In Snotty Suburb, realtor signs must be, by Suburb Statute, smaller than anywhere else in the region. (I'm not kidding about this.) The diminished, discrete little "For Sale" stands in the middle of the manicured front yard -- but thank God it's a "for sale" and not like the (shudder) "For Lease" sign posted up the way.
Fewer events strike the chill of fear into the inner souls (where the dollar signs sit) of Snotty Suburbanites than the prospect of Renters. Renters, with their connotations of recent divorcees and their children, the cast-off wives of the wealthy, desperate to maintain the connections formed in the Snotty School District. Eventually, of course, the divorcees either pack it in and go back to whereever they came from if newly arrived, or wait out the settlement and then buy their own Snotty Suburb property. The culling process is so cruel, isn't it?
Or, worse yet, Renters who Aren't From Here but would like to be; those who can't afford the entry ticket to Snotty Suburb but think (oh, foolish posers) they can fake it. Faking it might work to impress their own friends, but no one in the Snotty Suburb is fooled at all. Ever.
Back to that little "for sale" sign, which in this lousy economy still dangles -- the other day, driving past the place, I saw a family standing out front with the realtor. Not the current family; these folks were looking at the property. Their little girl was twirling in circles on the lawn while Dad watched and Mom stood with her arms folded, watching as I drove past. I'm pretty sure the thought balloon over her head would read, "OMG, I've overdressed!" (dead right -- that khaki twill skirt down to mid-calf and the little blouse and espadrilles? too North Shore -- Snotty Suburb is W-A-Y past that)
Dad's thought balloon: "Driving that? They must be long-time residents -- secure enough NOT TO CARE," followed his own realization that the pink starched oxford-cloth button down is as subtly wrong as Mom's twill getup. Loafers without socks? Getouttahere!
Don't know if they'll buy the place or not. Time will tell. Meanwhile, their little girl twirled on the lawn, oblivious. Bless her heart.