I wouldn’t say we have really arrived, but we are here.

The house is both better and worse than I remembered. Worse in that the rooms are smaller, the window sills more rotten, the dead moths more copious. Better in that I can see my way through it. It is more than a putty/paint situation, but less than a tear down. This is my renovation wheel house.

The neighborhood is putting on a show. It has been unseasonably rainy here although we haven’t seen a drop and everything is leafy and green. I hear sprinklers have something to do with it, but so far the dusty desert has not shown its face. Walking the tree lined streets with my head swiveling side to side to take in the 1910,20,30,40 2014 architecture it feels like it could be home someday.

We eat dinner at our friends’ house,the boys running back and forth the the playground. Their neighbors enter through a back gate, mojitos in hand. Their chairs are red and modern for the accrual brick and mortar room and board store less than a mile away. They have invited our new next door neighbor to dinner and he reveals himself slowly. Most of the way through dinner we are all laughing and I feel a sort of settling.

The host asks about my blog.

I haven’t been writing here. As you undoubtably know. I haven’t figured out what I want to do with this. What it has meant and what it could mean. There is something about this fresh start that makes me hesitate about sharing shelburbia with the new denver people. Do they need to know about my depression and diet, my views on sex, hugs and answering machines? Could those be stories to tell in person over dinner tables, in real conversations instead of written ones?

I’m not sure yet. So I hesitate before answering my host. In that pause my new neighbor chimes in…the one who will live six feet from my bedroom…”can you believe these people who just say anything on these blogs? Just tell everything about themselves?”I laugh.

“I’m not sure we are going to bethel best neighbors.” I tell him.

And in that moment I realize that blog or no blog it will all come out eventually. “What do YOU write about?” He asks.

The table buzz has quieted. There are many eyes on me. Steve’s are amused. My old friends are supportive and a bit wary. The young la friends are open and interested. And the neighbors? I can’t quite read him.

“Money, sex, depression, parenting….and tomorrow you can read about you, and this dinner.”

I can read him now. He is not that uptight. “I guess I don’t mind if you put everything out there…I’ll just be careful what I tell you.”

So I have navigated this first meeting. He will be appropriately wary about intimate details, which probably is no changeat all from how he normally behaves. I will work out the purpose of this blog. Or not.

Somehow I imagined that a filter would arrive in this new time zone, but I can tell from this dinner it has not.

During a story about a neighbor thinning the trees in his years because the overgrowth is too thick to penetrate his property I interrupt the story with “a man doesn’t like it when he can’t penetrate his property.”

15 minutes later when I am rounding the kids to go the mojito neighbor introduces himself to me. I had skipped him for now, already realizing that my capacity to be appropriate was low. He works his way over with his oldest son. The boy is wearing a minecraft t shirt so I aim leo at him and try to avoid the “whydidyoumoveherewhatdoyoudo” conversation. I feel on safe ground with minecraft. The dad tells me the son watches YouTube videos. I ante up Leo and comment on the foul language. I am treading on unsafe ground again. I just learned from his wife about the church camp that their kids attend. I should probably stay away from parenting, and fucking bad language. But we are here.

He tells me he turns off the videos when the language gets bad. He has his arm on his seventh grader, I look down at gap toothed leo, entering second grade and say. “I let them watch, I just tell them not to use bad language”

It sounds ridiculous even as it comes out of my mouth. Sort of liaisez faire and impossible at the same time. It is the truth though, and this was the exact reason I didn’t want to meet another new face. When I am tired, when I have mentally moved on from the party, I really shouldn’t talk.

As I Shepard Leo away, thanking the hosts, I hear the seventh grader arguing his case. “I won’t use those words…you swear dad and I don’t repeat that.”

Maybe I will make the mojitos next time and all will be forgiven. Or at least forgotten.

Published by

Anna Palmer

Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble,, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at

16 thoughts on “Denvurb”

      1. No kiddos for a few weeks as they are in NJ. Been looking for a reason to come to Denver. Let me know what works for you. Other then the typical 9-5 crap we’re open. If you wanted just girl time let’s plan for when I get back from getting my kiddos. Mid July-ish.

  1. So sorry I missed your farewell send off! Life will be grand out there, you just have to believe it! I’ll have a mojito in your honor this evening!

  2. Oh, I love it. Life is too short, and you are too old (in a good way!) to worry about being anyone but you. Your east coast bluntness is going to stick out even stronger in the west. Maybe that’s your new angle – a Shelburbian in Denver. And while I should probably say something like, don’t worry, you’ll be fine – the truth is that it I look forward to the stories! XO

    1. Hilary hit the nail on the head. This is a position I often find myself in – being an east coast opinionated loud mouth, who speaks before thinking, and when I stop to take a breath I find those around me with their mouths hanging open. Whoops! You’ll find those that you can be off the cuff with and quickly learn from experience those you can’t.

  3. Anna, I am so sad I missed your send-off. I think you are finding yourself in a similar place to where we were 9 years ago. We left everyone we knew while we were deciding who we wanted to be when we grew up and had lived near during those formative years to land in a place where we could reflect on who we actually wanted to let in, how much, and whether we really cared what anyone thought about us. If they don’t like it, let them move on…….your authentic you is pretty fantastic. (If I’ve seen the authentic you…… I think I have at certain moments, although I wish there had been more of them You are definitely someone I enjoyed being around.) I have absolutely seen them in your blog. keep writing please!!

  4. not to say that people who can’t hang with zero bullshit aren’t good people, they just aren’t YOUR people. and that is perfectly fine. you’ll gather your tribe. give it time. you know that. xoxo

  5. Love it! Just keep being you and the mom you are. Everyone has different views and ways of doing things, if it works for you, so be it. Good luck!

  6. You got this, Anna. Don’t compromise. Your new neighbor was comfortable sharing their belief in church camp and are aghast that people share “everythjng” on a blog….so you have the same responsibility to your feelings to be honest with them. You aren’t mean so don’t feel bad for saying what you believe. I’m so excited to see a new blog post here and you will “gather your tribe” in these new digs…and we will be here to cheer you on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.