Sunday, November 16, 2014

Basic Guide to Suburbia

I was taken home from the hospital and brought directly to The Suburbs, and there I have remained for pretty much my entire life, yet there are numerous mysteries about this way of life that I just can’t wrap my head around.

I’ll be the first to confess: I can be basic. I love Starbucks’s overpriced lattes, and when there’s the first sign of chill in the air, I go running for a Pumpkin Spice flavored one. But I also suspect I don’t truly belong since I don’t really understand the point of having a lawn, for example. It’s an awful lot of trouble and money and time to grow something you can’t even eat.

So along with an unhealthy Home Depot obsession, here are the things I just don’t get:

Tree spotlights.

Walk down any suburban sidewalk after dusk and you’ll see this phenomenon for yourself: suburban folks love to put little spotlights right at the base of what I assume are their favorite trees.

Is the intended message: “Look, I grew a tree!” ?
This tree must feel like a superstar. 
Cutesy “signs.”

Spotted on a walk the other day: “Forget the Dog: Beware of the Kids.”

Ha-ha, I gut it. Your kids are badly behaved and you think it’s really funny.
How nice for you.

Three-car garage, but park all the cars in the street.

Also adorable.

Christmas decorations on November 1.

Seriously, people?

Lawn ornament medley.

You’ve seen this: lawns “decorated” with a whole slew of statuary, usually a bizarre assortment: baby squirrels, cartoon rabbits, whimsical gnomes, serene Buddhas. They are often arranged in a little circle as though having a perpetual cocktail party. The best is when the figures were once brightly painted but have chipped and faded in the elements and are now just plain scary.

Add a cheerful sign: “Welcome to our Home!” and the picture is complete.  
Thanks for the warning.