I changed my Facebook profile picture - it's a shot my sister-in-law took over the weekend of me driving a lawn mower down the suburban street my aunt and parents live on. Almost immediately I received a slew of positive comments which - let's be brutally honest here - isn't exactly the reaction you'd expect a picture of me to get. I think it's because the photo is so ridiculous. Me? On the way to do yard work? In the suburbs? Yeah, right.
I've had thirteen addresses in my life - houses, apartments, flats, big, small, shabby and more shabby - and all of them have been within city limits. I've never lived in the suburbs. Amazingly, it's only now occurring to me to wonder why. Part of it is financial, of course. I can't afford to live in the suburbs. And since I was raised in the city, urban life seems "normal" to me. But there's more to it. I get nervous in the suburbs. The traffic, the lack of identifiable landmarks, the way roads twist and turn instead of following a grid, the way I never seem to have my bearings. I'm not hating... it just confuses me and I hate to be confused. Hmm. I guess I'm hating after all.
Don't get me wrong. I definitely see the appeal of suburban life, especially now that I'm older and things like "quiet" and "security" replace "close to the bars" on my list of priorities. I've also discovered that while I still prefer the beauty of an old-fashioned city house, a mid-century ranch has a certain charm of its own, and is far more likely to have air-tight windows. Still, I don't exactly see a riding mower in my future.