Saturday, January 22, 2011

What's wrong with suburbia?

My sister loves the big city, and the media definitely agrees.  Suburbia is portrayed as the land of morons, as deep as a puddle and dangerous to anyone with individuality.  From Edward Scissorhands to Desperate Housewives, suburbia constantly gets thrown under the bus. 

I don't understand why.  Where Nicole sees excitement, I see chaos.  I was seconded to a big city office once for a few months and I've never been so unhappy in my whole life.  I remember walking down the street with the acrid smell of piss in my nose, people jostling me like a pinball and wanting to cry as I saw a tiny piece of sun through the grey highrises that surrounded me.  I hadn't seen a tree in weeks. What's so glamourous about hanging out in the bottom of a garbage can?

And the people are mean!  No one in my mid-size city has walked in front of me while I was trying to turn onto a crowded street, then pounded on my car and called me a whore.  Yeah, there's road rage everywhere and I'm not exactly a blazing ray of sunshine - I'm the suburban Bethenny Frankel.  But I'm still startled by how cold and judgmental the people I've met in the big city have been.  It's odd because supposedly people come to the big city to escape judgment and find diversity, but once they've found their clique, those noble ideas vanish and outsiders get the stinkeye.

There's more than one colour on my street and in my workplace.  My friends are smart, thoughtful women who enjoy occasional dancing with their daiquiris on a night out sans kids.  When I sit on my deck with my husband and baby watching the wind ripple through the green marsh in our backyard, I feel truly blessed, and my soul is at peace.  What else could a girl want?

So here's a toast to surburbia.  You may not be cool, but I love you.


  1. I have lived in suburbia, in the country and, currently, downtown. This is my favourite location, BUT... Kingston is a pretty small city. I could not handle downtown in a place like Toronto or Ottawa for all the reasons you talked about.

    The thing I really disliked about suburbia (and the country, for that matter) was how hard it was to get anywhere without a car. We do have a car here, but it is mostly unused and, as someone who is not disciplined enough for the gym or work-out videos, I like being able to walk or bike everywhere I need to go. I get a bit of exercise and it lifts my mood.

  2. Yeah, the car thing is definitely a negative. I detest driving but not enough to subject myself to KW's idea of public transit - not that the bus routes come anywhere near my house anyway.

  3. each their own!! You definitely would love Maroochydore! Such a lovely laid back beach town. Although I must admit, I miss the hustle and bustle of Toronto and there being a cafe on every corner.

  4. I've always found it funny that we're expected to either like the city or the country or the burbs. Like we're only supposed to like cats OR dogs. I'm content wherever I like, so long as there's good people, decent food and something to do!

  5. Cities are ok for a visit but frankly I'd go (even more) nuts living there.

  6. Ha! I happen to love the city. Working in NYC for many years instilled a love of all it has to offer (minus the piss smell: I could do without that). But now is time for Suburbia. I agree that is may not be cool, but I love it, too. I wouldn't raise my kids anywhere else.
    I do wish it got a better rap, though.
    Came from TRDC.


Lend me some sugar!