Suburbia Survival Skills

5 Aug

I grew up in the suburbs, and it was great, but I instantly fell in love with the city when I moved there for college. I quickly became a ‘city girl,’ staying there for a number of years after college. I developed a disdain for the suburbs, and as any good city dweller does, judged anyone who lived in there.

When I was 24 I decided that I had to buy a condo, and it had to be in the ‘right’ part of the city. I applaud myself for my intentions, but any idiot can tell you how realistic this one was on the salary of a 24 year old marketing specialist. So the next year, with my desire to own real estate still raging on, I surrendered and bought my cute little house in suburbia.

Suburbia is notorious for it's wide variety of strip malls.

I’ve been happily living in suburbia for more than a year now, thanks to these survival skills I’ve learned along the way:

1.)    Don’t Befriend Your Neighbors. It’s fine to be nice to your neighbors, in fact you should be nice to your neighbors. Being nice and hanging out playing board games on Saturday nights are two different things. If you’re too friendly with the neighborhood crew, you’re bound to start spending wayyy too much time inside the confines of your suburban area, where you will soon become another suburban robot.

2.)    Visit the City Often. If you work there, this sort of counts, but not really. Head to the city on the weekend, instead of settling for suburban activities. Go to street fairs, museums, and see plays at the theater. This will keep you culturally balanced, so that you remain interesting.

3.)    Don’t Get Stuck in the Chain Restaurant Trap. Applebee’s and TGI Fridays are not nice restaurants, you know better. There’s a reason that places like these are typically only found in suburban areas. Look for locally-owned restaurants that will actually serve good food. Of course, you should also head to the city, visit your old favorites, and stay on top of the hot new restaurants too.

4.)    Drive a Normal Car. Do not get a mini-van, maxi-van, or a station wagon. If you’ll notice, there’s not many of these cars on the road anymore. This is because they are ugly, dated, and unstylish. If you need a big car, get an SUV, don’t channel the 90’s in a giant predator van.

5.)    Avoid Taking Up “Suburban” Hobbies. Regardless of how you want to argue this, scrapbooking and card club groups are not cool. This is non-negotiable. Instead, try cooking classes, book clubs, tennis lessons, yoga or blogging. These will keep you from becoming a boring suburban person, and instead evolving into an interesting person who happens to live in suburbia.

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