Suburban is a dirty word.

I'm pretty sure nobody uses it as a compliment anyway.

I am trying to understand Summit, trying to like it, trying not to wonder if it's a local licensing requirement to be an inconsiderate driver. I am a firm believer in the whole blooming where you're planted thing (given my prolific relocation history, it's really the only way to manage), so I've been trying to reserve and temper my perceptions. It's been a long year of adjustment, but I'm definitely not feeling this version of suburbia. Maybe it's because just last week I sat next to two women at a coffeeshop loudly discussing their activewear choices for their next boot camp class (including showing each other photos on their phones), followed by a discussion about when the right time is to begin botox. While alarmingly cliche, I kid you not. I eventually left because it was was distracting (both my judgement and their talking) and I really felt like they must have been working from some sort of mombot script to prank everyone. I just cannot do the mindless affluent chatter thing - where are all the interesting people hiding? 

 all by myself.......

all by myself.......

I guess that's the real crux of the issue - how to make friends in this sea of illegally parked Range Rovers and Lu Lu Lemon leggings? I have definitely not cracked the code. Generally suburbs aren't for the transient. You're supposed to move out of the city when your kids are little, get them in the right school and get everyone set up in their peer groups - kids and adults, etc, and then just move up the milestones as a perfectly manicured batch - I know that, BUT usually I can ferret out the misfits pretty quickly. I myself, advertise loudly with my "exciting hair" (quote from the local barista). But alas, I remain relegated to small talk pleasantries exchanged with acquaintances that seem to be uneasy about my lack of concern for lacrosse or their ivy league college name dropping. But I know there must be life out there - maybe even someone with an effing sense of humor? 

My main conflict right now with this particular suburb is seeing my kids internalize privilege and entitlement as normal behavior just so they can be in good public schools. This is the first time we have caved to the lure of high ranking school districts - I think because we were exhausted with searching an unfamiliar area and needed a safe bet for everyone. (Also, it's hilarious that along with the highly praised school district, Summit has a bunch of private schools because they need rich schools for the richer kids to avoid the middle upperclass riffraff.)  I don't want to give specific examples that might identify anyone, but I do want to say that we have repeated conversations with the kids about what it means to be grateful, to live within your means, to earn your rewards, to value experience over materialism, and different attitudes about money. We live very comfortably, and yet the wealth they see day in and day out makes them wonder if we are poor. That's crazy town, and it's embarrassing to me that they don't have more awareness about the state of the world at large - that this is becoming their worldview.  My constant mom talking about their advantages and opportunities isn't going to change what they're seeing as real life. 

So the easy answer is go somewhere else, except we promised my oldest he would not have to change schools again until he graduates (because really, it does suck how many times he's changed schools for our moves). That's two more years. Two more years of wondering if I'll eventually break down and go to the boot camp class and see if there are any other fakers just biding their time. 

 

Mendy Waits2 Comments