As I mentioned, we're looking for a place to live in Virginia, with the intent of moving there at the end of the summer (likely in late August). Before we actually started looking, Mark and I both had a romantic notion of living outside the cities and suburbs, in horse country, maybe on a few acres. I imagined having space for lots of rescue dogs. I imagined quiet and solitude. I imagined a stream, and maybe a barn. I neglected to consider the impact of all that solitude on my work-at-home self. Or ony having one car. Or the million or so things that totally blow about living out in the country, like lousy Internet service and long commutes. But when I actually went and visited the area, these things all sprang back to mind.
And so, it seems quite likely that we're headed for the suburbs. I grew up in the country and have lived in a city since then. I've never lived in a suburb. In fact, I've spent a good part of the last decade or so making merciless fun of suburbs. Places where you can't walk or bus anywhere. Places with houses all built the same, with lots of rules, with no real trees and cardboard neighbors. Edward Scissorhands land. Why would anyone want to live there?
Turns out there are reasons. Long drives every day to work suck. Space is nice to have. My dogs need a yard, and I'd like a bathtub. It's a difficult thing for my trying-to-be-hip self to say, but there are benefits to living somewhere with sidewalks and "safe streets." I'm still not thrilled about the idea of moving into one of a hundred houses that look just the same, or having someone come down on me if I put something they don't like in my lawn, or having to get in the car to get coffee/go to the library/whatever. But I do understand the reasons a bit better now, having compared what is available in the 'burbs to the city and country options.
This is yet another one of those weird growing up things. Just like I never expected to work at a desk from 9-5, or wear makeup every day, or pay someone to paint my house, I never expected to live in a much too-big house in a suburb. Just like I pictured exciting, important jobs and cutting edge clothes and a do-it-myself life, I pictured either rural simplicity or the excitement of a city. I was never going to be halfway anywhere, I was never going to let people tell me what to do. And suburbs are the epitome of halfway.
It never ceases to amaze me just how much things change. It seems like almost every day right now it's something else. What's next? Once we are installed in our multi-bedroom sububan home, a couple of proper DINKS, then what? A baby? A SUV? A subscription to Rachael Ray's magazine? Where will it end?