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God Bless Suburbia

After dinner last night, right before we headed upstairs to get ready for bed, we realized we’d forgotten to run the errands we needed to run. We were supposed to pick up coffee, sugar, a GFCI electrical socket, and the required black pants/black shirt Mike needs for his new part-time job. (Yay for the part-time job!)

Luckily, it was only seven-thirty, so we tucked the dogs in for the night, grabbed sweaters to protect against the freezing sixty-degree weather, and hopped in the car.

Yes, we get ready for bed at seven-thirty. What can I say? We’re an old married couple.

By eight-thirty we were brushing our teeth and marveling at how we’d just run three hours worth of errands in one.Β It was because of the strip mall. And the trunk of the car.

You see, most people who live in suburbia take for granted their ability to run multiple errands in a short period of time. I know, because I used to be one of those people. And then I moved to New York and figured out how the rest of the world works. Or at least the part of the world situated in Manhattan.

If we were still living in Manhattan, we’d have had to make three separate stops, instead of the one we were able to make last night. First we’d have gone to K-Mart for black Dickies and a generic black button-up. It would have taken us thirty minutes to get there, plus a ten minute walk off the train, and it would’ve been a miserable experience because that K-Mart was never fully stocked and it was always so full of people there ought to be signs out front warning shoppers not to enter if they fear large crowds. Next we’d spend another twenty minutes on the subway, another fifteen minutes walking, and then we’d be at Home Depot, also terribly crowded, with checkout lines thirty people deep. Fifteen more minutes walking and an hour on the subway before we got to our neighborhood market, all while carrying everything we’d purchased elsewhere. By the time we finally got home we’d have spent at least three hours, probably four, and we’d be exhausted, sweaty, and praying for an early death.

Instead we hopped in a car, drove to a strip mall, purchased everything we needed at a Target and a Home Depot sitting back-to-back, and were home in sixty minutes. Yes, it’s a little freaky that we can buy groceries and clothing in one location, I’ll be honest. Target’s new grocery section makes me feel a little bit dirty, I don’t know why, but still. I do not miss the city at all.

P.S. There’s a wiener in the lantana.

wiener in the lantana

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  • ‘Cita

    Neener, neener, Manhattanites.

  • On the other hand, the thing I miss about Katherine’s apartment in San Francisco is being walking distance from a supermarket, at least one good bookstore, a local coffee shop, and several restaurants. Now Ralphs is just a little too far to travel for any decent amount of groceries and the nearest bookstore is a mile away. Good restaurants have recently reappeared around here, but for a long time it was “I’m hungry- get in the car.” I miss the ability to spend days without driving a car.

    • Frost

      Yeah…. I see your point. But then again, Sunshine. Sun. Shine. Almost every day. (Except lately. Stupid grey fog.)

  • Kim

    Can I throw a little “neener neener” in there? Walking distance to coffee shops, grocery stores, public transit and the lake, AND a short drive to Home Depot, Michaels, Bed Bath and Bayond, and Target. I really do love our new neighborhood, I really do. πŸ™‚

    Loved this post – I’m glad you’re back!

  • You know those urban blight movies from the late 70’s and early 80’s like ‘Over the Edge’? (Matt Dillon’s 1st movie) Yeah? Well that’s where I live… endless looping streets of houses and more houses and more lots waiting for houses.

    Sorry, I vent.

    • Frost

      Wait … is that a bad thing? Because that’s what I’m living in, and I LOVE it.

  • I’m a New England boy, born and bred, I grew up with hills and trees and places to hike just a short drive away… hell in Connecticut everything’s a short drive πŸ™‚

    You do appear to have some acceptable wilderness or wildernesslike area around you. Here it’s urban sprawl or swamp.

    • Woops, should have replied instead of posting new… sorry πŸ™‚

      • Frost

        Don’t worry about it. πŸ™‚

    • Frost

      Hm. I see your point. There is a lot of nature around here, so much so that I was actually stalked and nearly attacked by a coyote on my morning run today — thank goodness for the couple w/ their German Shepherd who started yelling and scared the beast away. It was crazy. I’ll have to write a post about it. And my mom was right. I shouldn’t be running alone in the mountains. πŸ™