Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hey Dude, Get Off Of My Lawn

I wish I were writing more. I wish I were painting more and creating more and socializing more. I have been nursing this feeling like I want to sell all my things, pack up my husband and my cats and move to the city. Any city, anywhere. I just need a little culture, a little community.

Do you live in the suburbs? Do they stifle your soul like they do mine? Its an entire landscape created under the premise of a community and yet there is not a single sense of it.

My neighbors, despite being 50 feet away, never come knock on my door to say hello. There have been no bar-be-ques or block parties. The other people on my street rarely even wave when I walk by.

In the country, your neighbors are few and far between and yet you all some how end up meeting each other. Perhaps it is because your mutual seclusion means that in an emergency you need to know who you can turn to. In the city people are thrust together by everything. They take the same train to work and end up chatting, they sit on the front stoop on a hot day and introduce themselves, they both go the the same bakery around the corner for Sunday morning donuts.

The suburbs do not encourage that kind of community. No one needs to meet a neighbor because in the case of an emergency the rescue squad is so close. How can you make contact when you never leave the bubble of your front lawn without a car around you.

Lawns in the suburbs are little fortresses of anonymity. You may see a neighbor from your window mowing their lawn or washing their car, but to walk over and start a conversation would be awkward and intrusive.

Moving to the suburbs was like my first year away at school. There were thousands of people all around me and yet I was completely alone. Thankfully in school I was forced into friendships and had myriad choices of activities, groups, and events to explore. There was a never ending supply of people that I had something in common with, something that created a kind of connection. Its true that the majority of those connections broke once we all graduated, but I made enough strong bonds to come out feeling fulfilled.

There is no such light at the end of the tunnel in this little subdivision. No eventual friendships I know I will build. My only hope is I find another person who hates the suburbs as much as I do and we encourage each other to escape.