The Definition of “Suburbaneity”


Suburbanaeity, unlike spontaneity, is the sudden and metaphysical urge to pack up ones tiny, urban dwelling and move to the suburbs. There, once proud urbanites can satiate their interior decorating demons and take advantage of decent public schooling for their little heathens.

The reasoning for this severe medical condition varies upon the individuals personal agendas versus their tolerance for the hedonistic bar scene. This is multiplied by the number of times they find themselves mumbling, “I’m getting too old for this shit” during the course of a weekend.

Although there is no definitive calculation to determine if and when an individual will pack up for literally greener pastures, the outcome is usually the same. The individuals will endure a much longer commute to work, they will procreate, and the children will remain in the suburbs. The father joins some form of softball league to initiate social contact, and the mother takes up crafting or a card game masked as an excuse to drink heavily with other suburban mothers. The children are expected to excel in school and sports, and the parents vicariously live out their thinly-veiled dreams though little league games and school plays. The children then leave to attend some well-regarded and nationally ranked university, whereupon they only return for major holidays and to drop off dry-cleaning. The college fugitives mean well; they are just entirely preoccupied with their new lives revolving around binge drinking and plagiarism. After four-to-eight years, plus or minus several days, mumbling incoherent thoughts while clutching a box of wine in the fetal position, these children will acquire urban jobs like the generations before them.

Like with most things, appearances can be deceiving, and growing up in the suburbs is not as cushy as it may seem. One must viciously fight to stand out amongst row after row of well-manicured lawns and beige SUVs. There is the burden of attending four bar mitzvahs in one day. Starbucks cups scorching frail and tenderly moisturized hands. The indignity of it all when you receive a Honda instead of a Lexus after achieving your drivers permit.

At the end of the day, whatever embittered J. Crew-esque path we take will be a result of the sacrifices our parents have made to fling us in a socially acceptable direction. It was done for me and I will do the same for my adopted Asian children, as I will expect them to do for their moon children. Right now as we deal with the trials and tribulations of postgrad life and all its assorted quandaries, we can take solace in knowing that someday we too can enjoy immigrant gardeners and everything their six pack abs have to offer.

And always remember, you can always fight the fires of suburban tyranny and passive aggression, one bottle of merlot at a time.

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Writer in NYC. To quote Dr. Seuss, "Being crazy isn't enough."

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