Scratch that.

We live in the city because we love it here. With the exception of college, I have always lived in a city. Jen grew up in a suburb of Boston. She has always been adamant that we will never live in a suburb. But she knows how unhappy I have been at my job so she agreed to my Plan B.

Plan A is to get a job. Plan B was to sell the house and move to someplace cheaper if I can’t find one.

But then I spent some time today in an actual suburb. My son enjoyed baseball so much that I signed him up for baseball camp. Today was my day to take him. When I dropped him off, my beautiful boy with long golden hair and an aqua shirt wandered into a sea of boys with buzz cuts and sports shirts. I became slightly alarmed so I hung back a bit. I was right to be nervous. He went and sat by himself and didn’t interact much until a couple of the other kids turned around and said something to him.

They asked him if he was a girl.

I looked around. Everyone was white. All of the mothers had the same blond highlights and same shoulder length hair. In the parking lot were rows of SUVs.

I felt sick. I hung around a bit to see what he would do and if he needed me. He seemed to be doing ok once the coaching started even if he wasn’t making any friends. Back at the car, I was so upset I called Jen at the hospital.

“This is the suburbs Googie. This is why we don’t live there.”

So we can just kill Plan B. We’re not moving out of the city. I am just going to have to put up with my crappy job and keep applying to new jobs until I land something. BUT just today I got a call for an interview. And it’s for a good job too.

As for P, Jen assured me that he shakes these things off. She pointed out that he has plenty of friends in the city and at least he doesn’t have to go to school with these kids. I guess this week he is going to learn how to field grounders…and that it’s ok to be different. I am glad he doesn’t have to brave that lesson every day.

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11 thoughts on “Scratch that.

    • Do whatever you need to do to ace that interview! I’ve been reading here for years (never e-mailed you for a password, though…) and I’d love to see you get a great job.

      I moved my family out to the ‘burbs for our son’s one-day schools … I’m the only working mother (in a two working parent household on the block) watching the SAHM’s with their identical trendy sunglasses get dolled up to take their kids to summer camp makes me feel like I’m watching pod people … also how can they afford it on one income?

  1. I totally get what you’re saying and this is exactly why I don’t want to live in the suburbs either. But I will also say that, having grown up in the suburbs of LA, I know that it’ll be ok too if you do one day decide to move the family to the burbs. There’s always a group of longhaired boys and shorthaired girls in the most cookiecutter towns. Your kids would find their niche and make their way. And sometimes, learning that you’re not like everyone else is incredibly empowering too.

  2. @butterflyfish – thanks

    @Anne – thank you for reading my blog! I know what you mean. I hate to rag on people, but I kept wondering, “Did you all get fed to the Borg? Everyone looks exactly the same!” And they must be SAHMs because they were all hanging out.

    @Virgin- I am sure what you say is true. But it’s one thing to go through it yourself. It’s another to subject your kids to it. They other thing I keep wondering is this: The city is very expensive. There must be a place where people are “Different” but not “Rich.” Where is this place? Revere?

  3. This is what I don’t like about our neighborhood in PDX. Lots of blonde, thin women with BMW SUVs and cookie-cutter kids. I have to go to the grittier areas to feel more comfortable (but of course, then we’re tripping over the street kids).

    Stay in the city. Your kids are getting an awesome experience – particularly your city!

  4. I think to too EH. There is just so much to do in the city. I am really sad we don’t have a back yard. And no backyard means no dog. But it’s worth the trade off. The kids get a really rich childhood in return.

  5. My mother walks the dogs in her pajamas, without a bra, and with a big straw sunhat. She doesn’t give a shit about what the skinny blonde twats say when they drive by in their Mercedes. I think I’ll always be grateful to her for that.

  6. I totally want to say that the suburb of Boston where I grew up was different – and I think it kinda was, when I was a kid – it was filled with old-school New England ladies with leathery faces from gardening and playing tennis in the sun all the time, who wore tennis shoes and grungy hats they’d had for 20 years as they cycled round town. But even then it was probably pretty conformist (in an old-school live-and-let-live New England way), and now, I’m sure, it’s filled with the people you describe (because it is a very “desirable” place to live, which by now means ridiculously expensive – none of my friends and I growing up could ever afford to live in that town now. Even families that had been in the town for generations were getting squeezed out). It used to be officially categorized as not a suburb, but I’m sure it’s been completely suburbanized by now. Which is such a shame, because it was a great great town to grow up in. (Well, if you were upper/middle class enough to be respectable. And white. Um. I should shut up now.)

    Anyway. You will get an awesome job and you guys will stay in the city and have a great experience! I totally envied my friends in college who had grown up in cities, for all their experiences and comfort in a wide range of situations.

  7. wow. that gave me chills and not in a good way. But yea on the interview, and you know, as baseball takes over, the other boys might just end up bonding over sports and not really caring if his hair and shirt are different.

  8. @newkidinthehallway – I totally thought you were a midwesterner. I had no idea you grew up in New England

    @km – thanks. He’s been ok. Jen was right. He has good inner resources and shakes things off.

    @CM – I believe you! I actually used to take belly dancing lessons in Watertown. I think it’s a cool place.

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