Thursday, June 10, 2010

City Mouse vs. County Mouse

I have become a City Snob.

We live within the city limits of our midwestern city and even though we ended up here by a series of coincidences, happenstance, and dumb luck (midway location between our two jobs, a neighborhood we could afford, a motivated seller), it has become clear to me that this is where we were Meant To Be.

I love our nice little neighborhood.  I love that the guy next door is super handy and always willing to let David borrow tools.  I love that his girlfriend is always bringing me extra bunches of stuff from her herb garden.  I love that the little old lady across the street used to work for the police department as a receptionist and has made herself our neighborhood watch.  I love that the family down the street runs a pizza place not far away.  I love that there is a Muslim family living next door to a house with a statue of Mary in the front yard.  I love that the lesbians on the corner have a chihuahua who thinks he's tough stuff.  I love that the African American woman who has a beagle named Daisy goes to church every Sunday wearing a hat.

I love that we are within walking distance of a grocery store, a dog groomer, a beautiful park, a coffee shop, two elementary schools, and within short driving distance of major chain stores but also family-owned Italian restaurants, a Home-Eco General Store, and half a dozen more coffee shops.

I love telling people I live in South City and I honestly feel a little bit sorry for people who don't live in South City.  For people who think that it's worth a commute just to have a bigger house, or a bigger yard, or an attached garage.  People who live in a neighborhood where all the houses look a like and none of the trees are big enough to offer shade.  Suburban, subdivision living is just not my style.  And David has felt the same way.

Sure, some day we'd need a house bigger than our two-bedroom, one-bathroom bungalow.  But we'd save for a house in the city or at least very close to the city so that we'd still be 20 minutes from downtown and the trees in our yard would be big and old and shady.

Moving to the way-out far-West suburbs was never on the agenda.  Don't get me wrong--we have friends who live out there and who have very nice homes and who are very happy there.  They moved their by choice, even after living in the city.

But strip malls and subdivisions are just not what I want in a neighborhood.


Yesterday David accepted a job as vice-principal of a very good elementary school.

It's way out in the county.

It will be a 40-minute commute.  Each way.  All highway.  A reverse commute, since most people are living in the county and working in the city.  But still.  That's a LOT of time in the car.

Neither of us has had more than a 15 minute drive to work in the past, so this will take some getting used to.  David is not looking forward to the drive.  In fact, despite his previous desire to stay in the city, near the stadium, near our favorite restaurants, he thinks about that drive and is ready to pack up and move us the county (obstacles like selling our house and affording a new one nonewithstanding, obviously).  But I am...  resistant.

I hate change, for one thing.

I also hate house-hunting.

But mostly, I'm a City Mouse.  Not a County Mouse.

So we'll see how this commuting thing goes.  A lot can change in a year.  But we're not making any definite plans just yet.


  1. I hate that we don't live in a neighborhood like yours! We went around and around about it, but in the end we can't afford to live in the city (in any size house) and my husband's commute would have been untenable (currently it's 15 minutes, also reverse. It would have been over an hour!). One day, though. It's my dream! Your neighborhood sounds lovely.

  2. I'm a neighborhood snob, as well...but, that's what happens when one lives on "Millionaire's Row."

  3. Well there's something unpleasantly ironic about living in the city only to commute to the suburbs...