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Suburban Island

Welcome Home
Friday, Feb. 27, 2004, 9:52 p.m.

QUESTION: Forget something?

WHAT I LEARNED: Just say it's in the mail.

Here I am back in my real world. I knew I was there the moment my feet crossed the threshold. How could I tell? Let me list a few tell tale signs:

Dishes in dishwasher were encrusted with food Ė the rinse law has been violated en mass while I was gone.

As far as I can tell - No one is recycling anymore. No one has gone grocery shopping. No beds have been made since my departure.

Three huge vases of Valentineís Day flowers were still displayed prominently in the living room and dining room. Morticia Addams had fresher flowers in her home than these shriveled remnants of grocery store Valentine sentiments in large assorted vases.

Morticia tends her garden

I weighed myself and verified something that I innately know Ė conferences may be good for the mind and oneís career but they are hell on oneís girlish figure.

My 3 best dining out pals had to dine out without me because I mixed up the date in my mind and forgot that our fabulous dinner actually conflicted with my business travel. The giddy aura of Orlando mixed with exotic colored martinis and PowerPoint presentations overwhelmed me. They understood.

I forgot my dadís birthday even though I added it to my Outlook to provide myself with a resounding reminder on that special day. I donít think he understood my technological or personal overload issues. Neither did my mom. Unfortunately, without high speed Internet available at the hotel and awash in work away from home Ė I lost track of the day, the date, the hour. I did not go into Outlook. I did not get a resounding reminder of the parental birthday. I came to my senses on the flight home and called the very next morning. My mother informed me that my father was heartbroken by the lack of a call or card. Yes Ė heartbroken. Just devastated. I love a good dramatic reading Ė donít you? My momís the best because she is so subtle, although my dad puts more passion into his recitations Ė especially if it involves showcasing otherís errors. I want to say - Havenít you ever heard of a belated birthday greeting? Donít they make cards especially for belated birthday sending? I guess not. So much for the honest phone call that admits fault and expresses love and birthday wishes slightly post-BD. Next time I miss a birthday, Iím just saying - Didnít you get my card? I sent it at least a week ago. Yeah Ė thatís the ticket. Live and learn.

And on top of all this, a small wooden cabinet appeared in our kitchen while I was gone. It is blocking a kitchen drawer and a cabinet. I donít know why it is there. There is kitchen stuff in it. Everyone else in the house thinks this is okay. Even cool. I canít reach the kitchen towels. Reaching the saltines may require moving furniture now.

I think I need another blue martini.

Todayís Suburban Strategy: About Dick and Jane...

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