If You Grew Up Having Your Own Bedroom, You Must Have Been American

Among the 7 billion earthlings only about 5% have ever grown up having their own bedroom. The other 95% probably experienced what some would lament as “that closed-in feeling.”

If one thing distinguishes America from most other countries it’s our vast open spaces. A sprawling continent that dazzled our European forefathers. The New World seemed a never-ending frontier from Atlantic to Pacific. And while we’ve quickly filled in the spaces, we’ve remained a land of plenty.

So much so, there has always been room for more farmlands…more cities…more suburbs…more house and car and wardrobe. This sense-of-size has helped shape the way we think and feel. From James Fenimore Cooper to Teddy Roosevelt to Ayn Rand, Americans think wide-open spaces.

With your indulgence, a small personal note here….!

Beginning with the warm, closed-in sensation of the womb, there was the protective, closed-in feeling of the mother’s comforting breast and arms. When later we step out of our mother’s home, now there is the neighborhood. How closed-in or wide-open depends on where it was. In today’s broad city streets and wide open suburbs, many have no recollection of the snug, closed-in feeling of tight little city neighborhoods where everyone had to live much closer.

City blocks squeezed together. Houses and bungalows and apartment buildings all stoutly stood shoulder to shoulder with little more than the archaic “gangways” to separate us. There were also the majestic canopies of great over-arching elms and oaks that tucked our little side-streets into shadowy cocoons of privacy. In which to play, dream, and get to palpably know one other.

But please… Take these musings as nothing more than a memory of what it was like to grow up inside closed-in worlds. Where everything and everyone was so very close-in. It had its merits. Merits possibly lost in today’s more wide-open metropolitan sprawl. Of course, be it an actual “loss” or not may all depend on whether you grew up having your very own bedroom….

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  • I had my own bedroom, but that was because I had two sisters. However, it was darn small.

    Certainly, even American kids then did not have the bedroom suites shown on most home decorating shows today. The parents also did not have multiroom master suites with two bath tubs (for Cialis), a glassed in shower, dual vanities, a sitting area, dual walk-in closets, a balcony overlooking the ocean, etc., unless the parent was named Mitt.

  • In reply to jack:

    You're right of course. However...of all the nations in the world, your chances for your own bedroom were always greatest in the US. With both positive & negative effects probably...

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