The City Mouse and the Suburb Mouse
All my regular readers know my fascination with city living.
I did it for a long portion of my life – my “single before kids” life – and I did it well. And now that I am comfortably numb out here in suburbia, I find inklings for 24-hour grocery stores, Greek food made by Greeks, and taxis you can actually hail creeping up more and more.
The sizzling sidewalks in the summer. The camaraderie of braving winter’s worst among your fellow city dwellers. The walking to actually get somewhere. Aimless strolls with coffee in hand. People watching for hours on sun-drenched patios. Dodging puddles in the rain to catch a bus that’s creeping away with Hunter boots below and a cherry red umbrella above. The power of your Metro pass, a round-trip ticket to almost anywhere. Restaurants that don’t have kids menus and only stop dinner service after midnight, when the late-night menu begins. The pulsating city air that gives even women who aren’t traditional beauties the dose of confidence that transforms them into ones to watch.
But then I glance around at life in the suburbs and our oh-so-convenient parking lots, play structures with padded asphalt and abundance of Targets – I have two within 10 miles – and have to wonder…yes, you have out-of-the-way indie boutiques and hipster emporiums where wayfarers come in toddler sizes, but where, oh where, do you buy a jumbo 216 pack of Pampers in the city? How do you stock up on cute and affordable onesies without an Old Navy in sight? Where do you find six-can cases of your favorite organic formula loaded with probiotics, prebiotics and of-the-moment biotics? And if you do find them, how the hell do you get them home?
So while I continue to daydream of my city days – bright lights that seemingly turned brighter with every turn – my reality, for the moment, is much easier to hail in a parking lot.