My days are usually filled with new-house projects. Painting baseboards! Failing to reupholster a chair! But after almost a month in the suburbs, I suddenly remembered I should probably make some friends in case I need to borrow a cup of sugar or go on a bender. I'm now in search of mom friends with just the right balance of dependability versus intrigue. (Perfect ratio: 78% June Cleaver, 15% sociopath, 7% undecided.) So I grabbed my baby and headed to story time at the library. Lo, there weren't many moms there. The playground was even worse, a wasteland of perfectly maintained equipment in a picturesque setting with a population of zero. Do suburban people not use public amenities?
When I first moved to the city I experienced some confusion about the strict rules at the Chicago Public Library, what with the book limits and severe fines. A secret I will carry to my grave, right after I blurt it to you fine folks, is that I dodged a major library fine by changing my name when I got married. [Maniacal laugh] I also recall a learning curve to bus culture. When to pull the rope signal thingy? When to move your crotch from peoples' faces? (Answers: "nearing the stop" and "usually".) There are rules and nuance to using public amenities that are forced lessons in the city, but I wonder if suburban people accustomed to cushy surroundings and less social interaction just chuck them altogether?
I've already decided I'm treating the suburbs like the city. I'm the lone, crazy lady who walks everywhere. People probably think my double stroller is filled with used shoes and cans of beans. They might not be too far off the mark because I do carry snacks. I'm at the playground. Yes, I know I have one of my own in my back yard but people get bored staring at the same things every day. I miss those sleeping gentlemen and broken booze bottles!* We still order thai and dammit, I'm bringing the kids to the library. Come on, suburbanites. Your taxes are not charity. Get to story time at the library so you can meet me and we can hang out and get all Fear And Loathing during that boring hour between naps and dinner. I have plenty of sugar.
*No I don't
Filed under: The Big Suburban Safari Experiment