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Note:  This post is specific to the school district where I live and used to teach.  It was first published on on June 13th, 2013. But because it’s humorous, even if you don’t know or care about Scarsdale’s local politics, you might enjoy.


crystalballWhat would happen if our budget didn’t pass a second time around on June 18th, 2013? This is the question that inspired me to write a parody in the style of David Sedaris. Get it? A spoof? Meant to be funny, in an honestly scary sort of way? Good. Now read on.

June 17, 2017

Dear Jen,

Thanks for the recent email. It was great to hear from you after so long! I know, I know, we said we’d stay in touch when you left Scarsdale back in the spring of 2013, but then things got busy with life and we drifted apart. Anyway, it sounds like Marin is great. I agree — what fortunate timing you had with your move! I hear that the people who bought your house in Heathcote for $2.8 million are now sending both of their children to Horace Mann and trying to sell. (Asking price is $900k – you should totally come back!) But seriously, I’m happy to hear that you, Matt, and the kids are enjoying your West Coast lifestyle.

I would say that I am jealous that you paddleboard regularly and spend so much time exercising out of doors, but the truth is, I walk about five miles outside every day! After the budget didn’t pass 4 years ago, they eventually stopped having the funding for school buses, so I walk Zoe to the middle school while Andrew rides his bike to high school. Why don’t I drive Zoe, you ask? Well, there is so much traffic on the roads at that 8:00 – 9:00 hour, with hundreds of families trying to drop their children off at all the schools simultaneously, that I just got tired of waiting in line. (Luckily, with all the cuts, the children in Scarsdale attend school only three days a week now, so the walking is not that bad! Austerity keeps me in shape!)

Remember that awesome elementary teacher, the one who taught Ryan to read fluently by the end of first grade even though he was having problems? You were so worried about him until that teacher came along. Well, I saw her the other day at Starbucks! She made me the best Venti Skinny Caramel Frappucino ever! Seriously, that woman is multi-talented! She says hi!

It’s great to hear that Paul made the high school tennis team. Everyone in the ‘dale plays for their country clubs now that there are no more organized sports in the district. Brett and I don’t belong to a club, so Andrew plays A singles against that wall at the middle school. You know the one, in the middle of the parking lot? He’s getting really good! We’re going to list it as his only extracurricular AND sport – may help him get into Stanford?! We are singlehandedly proving that there actually IS an “I” in TEAM!

Zoe is great, thanks for asking. I thought she might be bummed when they stopped the soccer program, and the afterschool clubs, and the music program, and the chorus. I thought about trying to supplement with outside tutors, but then I bought her an iPhone and an iPad and so now she sits around with her friends for six hours after school and on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It really fills her time and keeps her out of my hair! I mean, she’s probably getting into God knows what kind of trouble on the World Wide Web, but at least no more carpooling to Tuckahoe and Chappaqua, am I right?

And, what about me? Well, it’s been a long road, but I’m finally sleeping better now. The recurring nightmares have stopped for the most part, and I only awake once in a while at 3 am in a cold sweat wondering what I could have done to turn around that darned budget vote all those years ago.

Anyway, when I come visit this summer, just don’t worry about it if you hear me scream out in an anguished cry, “VOTE YES!” a few times a night from the guest room. It’s called Scarsdale Syndrome and everyone here has it.

Doctors think the collective subconscious of the townspeople would have been okay if only we had voted YES on that fateful day, June 18th, 2013.

Oh, Jen, how I wish I could rewind time and encourage everyone in Scarsdale to just VOTE YES.

Signing off,