It was seven years ago this summer that my family and I moved to the suburbs. We left the city for the typical reasons. My wife and I decided we needed more space. We thought the boys should have a backyard. And we had no intention of drinking past 10.
In many ways, we’ve adapted very nicely to the suburbs. The boys play in the backyard. My wife loves planting and killing flowers. I’m happy to have a driveway.
Yes, despite my casual complaints and periodic yearnings for the city, I think moving to the suburbs has worked out for my family and I. I’d even say we’ve adapted nicely. We appreciate the hum of crickets, bunnies running around freely, and the thrill of the UPS delivery.
However, there are some ways which my family – well, me in particular – has not adjusted to the suburbs. So on that note, here are six reasons why I still don’t belong in the suburbs.
- I don’t own a barbecue – not an in-ground, electric or even a hibachi. You ever walk around the suburbs around 5:00 pm on a weekend in the summer? I guarantee you smell barbecue faster than can say white picket fence. However, you won’t be sniffing or rubbing your eyes from smoke by my house. No barbecue here and no interest. Shoot, we don’t even have a deck to put the barbecue on.
- I’m uncomfortable buying in bulk. Advertisements such as 48 rolls of toilet paper for $14.99 send people scurrying. Customers bring multiple shopping carts and are disappointed when they see the limit is three. Seriously, why the hell does anybody need that much freakin’ toilet paper? You know, just because you have the storage space doesn’t mean you have to fill it. Nah, I’ll stick to the 4 pack or maybe go crazy and buy the 8 pack.
- Our house doesn’t have an addition nor do we plan on adding one. Yes, thankfully, we have equity in our house. Yes, I know rates are still low, traditionally speaking. Sure, I wouldn’t mind a bigger house, but instead of competing against the neighbors to see who has the biggest house, I’m simply going to live in mine.
- We don’t own a minivan. Or an SUV. We have a Honda Accord. That’s it (I know one car – roughing it) While picking up the boys at camp or attending a school event it’s hard not to look around, notice, and then wonder, “Does size matter?” Does everyone really need a huge car to schlep around their 2.1 kids? There’s only time a year that I want a bigger car and that’s when we drive towards our rented vacation home for one week. The boys are squished and even have had to carry suitcases on their laps. I feel bad then about the size of the car. But it passes and therefore, I’ll pass on the minivan.
- I don’t go to the mall. It’s not a rule or anything but I have no interest in going to a mall. We have a huge mall near us – hey, we live in Jersey – with many top stores. One could buy everything they need – clothes, furniture, electronics, kitchen ware, linens, and then there are the other three wings – under one massive roof. Nah. Not for me. In fact, if the Cineplex wasn’t in the mall, I don’t think I’d ever go there. Well, one day 30 years from now, maybe my wife and I will walk around the mall as a form of exercise. For now, the mall holds no interest for me.
- I mow my own lawn – standing up. While I do hate mowing my medium sized lawn, I can’t imagine how doing so while sitting down on a tractor would make it more pleasant. Now, if they put a television on the tractor, I might reconsider. Sorry, Mr. Gardener – I could use the exercise and soon the boys will take over.
So, does this make my family and I outsiders? Hmm, maybe we could drive to a destination a couple of blocks away and turn our noses up when someone suggests we actually walk. Walk? Nah, who walks? We’re suburbanites.
I think it makes you wise livers, not outsiders. You’re not caving to useless peer pressure!
Your line about your wife planting and killing flowers made me laugh out loud.
I love to make people laugh. Thanks for sharing that.
I’m starting to think I don’t belong in the suburbs, either. But it sure ain’t the country.
I hear you. I do miss the city sometimes!
We don’t do three through six, but we live in the burbs. I think you’re okay. Love the note about planting and killing flowers–sounds like me. And the excitement of the UPS delivery–yes!
UPS drivers know our house well.
It’s a good thing you have two boys and not girls. You’d be at the mall ALL.THE.TIME.
So chalk that one up for another reason to be grateful for your family and your boys 🙂
I’m thankful for that.
Sounds to me like you live your life based on common sense.
We live in a city of about 30,000. We moved in from the country so it’s kind of the opposite of what you and your wife have. That being said, I do own a BBQ, and a smoker but they came with Mike. I do own a mini-van, but I have two kids, two big dogs and a disabled mother. We live a 15 minute walk from the mall but our local mall holds more closed shops than open ones so I don’t frequent it.
I’d love to get back out to the country. City-life isn’t for me. 🙂
I appreciate the compliment.
Good luck getting back to the country.
One car? Man oh man, that would make me crazy. I am a true Angeleno, we love our cars.
There are times when it would be nice to have two but over the years both my wife and I have used public transportation for work – very big in our area. There were many days when the car sat in the driveway all day.
We’re kind of in a suburb, though it’s really a city unto its own. It’s about 25,000 people. We used to think we wanted to retire to a big city when the kids were gone, but now we’re not so sure. We do own a barbecue, but we have not grilled in two years. I now know what I want to eat this weekend…
For some reason, I’m no longer receiving notifications of your posts. I’m going to reenter my email address on your site. Hopefully it will stick. When I first tried to access your site through your comment on my blog (because I was thinking, “Hmm, I haven’t seen a post from Larry in a while”), it told me the page wasn’t available. But when I googled your blog, I found it. Weird. WordPress must be messing with my reader again. Argghh.
I could see us retiring to the big city or a beach. As you can see, I’m certain. I think our town is also about 25000 but it’s small to me.
Thanks for letting me know that about my blog. Let me know what happens in case it’s a problem on this end.