Friday, December 3, 2010
I’ve become a Suburban Snob.
Then along comes the foreclosure market, and my husband starts getting the itch. There is a beautiful brick house for sale back in the city. It is near a city golf course. It has gleaming wood floors, a ground floor half bath, and five oversized bedrooms. They’ve been asking half the price of our current home, close to the price we paid for that brick dollhouse over ten years ago; we could make a serious impact on our overall financial picture. I agreed to go look.
While my husband, inexplicably to me, toured the house with a sense of awe and adventure, I nearly had a panic attack, I felt so overwhelmed. Even if all the mechanicals were in working order, I saw home maintenance nightmares around every corner, and already pictured the 6 foot fence and German shepherd I was going to need if we chose to live here.
So I’m going to admit it, even though I feel ashamed. The suburbs have made me soft. There was a time when I would have fearlessly plunked down the asking price to live in such a finely crafted home, regardless of the work it would take to keep it up. I would once have comfortably stood at the bus stop with those neighbors, and hardly noticed the variety of smells and dangers that surrounded me. I might even have embraced the idea that “the cream always rises to the top” when I read the ratings and stats about the nearby public schools. There was a time when I myself parked on the street for years on end. But I couldn’t bring myself to accept the possibility of doing those things again.
Now that I have lived in a world of minivans and vinyl siding, where curvilinear streets keep traffic on the main roads and inconvenience would-be criminals, where even my non-English-speaking neighbors wave and smile and spray their lawns for dandelions, I’ve become out of touch with urban living.
I’m a snob. I know it’s wrong.
If anyone secretly says things against his neighbor, I will stop him. I will not allow people to be proud and look down on others. Psalm 101:5