Two Adirondack chairs on your front lawn indicate that you are a swinger.
Suburban myth? Maybe. But this is what I was told after I moved from the hip-happening city to the unexceptional tree-lined streets of Northeast America.
I’ve always admired Adirondack chairs—the glossy, quintessential, colorful kind that you see on the covers of catalogs as summer approaches. The ones that you sit in by a pristine lake sipping gin and tonics while watching your extended family, who deeply adore each other, play croquet. Something about these chairs scream “I have arrived!”
So naturally, the first thing I did when we bought a house was to set my dream chairs out on the front lawn. Mine are neither glistening nor whimsical. They came from a big box store and were assembled from a kit, cheap and splintery, the color of putty. But I don’t let that stop my enjoyment; the G&T’s taste the same, with or without the high-end finish.
When I heard about the swinger’s code, I panicked and immediately separated the chairs, moving one to the backyard, just to play it safe.
My curiosity began to pique as the rumors swirled. My social life had spiraled downward from hailing cabs after a night out on the town to walking over to my neighbor’s house on a Tuesday night to chug cheap wine and consider birthday party invitation options for her two-year-old. Crossing the street buzzed on the way back home was satisfying my wild streak—that was, until she told me some stories.
Just like the Internet has the deep web where crazy shit happens that can’t be indexed, suburbia has an underworld, a dark and dirty place where the parenting party scene is made up of the stuff you thought could only live in your imagination. Boozy all-night shindigs of skinny-dipping, marijuana, cocaine, and key swapping. Naked moms and dads running around a front-entrance colonial on a cul-de-sac, swinging from chandeliers with muffin tops hanging out in all their glory while blowing lines off of the host’s hairy ass at the dining room table.
No worries that there aren’t any cabs in the suburbs; there are nannies to escort your drunken hot-mess selves home. Or, extend the party through the morning with Bloody Marys and Mimosas while the nanny makes chocolate chip smiley face pancakes for the kiddos back at the homestead.
Heck, there’s no need to go to parties. Garages are being converted into not only man caves but pot dens—growing and smoking quarters for grown men. No wonder all the dudes look so chill. Am I the only schmuck walking around suburbia sober?
Imagine the bedtime possibilities. “Hey kids, Daddy’s in the garage getting high, and I’m off to Joan’s house to decoupage, drink Skinnygirl cocktails, and help her fuck her husband. Make sure you brush your teeth!”
But then, the morning after could be a little awkward, out at the mailboxes.
“Hi John, I had a blast sucking your dick last night. Do you mind if I use your 10% off coupon for Bed, Bath & Beyond?”
At least that would be more interesting than talking about the hedge height rules of the homeowners association.
That’s settles it—I’m moving both chairs to the front lawn this year. There I will sit with my G&T, staring off into my imaginary lake, waiting for my invitation.
Jennifer Scharf is a humor writer with essays published in McSweeney’s, Scary Mommy, Mamalode and more!