Thursday, March 08, 2007

Prejudice

Prejudging--we all do it. Most of us think it is wrong. An interesting feeling that has surfaced as we contemplate moving is my own prejudice about the suburbs. Some of it is Dave's influence--He is a city kid through and through. He figures he was raised in the city and he's done okay, so the city is the place to be. Some of it we share. For years now we have enjoyed short commutes, and laughed at the folks living in the 'burbs fighting traffic at rush hour. Some of it is all my own pride and insecurity. I imagine the stereotypical suburban woman, and I'm anything but... I'm not thin, my hair is greying, my nails are a mess... A part-time violinist is not going to have nice nails, I think grey roots would look worse on me than grey hair, and... well... I just can't seem to solve the plump problem. So, I look down my intellectual nose at the suburban woman and pretend that I'm somehow better than all of that, when really I'm just worried I won't fit in! Will I find neighbors as wonderful as the ones I surrounded by here and now? I have great friends living across the street and just down the block. Will I find friends as willing to accept me even though I'm kind of a square peg? I'm so afraid that in the burbs I'd be stuck in traffic in my (not very nice) van or making small talk over the fence with a snotty, shallow person who just wants to impress me with her fancy clothes and new SUV. I also worked really hard to convince myself that I wanted to live in the city in the first place. I'm a small town girl. But I grew to appreciate walking to the grocery, the hardward, the drug store, the elementary school, etc. etc.

I need to stop myself and imagine instead that we will move into a house next door to, or down the block from Sarah or someone just like her. There are wonderful people everywhere--and obnoxious, dolts everywhere! And it will be okay.

4 comments:

Sarah said...

You've just hit the nail on the head on why it was so hard for me to move to a subdivision. (Although my hair isn't grey yet...and I do believe in the power of coloring for myself!) Honestly, I am lucky to have made a couple of really good friends in my neighborhood but the rest of the people I still wonder about and think rude thoughts about. Funny thing is, they're probably thinking stereotypical thoughts about me...the weird mom who wears her baby in 5 yards of fabric!!! Good luck!

a mommy said...

You just never do know. I have lived in the city for so long, and recently moved everybody out to the boonies -- forget the burbs, we moved to the ends of the earth.

Having more room is nice. Having a slower pace is nice. Having to drive for everything is - well, we live in the South, we had to do that already, but it is lousy. Kinda miss my hip little niche sometimes. And the people are generally kind of smaller minded, but that makes the people I've met here with whom I click all the more valuable to me.

It's a culture change, alright. But don't worry about fitting in. Just worry about getting what works best for your family, and taking the peace you gain from that into meeting new people. When people are happy like that, people want to know them and NOBODY says snippy things about their hair color.

Think about the person you could be if you didn't have to worry about J or A's school, and felt like you had made a move the worked for them. What would you do with that energy? If that is the stakes we're playing for, some rules can be bent.

Jerry Grasso said...

I'm a burbs boy through and through. Raised in the burbs, live in the burbs, and only wish on a daily basis that I could work in the burbs.

It is what you make of it. Funny, I can see both sides. I know burb folk that think city folk are uppity and self centered too...I think everything works in both directions.

You find the folks that you mesh with. It just happens. Sure, you'll find tennis playing/always tan/shallow trophy wives, but you'll also find moms living in the burbs for the good schools that have their own businesses or are also teaching.....

Again, its all what you make of it

Hillary said...

such an honest post. taking risks is difficult because we are afraid of what we don't know, so continue to think positive thoughts and you will end up in the right place for you and your family!!!