The Smoke and Mirrors of the Suburbs

It was a family that lived on a three-acre property in a suburb outside Philadelphia. When you drive along the shoulder-less roads, you pass the public schools displaying permanent banners that brag how they are a “Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.” The student parking lots are filled with Range Rovers, Lexus’ and BMW’s; the teachers lot with Honda’s, Prius’ and some beater cars. The custom fancy landscaping along the front of the school is dry and dying, but I’m sure they nurture the hell of out those students.

As I drive through the neighborhoods I notice the lawns are solid green, weeds non-existent. The houses don’t give you a modicum of information of who lives within them. I was running early for my next patient, so I put two quarters–two hours– in the meter and walked around the manicured town. There was an organic and vegan wine store, a pressed-while-you-wait juice bar, lots of lovely restaurants and an organic mattress and linen store. The owner of this very expensive store was dedicated to her mission and message, but I had one problem with her. She started out “educating” me about the importance of sleeping on a chemical-free mattress and bedding, and I appreciated it. But when she started preaching to me about my pink polyester scrubs, I didn’t want to argue with her. But she bugged the hell out of me with her persistent “teaching.” If someone gets all preachy with me I get kinda nasty.

“You know those off gases of plastic! Whew!” I said. “Wouldn’t want ’em near me!”

“Right! Of course not!” she made a yucky face and shook her head.

“How do you feel about plastic again?”

She went on and on about the gases, the petroleum, the environmental concerns, how people have to wake up and not use them.

Here goes. “So how do you feel about a plastic balloon filled with salt water and inserted under a muscle and calling it a breast?” I asked her as I looked at her high, perfectly balanced breast implants on her yoga thin frame.

I’m bad. I know it.

So, it’s time to visit my lovely patient. I’m cleaning the dressing around her feeding tube when her son walks in. He chooses to open the mail first, keeps his eyes on whatever letter he’s reading and says “Hey.”

“Hey” I said, blowing my too long bangs out of my eyes trying to keep my surgical gloves clean. “Are you the son?”

“Yep, as far as I know.”

I faked a fake laugh. “Nice to meet you. Your mom speaks highly of you.”

When I finished taking care of his lovely mother, I asked him if I could meet with him.

“Sure. What’s up?”

“‘What’s up.” I echoed. “A few things. First of all, your mom has lots of visitors and I suggest you take her narcotics off the kitchen table and put them somewhere people can’t see them. You never know.”

Then the little fuck turned to me and slowly said, “You’re mistaken, Nina. We’re not those kind of people.”

I almost blew an artery in my head. “Typical.” I thought.

So this blog is all over the place but you’re supposed to understand that the more props, smokescreens and wealth a family seemingly has, the more delusional they can be.

Forgive me if you didn’t “get” that; I was on a roll.

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