As you get older, if you are lucky, your choices in life begin to expand. But with this expansion comes complexity... kind of like when you first learn that you can eat as much guacamole as you want because it is made from all vegetables and is healthy fat.*
One of the many complex issues one faces when deciding if you want to move to the suburbs is: Dealing with The Commute. These are the five things you should not say to a commuter (or a potential commuter).
1. That's going to take more than an hour!
Tis true, Father Time, commuting takes time. By plane, train or automobile...it takes time. Crain's even has a handy graph to prove it takes time. So unless you are on foot or biking to work- chances are your morning commute is at the mercy of Chicago traffic gods. We all know those gods are fickle. Just like you know that the Red Line is 32 minutes if you get the Belmont platform by 7:35 AM and 47 minutes if you don't hit the stop by 8:01 AM... I too could learn the secret Jedi pathways of the Chicago highways to make them work to my advantage. Either way, it is highly unlikely- if not scientifically impossible- that anyone commuting in this city has a blissful and speedy passage to and from work everyday. BTW- an hour of NPR a day, makes you more intelligent in every way.
2. What will you do about your daughter and daycare?
Every working parent knows the dreaded pick-up time anxieties. Whether, it is 5:30 PM, 6:00 PM, or if you are lucky 6:30 PM - it is your witching hour. Let's face it, 4:30 PM- 8:00PM is a black hole of time that just evaporates for parents. Only the finest, well-oiled family succeeds between these hours. It takes more than a village; it takes two GMail Calendars, 2 smart phones, countless texts and sometimes a Grandma to get your drop-off/ pick-up pattern straight with your spouse. So any deviation from this plan has "disaster" written all over it. THIS I KNOW. But just like the start of the school year, a change in schedule can be done. Adjustment is possible.
3. "Gas is over $4.00 a gallon."
Ok. Yes, this is a fact...but THIS I KNOW. So, unless you are talking to your least intelligent acquaintance in the world... chances are they can do simple math. Which means, they 1) know gas costs more than $4.00/ gallon. 2) have factored in the costs of gas (on a weekly and monthly basis). 3) have taken that figure into consideration when doing their monthly budget (just like any other person would, with any other expense, related to any other basic life-skills activity that us adults have to pay for. Just like you did, when you planned for, say, your mortgage payments or food.)
4. "How will you workout?"
Step 1: put on workout clothes. Step 2: actually workout. And I am not sure why this question is directed at me, since my physique is 110% more amazing than my pre-pregnancy body?! For shame.
In reality, it is a good question, right? But, this question again has the undertones of sacrifice. Basically what is being said here is "something has got to give." Again, a true statement. Something always has to give (unless you are Leaning In, in which case you have your own driver or plane and this entire article is a moot point). However, if it's my workouts that are sacrificed, well shame on me but that is my choice. Just like your Candy Crush addiction is actually becoming a true addiction- we all choose our priorities.
5. "My husband does that commute EVERYDAY, he hates it."
"Well guess what? My friend eats that want-to-be healthy greek yogurt you are eating, and she is fat."
So take my advice, if someone is considering The Commute, avoid these phrases and give them something new to consider. In the meantime, in City vs. Suburbs- this one is a tie.
*Yes, I know that an avocado is a fruit. But most of us think they are veggies and I didn't want you to get tripped up on the semantics of it all.
Want to hear more about the confliction of City Living vs. Suburban Life? Follow @BeforetheBurbs or subscribe to Before The Burbs blog! Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.