Archive for November 13th, 2007

Some Things I Will Not Miss About City Living

November 13, 2007

So, there comes a time in many a young urbanite’s life when she has a baby and realizes that this whole city thing she used to love is just not going to work anymore.

Okay, truth be told, there were always down sides to living in an urban area. But before Casey, I was always able to overlook them, or justify them, or accept them. And then our house got broken into when he was two weeks old. And we were there (it happened around 4 a.m.). That is by no means the only catalyst for getting the heck out of dodge. But it might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, or something like that.

It’s a cliche, this whole having a baby and moving to the suburbs thing. And honestly I don’t think we would have even considered it had David not gotten a job in one of the far VA suburbs. But once that happened, I really started to see the potential pluses of moving out there. The only real negative is commuting costs, but that was more than outweighed by the numerous benefits. So we’re moving, and I am more excited about it than I ever thought I would be. Every day now something will happen — routine things, all, but more grating than ever — and I say to myself, not gonna miss that.

So, in honor of our move, a list of some of those things:

In no particular order …

1. Rude people. Drivers who speed up when you put on your turn signal, pedestrians who jaywalk with an irritating sense of entitlement and trust that you won’t run them down, people in Whole Foods who glare at you for taking up space, and everyone who does not smile at your baby even after he smiles at them. People in this city, as much as or more than NYC, are RUDE. I mean not giving up their seat on the Metro for an elderly man or a pregnant woman rude. The South has its issues, but we know about manners.

1b. People who hang out outside no matter how cold or hot it is and talk or play music loudly at all hours. Our neighbor’s place is the hangout house for all the teenagers in this area and sometimes they are obnoxious. Make that most of the time.

2. 45 minutes (or more) to travel 1 mile or less. Enough said.

3. Old house, creaky floors and stairs. Worrying about waking baby it took half an hour to get down with every single step.

4. Churches without parking lots whose parishioners take up every parking spot on Sundays and double park with impunity.

5. Taking baby for a walk in his stroller and worrying about all the exhaust he’s breathing in and whether the loud trucks are hurting his little ears.

6. Bad memories of a certain evil law firm for which I once worked.

7. The choice between spending an hour looking for a parking spot or paying $15 to park in a lot for an hour or two. (And yes, I’m aware of the environmental implications of free parking. Have a kid and get back to me on that.)

8. Having to drive 30 minutes to get to a Chick-Fil-A. 🙂

9. Street sweeping.

10. A general ethic that work is more important than family.

Hmmm, now that I look at this list, a lot of it has to do with cars and driving. Which is a symptom of congestion. Which relates to the whole thing about people being rude. I think the surliness comes from lack of oxygen.

Oh, I just remembered, and must add

11. Difficulty and expense of finding good housing and child care. I kid you not that in the city you have to be on a waiting list for 18 months to pay $1500 a month for day care. Out where we’re going, I found a spot immediately for half that.

12. Arrogance, snobbery, sense of entitlement, being caught up in the rat race and keeping up with the Joneses. There’s a lot of that in DC, and for this humble Mississippi girl it’s well nigh intolerable. Get over yourselves already, people, and figure out what’s important in life before it’s too late.

Of course, all the snobs are WAAAYYYYY too good to live in the town we’re moving to, and I say we’re well rid of them. We will not let the door hit us on the way out.