinarian. You know, the kids have to sing for their supper kinda stuff… well, they at least have to ask… well, a grunt would be nice. Actually, they just sit and I make multiple meals until one is worthy of their sophisticated taste buds and doesn’t exacerbate their fear of burnt spots, crust, pizza bubbles, or food that touches other food. It is my job to keep them protected from the Florida sun, prehistoric Weston insects, and plasticware with the number 3, 6, or 7 on the bottom. I have to expose them to just enough germs to build their immune system, while using little enough sanitizer to keep them healthy. I also have to remember to feed and water them daily.

Most likely you’ll find that you and I are a lot alike. We live in the same pristine suburb of Weston, which is not unlike the Truman Show. For instance, the Starbucks Dog Walking Crew passes the intersection of Glades and Indian Trace at precisely 7:42, 12:37, and 5:15. You can set your watch by them. I’ve also noticed that no matter how hot it gets, the members of the Biker Brigade never break a sweat, a feat I’m sure they’re getting paid double for.

Like you, I find time each day to take the mandatory trip…or 2…or 3 to Publix, which is more than I can say about my likelihood of showering. I can’t say I haven’t tried to get into the wrong SUV, and I may even curse at Starbuck’s when my “usual” is not waiting for me. Damn the new barista!

Like you, my children are signed up for 102 after school activities, have marathon playdates, and attend enough birthday parties to ensure I will not have a free Sunday for the rest of their young lives. Like you, I attend the school’s holiday boutiques which celebrate everything from Shavuot to Secretary’s Day. Yes, I too find myself obligated to buy frivolous wares, like stickers with my kids names and likeness on them, home tie-dyed clothes, and embellished flip-flops.

Like you, I have crazy friends and acquaintances that are teetering on divorce, having affairs, start pourin’ the Mommy Juice at noon, or all of the above. Like you, I have cellulite begging me to stop wearing short shorts, laugh lines screaming for Restylane, crow’s feet crying for Botox, and spend far too much money trying to look dewy. You and I have a Cinderella Complex, Penis Envy, and Buyer’s Remorse. G-d we have a lot of problems don’t we? Let’s just take a break to call our therapists.

Since we’ve clearly bonded over our commonalities, plus the need for serious therapy and a stiff one (I am talking about liquor), I must come clean on the one Weston trend that I’m not down with. This would be the fashion statement I call “sweans.” Are they sweats? Are they jeans? No one will ever know, but apparently they’re comfortable enough to jog in and dressy enough to belt. Pheww, now I feel like I can tell you anything… and I’ve got a lot to discuss. I’ll see you in the Jungle.

The Proof. Can You Dig It?


I did not lie in yesterdays post. Notice the trashcan has fallen down. I was going to pick it up for the picture, but I was scared he would come out cacti a-blazin’ and outline my body with “do not cross” tape and reflectors.

FYI in this neighborhood they will cite you for not promptly bringing in your trashcan from the edge of your driveway, but apparently it’s okay if you throw it in a hole and tie it to your tree.

These Are The People In My Neighborhood

Everyone says their neighbors are insane…well so are mine. Each one of them a whack-job, and G-d only knows what they have to say about me. At the very least I’m the inappropriate exhibitionist who walks her kids to carpool in her underwear every morning, pulling down her t-shirt hoping to cover the cheeks protruding from her On Gossamer thong.

As you are probably aware, I live in Florida. You know, palm trees, severe humidity, hurricanes, prehistoric insects, the whole bit. Bearing this in mind, one of my supremely crazy neighbors is cultivating a pretty intricate desert-esque cactus farm, each one jury rigged to the other with a series of ropes, boating lines, and phone wires. Like a house of cards, or some other profound metaphor, even a slight gust (which as everyone knows never happens in Florida) would disrupt this fabulous display of “anti-tropics”. Last summer he planted a single leaf and then proceeded to encircle it with 8 stakes and do not cross tape attached. My neighbors and I eagerly waited to see what this leaf would become. He watered it, patted it, talked to it, got it high, and now it is a small bush. Fascinating, I know.

Today I drove by and found that he is digging a hole to China on the actual town property beyond his sidewalk. I’m told it’s called a swale, but don’t hold me to it. For the past couple days there has been police tape between a tree and a chair tilted back ever so carefully on a 37degree angle (I used a protractor), next to a kitchen trashcan with 3 long reflectors sticking out of it. I thought it was out for bulk trash pick-up, but now it appears he has “McGuivered” some kind of pulley system and is digging a trench around it. I am not sure if he as at war with the people across the street, but I feel maybe I should warn them as I think he may start shooting his cacti out of a cannon.

The man two doors down from me is running a crack den that offers a free car detail with every rock sold. I am sure of this as he has maybe 8 kids all of different descent, clearly the product of his crack ho disciples. There is a slew of hopped up Bentleys, Benz’s, and Hummers getting detailed outside of his house on the weekends. I was going to turn him into the association for running this drug ring, but I really liked the job his detail guys were doing and decided to hire them instead.

My next door neighbor is straight out of “Arlington Road”, you know the movie where the neighbors were terrorists and set up Jeff Bridges to look like the unabomber. First of all they spend a fortune every year on a 4th of July fireworks display that would make the Grucci family jealous. This extravagant celebration of our countries independence is very shady, as they are British. They are also anti-Semitic. I know this because they fought with me about our property lines. Oh, and also because they had a 4ft replica of a WWII German plane with a huge Swastika on it, which they fixed in the driveway of our predominantly Jewish neighborhood for like 3 weeks. I don’t talk to them much.

Two doors to the other side I have a woman who asked my carpool and the 5 other elementary school carpools on our street not honk in the morning as it wakes her middle school children. I said that might be a problem and suggested earplugs, a sound machine, or to just deal with it like every other person not living in Century Village. Now her husband gets a sadistic joy out of driving by my house around 9pm when my kids are asleep and beeping all the way to his house, passing 3 carpool houses along the way. Today I made a lovely introduction between them and the “Arlington Road” people, I’m sure they’ll become fast friends. Now if I can just get the cactus guy to attack their house all will be right with the world… or at least my block.