This is my first official day of being a housewife in suburbia. Wahoo.

<You can pick up the sarcasm here.>

Jeff got a temporary part-time job which is a mile from home. He started this morning. It is some income, which is better than none, and we are thankful he can still work with computers to keep up his skills and get good local references.

My parents live in a new subdivision [that word makes my skin crawl] of less than 5 year old brick colonial whatevers surrounded by other neighbors who are in the same socio-economic and educational background, more-or-less. Lots of children and dogs. Lawns are mown on Saturday mornings. You can hum the Monkees song now.

What the heck makes me so antagonistic towards suburbia? I read James Howard Kunstler and dropped the eyeball gunk. [disclaimer, he uses choice words for humor and making his points. You filter at your own risk, K?] I love rural landscapes. I love towns and cities. Suburbia rips up the former and mocks the later. Socio-economic and childhood segregation. Automobile dependency.

I grew up in an older subdivision, with a public pool, park, and elementary school in walking distance. Pretty great until you are 11, then you have to depend on the bus or mom taxis to get you to school, practices, etc. Then, in my young adult years, I experienced the wonders of living in authentic cities with transit, sidewalks, and the essentials of life at one’s finger tips.

I was ruined for anything else.

So I sit in the daylight basement of my parents’ house [don’t get me wrong, free shelter is terrific] and, uh, figure out stuff to do. Mom keeps me busy with little “helps”. Today’s major production is taking the gimpy dog to the vet. Poor thing. I was playing with her on the hardwood floor last night when she jumped and landed funny on a back leg. I feel guilty over an accident.

We want to find a house/apartment within walking/biking distance of our Main Street eventually. Otherwise, I might go nuts.


4 Responses to “Suburbia”

  1. 1 goldilocks June 22, 2009 at 10:21 am

    “Lots of children” is the key here, Ma’am. Be careful about rolling your eyes at the suburbs before you’ve got a passel of your own kiddos to worry about; city taxes, schools, transportations issues, and housing prices drive lots and lots of idealistic young urbanites out to the dreaded burbs sooner or later.

    blah blah blah, right? But subdivisions spring up for reasons other than ticky-tacky lard-butt consumerist-conformist-capitalist loserville American taste. 😉

  2. 3 goldilocks June 22, 2009 at 11:35 am

    It’s not completely bad if you’re the parent of that seven year old, either. I guess I’m just tired of hearing the Kunstler/New Urbanist line about the soullessness of the breeder suburbs.

    Even NU communities that brag about how their streets are “clogged with strollers” seem to suffer a dearth of school-aged kids, and plenty of those couples will stick around for baby #1, but find the novelty wearing very thin by the time #2 rolls around.

    None of which is to say my own relationship with suburbia is without conflict. It IS sad to see old farms ripped out around St. Louis for yet ANOTHER faux “English village” with some preposterous name.

    Kunstler is a gaseous old windbag; long live Kunstler!

  3. 4 Scott June 24, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Just found your blog and it is great. We live in a rural area and it is impossible to get about without a car, which is one of my concerns living here. It’s not possible to use horse or cart either as there is no margin to any of the roads. Some people used to use horse drawn wagon, but they’d get run into by cars, there were some serious injuries. Bringing a horse into the city limits has also resulted in citations and fines when the horse poops. Unfortunately, I have to admit there is far more freedom of movement in the city.

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"I can't say I don't believe in your God, but I don't believe He meant the world to be as it is." ~Nicholas Higgins. North and South.

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you are licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what." No idea where that last quote came from, but I like it!

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