Lost In Suburbia

November 8, 2018

The dog sniffed me twice, circled my body, and then squatted and peed on my boot. “Oh my, gosh! Bad, Bitsy, bad!” said Bitsy’s owner, dragging the tiny designer dog away from my dripping rubber boots. She turned to me somewhat aghast. “I’m so sorry—Bitsy has never done that before. At least ...

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It was one of those days where everything was taking a ridiculously long time. There was a line at the drycleaners. A line at the supermarket. A line at the gas station. I was starting to think that everyone in the world had the same to-do list that I did; they were just one to-do ahead of me the ...

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The garage door creaked to a stop. I peered into the inky blackness of the room and narrowed my eyes. I hadn’t even opened my car door yet and I could smell it. “Something died in here,” I said slowly to my husband. “I can smell it.” “I don’t smell anything,” he said, shaking his head. But ...

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When my kids were little, I think the only person who got more excited about Halloween than them, was me.  The only issue was that Halloween was supposed to be for kids, not for their candy-lovin’ mamas who supposedly had the maturity of a more sophisticated palate that was better suited to dark ...

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“Honey, I need your help,” I shouted into the phone at my husband. “I CAN’T HEAR YOU,” he shouted back. “Someone’s car alarm is going off in the background.” “THAT’S WHY I’M CALLING YOU,” I wailed. “It’s my car alarm! I can’t get it to turn off!” The car had been honking for 10 minutes and ...

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ME: “Hi. This is Tracy Beckerman. I need to schedule a follow-up appointment with the plumber.” Plumber’s Assistant: “Hey, my sister’s name is Tracy, too. That’s so funny! Do you spell it with an e or no e?” ME: “Um, no ‘e’.” PA: “My sister doesn’t spell it with an e, either.  I mean, who ...

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Most people I know gain weight over the winter. Just like polar bears, they eat for warmth and hide their weight under a layer of fur or, in this case, velour tracksuits. But I’m different (so what else is new?). I tend to gain all my weight during the summer when we travel, and go to lots of ...

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The day started like any other. I showered, got dressed, walked the dog, and then headed over to the local coffee shop to get a beverage. But as I waited on line to give my order, Satan suddenly stabbed me in the back. Or rather, the boob. I had bent over to retrieve something I dropped on the ...

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Even though I have a less than stellar track record in terms of keeping goldfish alive, when a dear friend announced that she was moving and asked me to take her fish, I said okay. I was quick to warn her that goldfish did not tend to live long in my house, hence my nickname, “The Fish Killer.” ...

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One of the things I do actually love about the suburbs is the quiet. Of course, the quiet mostly happens in short spurts between clamorous bouts of home construction, lawn mowers, garbage trucks, cicadas, and dogs barking. But when I do get it, it’s glorious. So, naturally, as I was having one ...

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“You have an incompetent esophagus,” said my gastroenterologist. “What?” I replied. “I’ve never had an incompetent anything in my life.” I was appalled that someone would pass judgement on me like that. OK, maybe not on ME, but a part of me. And a part of me that I really had no control over, ...

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One day as I was walking through my town, I noticed a guy coming toward me walking his dog. I peered ahead and tried to figure out what breed the dog was. He didn’t look like any dog I’d ever seen before. As they got closer, I realized he didn’t even look like a dog. He actually looked like… A ...

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“Can you pick up some more tissues at the supermarket?” I asked my husband. “I’m not going out right now,” he replied. “Just use toilet paper.” I looked at him aghast. “I can’t do that,” I said. “It’ll scratch my nose.” “Does it scratch your butt?” “No.” “Then why would it scratch ...

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I was always very impressed that my dog could bark on command and come when I called his name, until I read in the newspaper about a dog that saved his owner’s life by calling 9-1-1. Apparently, when his owner had a seizure, the dog pushed a speed-dial button for 9-1-1, barked into the receiver for ...

