01 February 2010

OK - so "vacation" starts tomorrow.....


So - first - I have to acknowledge that I have not yet "gone fishin'" - I mean - sort of - I have begun prep for guests this Thurs. at the little dinner party I'm having for Olivia pre-confirmation, and.... I'm still fuming about some Facebook and other ridiculous interaction that has me actually reflecting and thinking - geez.... do you know HOW much you could get done NOT having to answer people or follow up on correspondence? I stress about thank you notes to gift givers - I stress about responding to those who take "social networking" very seriously (don't want to offend - though... it warrants mentioning here that I also stress over the constant offenses I see - do you really think you're that important - are you really that crass - and w(ho)tf do you think you are? I digress... as usual).

Second - I have to say that I finally enjoyed a shopping outing with Olivia - sans wee ones. Had coffee, shopped all her favorite stores, bought a way too expensive bra, found the perfect shoes....Fun.

Now - time to rant. Actually, I'm analyzing, I think. I have had three separate conversations over the past few days - all dancing around the same odd issue. Here's how it started.... A friend and I had a hectic lunch with babies and toddlers last week. As we were wrapping up, the topic turned to our suburban family members and their shock that we "live in the city where there is so much crime" - and the ensuing -did you hear about the shooting? should we drive through that neighborhood? most people move to the suburbs when they start "doing better" (um... have you seen some of the actual mansions that people live in here in the "scummy" city????) - what do you do with the kids in the city (um... what DON'T we do - you suburbanites come in for the zoo, museums, fountains, parks, arts festivals, etc. - though, I admit, I do head out of town for skiing and the pumpkin farms :-)?

THEN... a couple days later, I had a conversation with a family member who condescendingly asked me how we were all managing in our teeny, weeny, wittle (sorry for the baby talk), urban, old city house? I mean - seriously - I'm exaggerating the tone, but... it was pretty much - OMG, how do you manage ALL those kids in your dinky ugly urban house? I'm snarky - I realize - but this has gone on for a while with our area family (and outside the area too, really - constant references to our "fixer -upper" even though the kitchen is more modern than some of their suburban kitchens, having been updated a few years ago - and HELLO! - we love to cook so did invest in a stove worth a couple thousand - and, by God, it looks it - not to mention all of our original hardwood floors, beautiful stained glass, deliberate antiques and vintage bathtubs, fixtures, etc. - makes you want to scream in a really nasty, crass way - "they're not old - they're Restoration Hardware - go price them!" Oh, I feel dirty just saying that - rant, rant, rant). After a conversation with another friend today - who has similar frustrations (i.e. family members who decorate their suburban homes with whatever they can dig out at Tuesday Morning and serve wine from a box at parties who have the NERVE to judge her art and antiques-filled narrow Victorian city home with top vineyard wine served at parties - oh the snarkiness continues ;-), I am kinda / sorta musing about what might cause this phenomenon and... I'm pissed off too. I want to say - stop judging me and how I live - especially when I hold my tongue all the time when I view your lifestyle.

Here's a thought: We like our house. We love our lifestyle. OK - two thoughts. Alright... more: We have been through a lot in our relationship. Meant for one another, hubby and I had a hard time resolving issues in our lives to BE together. We value what we have; we want to ENJOY it - eachother. We've also had a bunch of kids in a short period of time. We are hunkered down and determined to enjoy our lovelies - our dinner table - our neighbors - the swim club - our block parties - DVRing 30 Rock and Iron Chef - sitting by the fire - watching our secure middle schooler LOVE her neighborhood and... while we do talk to realtors and think about upsizing, it is NOT a priority. Let's cut the chatter about - "you need a bigger house for your kids" - "what's your school district like?" - big breath - "ooo (condescending tone sound)... can you really afford the private schools?" (um... have for the last 10+ years... And... uh .... this last comment is a frequent one and may belie the REAL motivation behind such comments - pettiness, sibling rivalry - oh, it may be time to involve my other friend - A Princeton-educated family therapist - and, yeah - sorry- can't seem to stop "name dropping" and acting pretentious :-). You know.... if I am truly analyzing, I have to say, there are some folks who are literally having a STROKE trying to figure out how "rebellious, creative-types" like me and hubby can make such a good income and / or live the way we do. Gosh - I'm sure glad I missed the memo on how only the straight and narrow path leads you to the highly coveted cash award. Cuz... that's what we all want, right? Cough, cough - ahem. Ugh. OK - done... for a couple days anyway ;-).

Photo: Milo flipping in our beloved "neighbor-gathering, pumpkins on the porch, Christmas schmultz in the yard, baby swing on the tree, painted the porch ourselves, wave to friends as they drive by" FRONT YARD (which will continue as a tricycle thruway and the starting point for many acorn-gathering, winter or other lovely tree-lined walks for quite... um... a while :-).

4 comments:

Emily said...

This pisses ME off, and, you know, I'm very removed from it. But mostly it is just completely inappropriate, inconsiderate, and not nice to comment in a negative way about someone's HOME. It is not anybody's business but yours, and it's certainly a very personal choice!

Sherri said...

Thanks, Em. I know I have support on this "issue". And... it seems minor, doesn't it? As you sit over dinner or have to deal with the differing opinions of family members ANYWAY on holidays - whatever - but I mean enough is enough. And really - don't get me started on what I COULD say about how they live ;-).....

Mendy said...

Cal and I have been talking about the suburbs lately as if it's a dirty word. His coworkers constantly razz him and another "city" coworker. They're very annoyed by it all. And Eli came home saying that in social studies they said Edgewood was a suburb. what? We had a bit of a conversation about that - maybe 60 years ago it was. I will admit though that the tuition thing is a driving force with us. Not sure what we're going to do next year.

Sherri said...

We actually talk often about that too - what we pay in taxes, have to pay tuition, etc. There are draws to both 'burbs and city, but... I think both have good and bad points. Any of us who have lived in the city would never think / say such awful things about living here, you know? I kind of consider Edgewood on the cusp of 'burb and city (Forest Hills - even though it's right next to us feels 'burby - has its own little "strip" out of the city of Pitt whereas our 'hood is Regent Sq. in the city.... and is still a walking neighborhood - I think I would miss that living way out...).