As of today (because who knows when I’ll actually finish and publish this post), we have been living in the suburbs for 100 days. Here are some of my observations thus far:
- Wow, there are a lot of teenagers here. They are literally everywhere – at the mall, the gym, the pizza place, the nail salon, in the middle of the street riding bikes or playing basketball, panhandling/fundraising for their football team on the side of the road or offering to wash your car for $5 to “Help the Marching Band.” They seem to be the most active demographic in this town and yet, I don’t recall seeing so many (if any) teenagers in NYC. Where were they all hiding? And good lord, what are these children wearing? Mr. S practically had to shield his eyes from embarrassment at the sight of all the butt cheeks hanging out of high waisted short shorts paired with crop tops parading through the mall. I’m no prude, but there is definitely a time and a place for outfits like that and the mall food court is not it.
- So, I already anticipated that this would be a problem before we officially immigrated to the suburbs, but the serious lack of diversity in take-out/delivery options is astounding. There are only three places featured on Seamless.com servicing our zip code and they are all terrible Chinese restaurants. We’ve slowly been discovering a wider array of take-out options: Peruvian chicken, Portuguese BBQ, sushi, etc., but the added effort of having to get in the car and drive to pick up our food pretty much defeats the whole point of having someone else make our dinner. #firstworldproblems
- On the other hand, the grocery stores here are downright lovely. In NYC, our only options were the overpriced Whole Foods, or the overcrowded shit show that is Fairway, or the dark and dingy Key Foods with very questionable produce and dusty canned goods. Wegmans and Target, you are a joy. Never change.
- We actually have to water the yard?? Like, isn’t that what rain is for?? And mosquitoes…FML.
- In stark contrast to NYC where strangers only talk to you if they are asking for money or directions, in the suburbs, strangers smile and say hello to you for no reason at all. My parents and I went for a stroll on the Greenway, a pedestrian path that runs through various towns, and along the way, my parents would greet other walkers, runners, and bikers “hello” or “good morning.” Sometimes the other party beat them to the punch and my mom and dad would enthusiastically respond. At first I wondered if they knew each other and would intensely examine each person looking for a familiar face, but no, I didn’t recognize any of these people and the conversation never went beyond a passing greeting. Once I realized this was the social norm, I attempted to do the neighborly thing and reciprocate, but alas, I couldn’t muster up more than a tight-lipped smile. I’m trying, I’m trying…
Example, driving past the local bowling alley:
Mr. S: Remember when we used to go on dates at the bowling alley?
Me: Yeah, maybe we should go again…what else is there to do around here.
< Sign outside the bowling alley reads “SIGN UP FOR A LEAGUE TODAY!” >
Both of us: Uhh…nevermind.
Overall, the move to the ‘burbs has definitely been an adjustment – perhaps warranted as new homeowners, but still surprising because, like I said, Mr. S and I are both more than familiar with the lay of the land. Let’s see how the next 100 days goes. Perhaps by then I’ll be doling out hugs to random strangers, donning a new team bowling shirt, and yelling at teenagers, “DOES YOUR MOTHER KNOW YOU LEFT THE HOUSE WEARING THAT FACE TOWEL ACROSS YOUR CROTCH?!”
We shall see…
* In my eyes, the jury is still out on if we qualify as full-fledged adults, but I reluctantly accept the fact that by society’s standards (marriage, homeownership, insurance premiums, etc.), we are grown ups.