We are no Stepford Family

For many years I lived in Shelburbia. Now I live in Hilltop. On the surface there is a certain blond sheen to both of these communities. Where Vermont has wholesome apple picking and farmers markets and hikes Hilltop has ubering to hip eateries strolling to bespoke coffee shops and taking Fridays off to ski in powder. In both communities these activities can be done in high end yoga pants. There just might be a bit more Botox in Colorado. There are very few people in either neighborhood that actually live the stereotype of the community as a whole. Any one person has a story, and interests and fears that change him/her from a caricature to a flesh and blood person with a heart. If you stick to the surface though you can make sweeping generalizations.

The glossy neighborhood magazine “Hilltop Sundial” keeps things real with a “Family of the Month.” I know most of these families and enjoy reading the feature. Real people put the best spin on their lives. I found this month’s article between “Hilltop ladies try a neighborhood spa party” (Which in fact was a directive not a description.) and the monthly favorite “Whats cooking in Hilltop?” Valentine’s red velvet cookie sandwiches, natch. (To be fair, which generally makes things less funny, this issue also described Hilltop Juniors helping the community and a great article on Bono written by a fifth grader.) Reading the upbeat answers of my friends the I can’t help but rewrite the interview with the answers my family would have given.

Pets: Skreechee. Cat. The double ee’s are not a typo THAT IS HOW IT IS SPELLED. The youngest Palmer will never forgive you if you get it wrong. Skreechee enjoys long walks through the neighborhood and biting the hand that feeds her. She is a fair cat though…she will bite hands that don’t feed her also. On the upside she will fetch small felt owls for hours. As long as it is between 1am-4am.

Where are you from?:  Well we moved here from Vermont but VT would never claim us because we are not five generations deep. So we are a people without a place.

How long have you lived in Hilltop?: 19 months. Like some mothers of toddlers we will never stop counting in months because it shows how much we CARE.

Profession (s): Electrical Engineer and Program Manager Aerospace and Defense Business Unit and Government Programs GLOBALFOUNDRIES, formerly International Business Machines (IBM, PMP, MBA, ETC) & IDK. (Steve, Anna)

Favorite Activities/ Hobbies: Steve: Hockey, Golf, Old Man Football League, Brewing beer. Anna: watching TV in Bed. Oliver: Watching people open packages of Pokemon cards on Youtube. Leo: Getting banned from Minecraft servers for hacking things so he can fly.

Favorite Play area/Park/Hangout: Steve: Big bear ice rink, anyplace I can be in the sunshine!, Anna: My room, Oliver: the playground across the street where I can scream so loudly that my mother can hear me in her room. Leo: my mother’s room.

Favorite Restaurants: Steve: Tag burger bar, Anna: KFC (I’ve finally learned that using the word chicken is off-brand, and possibly illegal.) Oliver: Cherry Cricket. Leo: I won’t go to restaurants. None of them are my favorite because I hate them all.

Favorite Vacation Spot: Steve: Aruba- fresh fruit, clear water and sunshine! Anna: my bed. Oliver: Back to Vermont…but I wish that weren’t a vacation. Leo: I don’t like to go on vacation. Wait, will there be wifi there? Is there wifi on the plane? Can we take out hotspot in the uber to the airport? If yes then I don’t care.

Favorite Sports Teams: Steve: Any team I play for, The Detroit Red Wings, The Detroit Tigers. Anna: New England Patriots. It is a serious situation. Oliver: What’s the one with the orange? Leo: Colorado Rockies! They are the only thing I leave the house for…plus last year I bought a plastic helmet and I have been bringing it back for popcorn ever since. I love to beat the system. I want to be buried with that thing.

Favorite Family dinner: Steve: Homecooked, around our dining room table, with no potty talk. It has yet to happen but each day is a new day. Anna: Anything we eat in bed while engaging in potty talk. Oliver: Anthonys pizza. Its almost as good as Marcos. Not that anything in Colorado is as good as anything in Vermont. Leo: Salmon. Why did you cook salmon? I’m not hungry. Pushes three apple cores a tomato stem, 6 cheestick wrappers, the butt of a pepperoni a sharp knife and a cutting board into his sock drawer.

Family Traditions: Making poop jokes at the dinner table.

Kids? What activities are they involved with? Oliver is on the DI team on Thursdays. Leo takes tennis on Thursdays. The timing is not a coincidence. Nor is the length of this answer.

How are you involved in the community?: Steve: Plays in sports leagues, coaches DI. Anna: I picked up Skreechee’s poop from the playground. I also yell at people whose dogs poop on our lawn. Boys: They get things out trees in the playground. That purple balloon, that plastic back, those shoes. Wait…that was Steve.

What do you do to relax: Make poop jokes in bed.

What is your favorite part about living in your neighborhood?: Steve: It is quiet but close to everything. Anna:There are so many dogs. So there is a lot of material. Oliver: I love the playground…but there are even better playgrounds in Vermont. Leo: It has wifi.

Don’t you want to hang out with us? You and Steve could have a beer, watch some hockey or PLAY some hockey, maybe hear some live music. Or you could talk about Vermont with Oliver, or watch Leo play Minecraft. I might be busy upstairs.

So Shiny. So happy.
So Shiny. So happy.

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, Parent.co, 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 annarosenblumpalmer.com.

17 thoughts on “We are no Stepford Family”

  1. I’m reading this in my bedroom right now – it’s my favourite room too! Leo would get on well with my Jack re minecraft …you’re family of the month material most definitely

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