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Not to brag, but our dog Monty is pedigree royalty. Yes, he’s like the Prince of Pooches, the Duke of Doggies, the King of Canines… well, you get the idea. Monty comes from a long line of Retriever blueblood. His mother, father, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers are all champion show dogs with ...

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“Are you leaving me?” asked my husband one night as he surveyed the contents of my closet on our bed. “What? No!” I said. “Why would you think that?” “Every single article of clothing you own is laid out on our bed,” he replied. “So I have to assume you are either leaving me or you have ...

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I know this is a family column, so I’m going to put this in as delicate terms as possible. This morning I woke up and I knew, as sure as the sun shines over Bora Bora, that something was very, very wrong in that place in my body where the Bora Bora sun doesn’t shine. It’s that place I used to ...

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When I went for oral surgery last spring, the doctor told me he could only do one half of my mouth that day or I wouldn’t be able to eat for two weeks. Considering it was almost bathing suit season, I didn’t think that was necessarily a bad thing. But he convinced me otherwise, and told me if I was ...

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One day my son’s car was in the shop, so I offered to drive him to the bank. We had just gotten down our street when I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. It was descending on a thread from the roof of my car just to the left of the steering wheel. “SPIDER!!!! There’s a spider in the ...

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“I have some good news and I have some bad news,” I told my husband. “Give me the good news first.” “OK. The vet doesn’t think the dog’s ear infections are from a food allergy after all, so we don’t have to keep feeding him that hypo-allergenic food,” I said. “Hallelujah,” shouted my ...

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One morning, I had a big cup of coffee as I usually do, and then I got in the car and drove 40 minutes to a clothing store I had been curious to check out. I don’t normally drive 40 minutes to go shopping, but since I am a stay-at-home mom and everyone knows we stay-at-home moms just spend our time ...

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“I got a pedicure today,” I said to my husband, showing off my freshly painted toes glimmering from beneath my flip flops.  “What do you think?” “They’re orange,” he said.  “They’re not orange,” I corrected him. “They’re cantaloupe.” He blinked a couple of times trying to process this ...

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After he had 12 ear infections in three years, I finally decided the time had come to take our youngest to a specialist. Of course, this visit wasn’t covered by insurance and it cost an obscene amount of money to determine that there was nothing wrong with his ear drums or his ear canals or ...

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Not too long ago, if you said you had a room the size of a closet, it meant the space was probably pretty darn small. These days, however, it’s not uncommon to have a closet the size of a living room, with more sliding drawers, revolving racks and custom shoe trees than Barney’s or Bloomies or Kim ...

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Part of the shock of being a part-time empty nester is when the kids come back to visit and I have to watch my house transform overnight from a pristine haven of OCD goodness to a place that looks like an explosion happened at Forever 21. After my kids moved mostly out, I put away whatever ...

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As I was settling into bed one night, I happened to catch my husband out of the corner of my eye. He was getting on the scale. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” I yelled at him. He jerked his head around and looked at me with alarm. “What? I’m weighing myself.” I jumped out of bed and yanked him ...

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“So, what did the doctor say about Dad?” I asked my mom over the phone. “He has an incarcerated hernia,” she replied. “INCARCERATED hernia?” I repeated. “Yes.” “Why is it incarcerated? Did it rob a bank?” “What? No.” “Unlawful entry? Obstruction? Insider trading?” I ...

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“I think it’s time we retired this oven,” I said to my husband as I displayed a sheet of blackened sweet potato fries. “Even the dog won’t eat these.” “Sure he will,” he said, tossing some fries on the floor. The dog immediately sucked them down. “Not my point,” I said. We had known that ...

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There is this thing that I do that annoys the heck out of my family. Well, to be honest, there are a lot of things I do that annoy the heck out of my family, but I am thinking of one thing in particular. Whenever someone is in the bathroom for what I determine to be an abnormally long period of ...

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This time last year, I struggled with my New Year’s resolution to go to the gym. This year, I have made significant progress. I am going to the gym on a semi-regular basis. And by semi-regular, I mean, I go often enough that I actually remember where it’s located between visits. The bad news, ...

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