Hello, Westchester

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Melinda Murphy Hiemstra. You must be Westchester County. Damn glad to meet you.

So what qualifies me to write this blog, anyway?

Well, for starters, I’m a mom—finally. After eight years of fertility treatments, my daughter Maisie was born in August of 2008. She is worth every shot I injected and every pill I popped. She’s perfect. Well, okay—not perfect. She bites me really hard when I make her mad and she’s still pretty bald. Yet overall, she is a wonderful, happy, healthy child—the kind of kid who will walk into a room full of adults she’s never met and want each one to pick her up.

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We are blessed.

It’s not that I’m the greatest mom (don’t get me started about letting Maisie eat regurgitated dog food) or that I am Westchester’s “it” girl. Actually, it’s quite the opposite.

A couple of years ago, I moved out of my beloved Manhattan and became what I jokingly refer to as a Reluctant Stepford Wife. I really didn’t want to leave the City. My dream as a girl from a small Texas town was to live in a New York City penthouse. Never once did I think, “I want to grow up to be a suburban housewife.”

I’m pretty sure the original 1975 movie The Stepford Wives has something to do with that. The thing terrified the pants off of me. Ever since, I have had an unnatural fear of the ’burbs. I sometimes wonder if I’m alone in this or if I can find a support group of some sort: “Picket Fences Anonymous.”

Here’s a quick film summary: Joanna is a big-time television producer who is fired. She has a meltdown and is forced to move to Connecticut with her husband and kids. All the women in the town of Stepford are perfect. They wear floral dresses, garden, discuss brands of starch, and have regular sex with their husbands. Turns out, they have all been replaced by robots.

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Me? I was a CBS television correspondent whose contract wasn’t renewed in the middle of a network political upheaval. I had a meltdown of sorts and my husband convinced me to move to Westchester because he worked in White Plains. I didn’t kick and scream as we pulled up to the curb, but I did cry once when we looked at houses.

Now that I’m here, well… don’t tell anybody… but I kind of like it. My neighbors are great. I traded a recipe without turning to stone. I even joined the Junior League. And unless I’m completely unaware, my husband has not joined a secret society of men to have me replaced by a robot.

I’m chomping at the bit to learn about my new home. I spent most of my television career doing things like riding ostriches, driving race cars, and trying out the world’s fastest roller coaster. Now Maisie will try out cool stuff and I’ll tell you about it. Or sometimes, I’ll just write about navigating this thing called parenthood here in our beautiful county.

Thanks for reading. Let’s see how it goes. By the way, feedback is welcome. Ideas are revered.

Till next week….

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