Contra Suburbia

Tom Chapin


>Smaller towns seem to be elusive to the universality of coldness.
>Now just ask me why I don't move back into a big city...

Hmm, having grown up in a small town, lived in a big city, and then in a suburb of that big city, I'd say the suburbs are the coldest. Even the city folk were much friendlier, though some of that may have been due to being in a very ethnic are of the city (them furriners seem to be much more lovable than the rest of us).

I've come to the conclusion that a buncha folks fled from the countryside to the city because they were deathly afraid of the "lions and tigers and bears, oh my!" And then their children fled from the city to the suburbs because they were afraid of the wolves of many colors in the streets. Now the grandchildren are in the suburbs, the product of two generations of those too afraid to stick it out where they were, and still just as afraid, even though there isn't much of anything out there for them to fear. But they still panic at the slightest movement.

"I've lived in my house for fifteen years now. The folks on the right side have lived there for ten years; I don't know who they are. The ones on the left have lived there for five years; I met them a couple years ago, but I don't usually say much to them. That's what I like about the suburbs. You don't always have to worry about your privacy."
-- Director of the local college library talking with me to thank me for donating my ten-year collection of Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Tom Chapin --
rev: 2005-May-25