The Minivan Diaries

Suddenly Suburban (Advice for New Arrivals)



It’s been several years since I stuffed my family into a minivan and boldly left Brooklyn for the ‘burbs. Such journeys are never easy, but today, I am a proud citizen of the United States of Suburbia. I know what you are thinking. “Dan, you are a pioneer; an explorer; a brave and inspiring Suburbanaut. Please, share your wisdom with us so that we may forward it to all of our city-slicking friends who swore they’d never leave, but now find themselves suddenly suburban.”

And to you I say this: You have come to the right guy.

                                          DAN ZEVIN’S TIPS FOR NEW SUBURBANITES

1. When you first move to the suburbs, it may be difficult to meet lots of people, so focus on making even one friend who has a pool.

2. Building contractors who say they can start the job on Wednesday are talking about a different Wednesday than you are.

3. The four phases of suburban lawn care are: old-school push mower, gas-guzzling power mower, high school student, gardener.

4. For the price of one meatball at that trendy “charcuterie” in the city, you can buy the whole cow at Costco

5. Love thy neighbor, but know it is easier to love thy neighbor when thy neighbor resurfaces his driveway and thusly increases thy real estate values.

6. The longer you deny your desire for a stainless steel gas barbecue grill with flush-mounted side burners, the longer it will be until you free your inner suburbanite and lead a fulfilling existence.

7. If your city friends don’t visit you within the first seven months of your suburban stay, they are not going to visit you.

8. As you settle into a family friendly lifestyle and the comforts of your own home, remember: there is a fine line between a happy suburban couple curled up on the couch and two carcasses who’ve fallen asleep to the same Netflix movie they’ve tried to watch for five Saturday nights in a row.

9. Show me someone who says they could never move to the suburbs because it means they’ve have to drive everywhere, and I’ll show you someone who’s never stood next to a guy on a rush hour subway who picked his nose and wiped the boogie on the pole they were holding.

10. You’re either on the minivan or off the minivan.