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How to tell that you're a suburbanite

You know you're officially a suburbanite when . . .

*You break into a cold sweat when you spot a sign for a one-way street.

*Your basement has either carpeting, wood paneling or a bar. Or all three.

*You have either uttered these words or nodded along while someone else has: "I'm not against it; I just don't think it fits in this neighborhood."

*You're more worried about what an oil leak is doing to your driveway than what it's doing to your car.

*You spend more than a month's salary on your son's travel hockey team.

*You can't get more than a mile from your house without passing at least one chain drugstore.

*You spend a lot of time at parties talking about sump pumps.

*Your street is named after a woodland creature, a flower or a rich guy's granddaughter.

*You assiduously avoid parking ramps, except those attached to casinos.

*You know exactly how to get to every Applebee's in town, but you have to use MapQuest to find Delaware Park.

*In the recent past, your concrete patio became a wooden deck.

*You never lock your front door at home, but you lock your car doors as soon as you see a sign that says "Welcome to Buffalo."

*You appreciate the subtle differences between Bed, Bath & Beyond and Linens-N-Things.

*You have built a new house in the last five years, but now you want your town to do something about all the "unchecked development" in the area.

*You spend a lot of time driving back and forth to the middle school.

*You give directions to your house starting with this sentence: "You know where Anderson's is, right?"

*The only time you are in Buffalo is when you drive through it on the way to your suburban workplace from your suburban home. And when you go to Sabres games.

*You've never been on a Metro Bus.

*You bought a new sprinkler because the old one wore out from overuse.

*You can't remember the last day you didn't go to Wegmans.

*You refer to Hertel Avenue as "downtown."

*You feel like your life improved dramatically when Mighty Taco added a drive-through lane.

*You have more cars, cell phones and television sets in your house than people.

*All the restaurants you go to are within walking distance of a mall or in one.

*You've called your local police department to report a "suspicious person" in your neighborhood, only to learn she was selling Girl Scout cookies.

*You believe the Broadway Market is open one week per year.

*You look forward to winter parking rules because you're sick of people parking in front of your house.

*The only relatives you have within Buffalo's city limits are 75 or older.

*You have given your lawn mower a nickname.

*Your most prized possession is a barbecue grill.

*You don't know anyone who lives in an apartment.

*You spend more on gasoline than you do on groceries.

*Your island dreams are about kitchen improvements.

*Your house number is painted on the curb.

*Your garage has a refrigerator in it.

*You secretly love your minivan.

*You call talk radio shows or post on blogs to offer your insight about what's wrong with the city.

e-mail: bandriatch@buffnews.com

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