After living in NYC for most of the last decade, most of my fantasies have been usurped by a fantasy of living in a mid-90s to early-00s midwestern suburb. It's a fantasy which would take forever to comprehensively itemize, but here are ten things I dream of doing in the suburbs:
- Living in, and owning, a house. Obviously. With a big yard and a pool. Obviously. This is the big one, so I'm getting it out of the way first.
- Spending a ton of time loitering at the mall. I was an absolute mallrat growing up, and desperately miss that particular feeling of communal depression.
- Building my own furniture in my garage.
- Playing with a shitty band in my basement.
- Having an affair with my married neighbor who always manages to look upsettingly well put together despite her bathroom cabinet pharmacy and wine subscription. We have a deeper connection that either of us is willing to admit because we both know that while it's about more than just sex, it's not about enough to actually sustain a deep relationship.
- Getting in fights with the Home Owners' Association about painting my front door a stupid color or making too much noise. The head of the HOA being my lover-neighbor's husband, of course.
- Watching the local news on TV, with local commercials and all, as the anchors discuss the heatwave and run three-year-old footage of kids playing in sprinklers. My neighbor tells me the male anchor once invited her and her husband to a swingers' party, which she attended, she claims, just to see what it was like. I'm unconvinced that she didn't partake, but how clearly she remembers the food gives me enough pause to not feel insecure about my relative inexperience.
- Buying a cheap old car and installing a ridiculous sound system in it so I can drive around town blasting barely-music I barely like to challenge stereotypes about exactly what kind of asshole subjects everyone else to his CD collection. What would you do if you got stuck behind someone vibrating your side mirrors with Ghédalia Tezartès?
- Going for a walk or skate on the smooth sidewalks with the gently sloping rounded curbs and having it be the most relaxing thing I do that day, rather than the most stressful.
- Working a slow, boring, mindless job in a cubicle in an office that isn't trying to look or seem like a cool place to hang out, but rather recognizes that it is and ought to be a sterile place of business.
- Breaking the rules.