It’s been a while since I’ve lived in the suburbs but like riding a bike, some things just come back to you. Last week a free newspaper appeared in my mailbox — “The Pointer.” It didn’t look like anything I needed to pay close attention to, but then I spied this Publisher’s Note:
Although the response to my question regarding a letter in the last issue about the cover of the December issue of The Pointer was overwhelming, I have chosen not to print any of those letters. Thank you all for writing and calling and for giving me your opinions, but as of this date, this matter has gone as far as it is going to go in these pages.
The responses I received were varied, with a nearly equal number of readers who were unhappy with me as were happy with me. I apparently struck a nerve, which was certainly not my intent. Many members of our community were offended by the content of my response to that letter. To those neighbors I apologize.
Neither the writer of that letter nor I could have imagined the impact our words would have on this community, but I do commend the author for standing up for what he believes. It is his right to do so.
As for my beliefs, I will stand up for them too, which is my right also. Hopefully, we can meet on common ground some day as friends. That would be my wish for this new year.
No, I have no idea what she’s talking about, either. But it reminded me of the first rule of suburbia: Don’t make waves.
If there’s a secular church where we all worship around here, it has to be Our Lady of Real Estate. In the last week no fewer than three freebie real-estate publications and/or mail solicitations came over the transom. Evidently people buy and sell houses for fun around here. Having just barely survived this last move, I can tell you I won’t be pulling up stakes until we master the Star Trek transporter technology, and I can simply beam my belongings to my new address.
But the people who put those fliers out are onto something; they know that even those of us who aren’t in the market can find a few minutes to leaf through the Homes of Distinction tabloid, just to see what houses are fetching these days. I read mine this week just to find out how much I overpaid; buyer’s remorse set in right on schedule. Why aren’t these f*cking kitchen cabinets deeper? I fume, wondering how long it’ll be before my coffee cups come sliding out to smash on the tile. And where the hell’s the built-in china cabinet I used to have?
Then I think about how many frogs we kissed, how we spent two days looking at every house in our price range, and how all but two sucked out loud. Yesterday I pitched the notes I kept, being careful to read them all again, so I’ll remember how this one had small rooms and smelled like old people, that one had a Silence of the Lambs basement and the other had the world’s most awful carpeting, unless you like a pattern of ugly green squares.
I recall one really promising bungalow — well located! brand-new cedar shake roof! closets out the wazoo! — that had a distinctly strange vibe indoors. One wall was half-painted, a portion of the hall floor was half-varnished. All through the house were half-done improvement projects, but they were far enough along that you could see how much potential the place had, if you’d just do the other half. The previous owner, the Realtor said, had died suddenly in a car crash. “Was this her kid’s bedroom?” I asked at one point. “She didn’t have custody,” he said. “She had…issues.” I thought for a moment and said, “Let me guess: She was bipolar.” He nodded. The whole house was a shrine to being insufficiently medicated.
Now I’m looking around at this place — new windows, check. Good light, check. Refinished wood floors, check. So there aren’t any phone jacks in the room I’m using as an office. That’s why we have cordless phones and wireless laptops.
I wonder what that publisher’s note was about.