These suburbs had driven me out of my head for all of my teens: sure, aren’t all suburbs that way, mapped in dreary walls and malnourished trees, designed to stir restlessness up in the hearts of young girls.
Sarah Griff, The Last City I Loved: Dublin
Are there any writers out there who love the suburbs? Who were contented to have their car and their strip malls, and to hang out with their friends at the movies, the mall, the local Barnes & Noble? I was disconteted as a teen, but I would have been anywhere. If I’d lived in a city, what would I have done differently? Gone to more museums, seen more plays. If I’d lived in the country, I would have put on even more weight, watched more cult television.
I know this to be so, because these are the things I did when I was a young woman in such places. During my summer at Bennington when I was 16, I retreated into the library, watching old VHS tapes and writing essays about Christian philosophy. I made friends with the other chubby girls and we watched the entire run of Twin Peaks in less than a month. I attended interpretive dance performances and avoided the kids who smoked pot down by the lake. I have a lasting aversion to Friendlys, which seemed like the only cheap restuarant game in town.
Am I insuffiently aesthete for valuing things like convenience and access to parking?
Placidus will likely think I’m completely contradicting many statements I’ve made over the years about hating to drive (and the associated actions of making him drive me places), and it’s true that when I’ve been able to choose, I have picked city living over the suburbs largely because I’d rather not be forced to use a car.
My point is that I didn’t find the suburbs the soul-crushing wasteland that others seem to have found.