David Bouchier

David Bouchier’s weekly essays are full of unexpected observations and whimsical opinions. Listeners will relish his entertaining, enlightening, and sometimes exasperated commentaries on the routines that carry us through the year, the surreal rituals of politics, the unsettling experience of foreign travel, and the confusions and comedies of everyday suburban life.

You can hear David Bouchier on-air Monday mornings or by subscribing to his podcast, A Few Well Chosen Words.

The desire to make things clean and tidy in the springtime seems to be an almost biological urge. Like most biological urges, it should be resisted. Spring may be the season of renewal and new beginnings, but there’s no point in going mad about it. The energy and optimism we feel at this time of year shouldn’t be wasted on dull domestic tasks.

Easter is the season of bunnies, and chocolate eggs, and weddings. Like the opening day of baseball it signals that the wedding season has started and play can begin. Marriage is still quite popular, and will never die out I’m sure as long as there are weddings, although I suspect that the desire to have a wedding is sometimes much stronger than the desire to have a marriage. So the traditional family is safe as long as the fifty billion dollar a year wedding industry continues to flourish.

For a long time I have been intrigued by the steadily increasing size of suburban houses. During the last four decades the average family size has decreased by ten per-cent, but the average home size has increased by sixty per-cent. A few years ago I visited a model home in one of the developments that have sprung up in the potato fields of eastern Long Island, because I was curious to see how such a quantity of domestic space could be put to use.

We have all been the victims of proverbial wisdom, particularly when we were children. A large part of the job of parenting is to bombard one’s offspring with warnings and advice in the form of easily remembered clichés posing as absolute truths. My mother was very fond of these, and had a large collection of them as perhaps mothers still do: it never rains but it pours; all’s well that ends well; still waters run deep; silence is golden; the devil makes work for idle hands. Well, that last one may be true.

This week we have an appointment to meet with our tax accountant. I’m not asking for sympathy, just a little understanding. It’s always with a sense of doom that I pull out the boxes and the files and start working through the contents. There it is, my whole life for the past year reduced to dollars and cents: every meal and hotel room, every postal packet and phone call, every printer cartridge and paper clip, every check flowing in and every check flowing out (a considerably larger number), and every regretted extravagance.

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